Momentum

How can we move from serving soup until our elbows ache to solving chronic social ills like hunger or homelessness? How can we break the disastrous cycle of low expectations that leads to chronic social failures? The answers to these questions lie within Momentum, a fresh, zestful way of thinking about and organizing social change work. Today’s digital tools—including but not limited to e-mail, the Web, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), even iPods—promote interactivity and connectedness. But as Momentum shows, these new social media tools are important not for their wizardry but because they connect us to one another in inexpensive, accessible, and massively scalable ways




Momentum is a clear, timely roadmap for activists and funders.? Never has the need to change how we think about our work been greater. Momentum is a must-read for doers and funders serious about social change work.”

-Pablo Eisenberg,
senior fellow, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University

“Those of us engaged in social change work know that change is coming fast, but changing how we work is happening slowly. We need to work differently and better, and Fine shows us how in fun and inspiring ways. If you are an activist, a funder, a volunteer, or a board member, or just plain care about your community and democracy, Momentum is the book for you!”

-Paul Shoemaker,
director, Social Venture Partners, Seattle

Momentum provides donors with a clear understanding of how to succeed in the new Connected Age. What felt like a blur of digital tools to me before now makes good sense, thanks to Fine’s lively lexicon and funny stories. I’ve been waiting for a book like this, and here it is at last!”

-Michael Hirschhorn,
president, Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation

“Fine outlines strategies for “connected activism” in this idealistic, lucidly written account about using the Internet to build up networks among activists who can pool information and other resources to help create lasting solutions that address the roots of social problems. Citing organizations such as the advocacy group MoveOn.org and MeetUp.com, which promotes off-line gatherings like those that propelled the Dean for President campaign, Fine emphasizes a mind-set of self-determination among citizens and two-way rather than top-down communication from organizations. She takes a cue from the 1999 “Cluetrain Manifesto,” aimed at corporations that were out of touch with consumers, translating its promotion of digital communication to the activist sphere. Some of her rhetoric seems hyperbolic, as when she suggests that online activism provides a neutral playing field in which women can advance their causes without getting dismissed because of their gender, and she pushes hard on the readiness of “plugged-in” Generation Y to change the world. On the whole, though, she provides activists with effective guidelines for streamlining the pursuit of social change through instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms and Blackberries. ”

-PublishersWeekly.com,
October 23, 2006

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