Archive for October, 2009

Video Highlights From Lunch for Good #2 October 22, 2009

October 28th, 2009

Community Manager Hiren Patel – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Check out more thoughts from attendees at Lunch For Good:

Greg Galle (C2) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Alexandros Pagidas – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Travis Murdock (Edelman) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Chris Anderson (Freshout) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Francisco Dao (Twiistup) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Chia Hwu (23andMe) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Andrew Fitzgerald (Current.tv) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

Adriel Hampton (Gov 2.0 Radio) – Lunch For Good #2: Sparking Critical Thought

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Lunch for Good #2 Recap

October 26th, 2009
(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

Allow me to just geek out for a moment and say that last week’s Lunch for Good event was flat out awesome, in my humble opinion.  The subject of critical thinking is crucial to our mission at Lunch.com, so it was no coincidence that the majority of the conversation touched at the core of what we’re working to build.  I’m still amazed at how comfortable everyone is at piping up to voice their opinions with the group.  It really speaks to the quality group we’ve assembled for these discussions.  With this many smart people actively engaged in brainstorming how we can evolve for the better, I’m feeling more optimistic than ever (and that’s saying something).

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com

There were so many unique and provocative ideas raised around our topic of sparking more critical thought in online contribution, I’m still trying to process it all, actually.  Among my favorite ideas from the day was the “what if” there was a “hold that thought… and think about it for a moment” intercept that popped up before you could hit “publish.”  This spoke directly to the notion of responding rather than reacting.  I also heard that very concept (respond vs. react) interestingly get teased apart to address the point that not everything online is an argument.  Much of what’s posted (particularly on our platform at Lunch.com) is simply an opinion or reflection on an experience, not necessarily a debate.  Yet, even in those scenarios the principles of critical thought still apply.

Everyone who’s contributing online could benefit if we really broke down the why’s behind what we’re expressing.  We could also grow not only the volume of what’s shared, but the quality, by using more critical thought as we reflect on the world around us.  There’s very little – if anything – that couldn’t stand for a bit of scrutiny and constructive analysis.  The power of tapping into a collective of that much critical thought, provided by a far greater portion of the online population … well, it could change the world.

Another idea proposed was to have people post a photo of their face, reflecting their emotion at the moment of contributing their opinion or comment.  This struck close to home for me, as we’ve been working very hard at Lunch.com to instill a culture that encourages members to use real photos of their faces as profile pics (as opposed to avatars, etc).  It actually doubles back to a bit of Lunch for Good #1, where we discussed responsible participation.  It was interesting though to think of it not just as an accountability measure, but as a way to tap into how people are feeling when their sharing their critical thought.

In the end, I can’t begin to cover all of the cool ideas shared, and definitely recommend you take a look at the video (posting in the next day or so) to get a full recap.  Meantime, stay tuned for the third installment of our Lunch for Good series, coming November 18.  We’ll cover how the issues we’ve discussed so far can lead up to helping people find common ground – really the ultimate of our social good goals (not to mention the crux of everything Lunch.com is about!).

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Looking Forward to Lunch For Good #2!

October 21st, 2009

I’m really looking forward to our second installment of Lunch for Good tomorrow (Thurs 10/22)!  Last month we discussed Responsible Participation and ways to get more people contributing online (see a recap here) and this month our topic is Sparking Critical Thinking.  Specifically, we are going to try to answer the question, “How can online contribution evolve to encourage more critical thought?

This isn’t an easy question to answer, but it’s worth spending the time and energy discussing it, considering the outcome can undoubtedly yield a more articulate and understanding world.

I believe that while the culture of online contribution is progressing, we still have a long way to go toward more critical thinking and less just being critical.  More towards responding rather than just reacting.  Most of us recall the childhood lesson “think before you speak.”  Some of this comes down to basic etiquette, but let’s take the discussion beyond that and delve into what truly motivates people to think critically.  What will encourage people to take that next step and compose their opinion for others to read and respond?

Why is that so important?  Because until you go through the exercise of articulating your views for the world to see, you haven’t really thought them all the way through.  For example, I don’t care if you simply love or hate Universal Health Care – I want to know why.  It’s great that you’re addicted to Trader Joes’ Oatmeal, but I want details.  A list of your favorite jazz albums is cool, but if you can tell me more about why each one made the list, that’s a far more valuable contribution. These are all examples of critical thinking.  The depth of each topic is different, but the process is the same.  I believe once we can figure out the process to encourage people to think more critically in general, it can be applied from the most simple to the most complex topics.  This will help create a more thoughtful and thorough online conversation, making us collectively smarter and more engaged. If this change is wide spread enough, it will ultimately help us understand one and other on a different level and help us to find common ground on some of the more divisive but important issues of our time.

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Video Highlights From Lunch for Good #1
September 24, 2009

October 15th, 2009

Lunch For Good Highlights: Responsible Participation from Lunch For Good on Vimeo.

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Full Video From Lunch for Good #1
September 24, 2009

October 2nd, 2009

Lunch For Good: Participation Inequality from Lunch For Good on Vimeo.

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