Take the PitchIt! Media Challenge

Do you use media to make social change?

Consider entering the 2010 We Media PitchIt! Challenge, sponsored by We Media and Ashoka's Changemakers. The deadline: January 20, 2010. "The top finalists will pitch their ideas at We Media Miami, March 9-11, 2010," says the website. "The best entry in each category--non-profit and business--will receive a $25,000 prize to help launch their new venture." Some details:

Can Sharing Survive Parenthood?

“My biggest fear – and it’s really scaring me – is what a baby is going to do to our relationship,” says Tara, five months pregnant with her first child.

Her husband, Phil, agrees. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to be having a child, and to be having a child with Tara. I can’t wait. But I have the same fears – I want to continue to enjoy our happy life together. I don’t want our child in the middle separating us.”

Tara and Phil are a lot like many other young couples we’ve spoken with who are facing parenthood. They’re in love, and they’ve got a good thing going.

Five Things I Like About Google's Meaning of Open

I admit to being just a tad wary when a corporation embraces openness because how zealously they normally protect their intellectually property, and, in some cases, claim as their own that which is the product of nature.

That was my initial reaction to The Meaning of Open, a post on Google's blog that was being shared frenetically on Twitter just before the holidays. I'm glad that I gave it a chance, because it's a little gem in many ways. Here's what I like about it:

The Real Good Chair Experiment

Blu Dot Studio put 25 of their chairs on the streets of Manhanttan, and then followed the chairs through a combination of GPS and video surveillance as people picked them up and took them home--which, by the way, the public could follow in real time on Twitter. Then the filmmakers interviewed the chair-collectors.

Girl on Bike

When people think about pretty girls riding bikes in dresses and heels, young families taking their babies to get groceries by bike, or arriving at the opera on a bike… they do not think of the citizens of Edmonton, Alberta (that would be in Canada, for those who don't know).

It would be accurate to assume that most trips are taken by car in this city, where the precedent up until recently has been to pave more roads, widen and increase lanes, and concentrate on infrastructure that encourages the continued use of motor vehicles.

What Things Need to be More Shareable?

"One of top things you can do to make your life a bit greener is cut down on stuff," writes Matthew McDermott at Treehugger. "Making it more difficult is that some of the things that are really useful only get used every so often... You can now easily rent cars by the hour, and more cities are establishing bike share programs, but programs to rent smaller items aren't as prominent, nor as convenient."

How to Share Your Job Search

The most common job search advice you’ll hear these days is to network. I found that a challenge at first, because nearly everyone I knew professionally was in media, and the minute I took the buyout from the newspaper where I’d worked as an editor, feature writer, and book critic, the financial markets blew up and the media and publishing industries went into panic mode, further downsizing already bare-bones staffs.

Sharing Lowers Health Care Costs

"The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year," writes Michelle Andrews at National Geographic. "Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like.

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