A look at some of the most interesting stories we’re tracking, cool stories of change that popped up on Twitter and great ideas from across our network. 

This week ==> Tweetstorms are coming (well, they’re here but we’ll probably see more of them soon). An amazing chronicle of Luanda’s underground music scene and Angolan politics. Can a chat bot power American political change?

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Come for the music. Stay for the political change. In Luanda, Angola, rappers risk jail to rhyme against the regime. Chloé Buire has spent years in clubs, at underground concerts and festivals learning about the power DJs and singers have had to guide change in Angola for decades. You don’t have to understand Portuguese to pick up on the messages of Iknonklasta, MCK, Titica and others (but bonus if you do!).

This hotel phone calls up change, not room service. The Standard hotel in New York City installed a phone booth connecting guests to legislators in Washington, D.C. They also included a “what to say” guide for wary activists. [ht @Trendwatching]

The coming Tweetstorm. Twitter is preparing to launch a feature in its Android app that allows you to draft a series of tweets to post at once–a Tweetstorm. By the way, Lifewire has a handy Tweetstorm explainer but it’s basically a series of (usually) pre-written tweets that let you go deep on a topic (or simply rant). [Josh Constine | TechCrunch]

Robot of resistanceThe resistance robot. Can it do more than send messages? “People won’t remain engaged in constructive politics if nobody is listening” writes ResistBot co-creator Jason Putorti. Here’s the story of why Jason and Eric Ries created ResistBot, how they got to 1 MILLION users in 180 days, and why they want to do more than just send more messages to Congress.

The world is designed for men and designer Kat Ely has the examples to prove it. What does this mean for campaigning? We’re human so we build, design, plan for what we know. And we’re a little lazy so we don’t always get feedback or look around us. This leads to products that don’t work for half the world (think lost revenue) and campaigns that don’t make sense to people. Maybe smart product design (knowing your audience, listening, getting input, testing, iterating) is a useful metaphor for campaign planning. [Kat Ely | HH Design]

Quick Hits

Why don’t NGO websites convert? You might be building for the wrong audience. Useful takeaways here for campaigners and colleagues creating sites, emails, social media and more. [Jeffrey Zeldman]

Citizen science volunteers driven by a desire to learn. People are curious and want to know more. Have a citizen science project? Emphasise learning opportunities. [University of Portsmouth]

What is strategy and why should you care? Nice one page read on the differences between (and meanings of) the word salad of campaigning: strategy, tactic, goal, vision, mission, objective, target and more. [Kristina Halvorson – Brain Traffic]

2017 Global Trends in Giving Report [Nonprofit Tech for Good | Public Interest Registry]

New report identifies key social trends in tech, talent and behavior. [Hyper Island]


Top photo of crowd at MCK1 show in Luanda, Angola, courtesy of Even Magazine. Thoughtful writing happening there. Visit them. Read up. Consider subscribing. 

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