How Razoo Became a Mobile Platform


The following is a narrative version of my 15 minute speech at the 2012 Innogive Conference today.

Last Spring those of us at Razoo began analyzing mobile web solutions. There was a big debate because traffic was in the low single digits, but partly as a result of reading Chuck Martin’s Third Screen, we decided to offer a web based mobile version of the web site and donation platform, and an iPhone app for fundraisers.

The Third Screen showed that almost every company or organization that goes mobile sees a surge in mobile traffic usually above 10%. This 10% rule was illustrated over and over again with case studies. We launched mobile at the end of 3Q, 2011, and just as the book indicated, the results have been amazing:
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CForward: There Is No Profit without Nonprofits

This week marked the launch of CForward, a 501c4 — a Political Action Committee (PAC) — committed to better inclusion of nonprofits in political economic agendas. In spite of nonprofits vital role in the nonprofit sector in every community across the country — representing 10% of the overall U.S. economy and workforce — the economic contributions of the sector are an afterthought… A way to address cut social services programs.

In fact now, the nonprofit sector is endangered by our local, state, and national politicians clamoring for their jobs bills, economic stimulation, and government cutbacks. Part of the agenda includes cutting vital nonprofit services, the same services that create social sector jobs (usually low paying ones), invigorate a community’s health, and stimulate its economy.

CForward is not a cry for hand-outs. It is a demand to be listened to during the critical 2012 election year. It is an acknowledgment that politicians need to start partnering with the nonprofit community to strengthen the economy, not simply slashing and overtaxing it at every opportunity.

Robert Egger, the genius behind the job creating DC Central Kitchen (and its sister Campus and city kitchens across the country), started CForward. In his Huffington Post piece announcing CForward, Robert stated:

Through grants or government contracts [nonprofits], like Boeing or Lockheed Martin, bring significant outside investment into every community to create jobs, generate taxes and spur the economy through their and their employee’s daily commerce. Any candidate who cannot provide detailed plans for how they would channel that economic and entrepreneurial energy isn’t worth a vote.

What CForward does differently is it offers politicians money for their campaigns — in a non-partisan fashion — IF they will consider the nonprofit sector in their economic plans. It plays the Washington insider game by educating candidates about the economic contributions of the nonprofit sector, and supporting those that play ball. And right or wrong, that’s how DC’s K Street crowd works.

I have joined CForward’s board as the nonprofit sector has been an important part of my entire personal life as well as a critical part of my professional life. To demonstrate my commitment to this effort, I donated $1000 to CForward. I hope you’ll support CForward, too. You can also follow CForward on Twitter.

The Third Polar Cap


It’s one of the remotest places on Earth. Yet even Tibet and its mountain resources cannot escape the wrath of climate change wrought by industrialization (Midui Glacier photo by reurinkjan).

In one of the most far reaching consequences of China’s rapid economic acceleration and its somewhat related occupation of Tibet, the world’s largest non-polar glacier reserve is endangered. Dubbed the Third Pole or the Roof of the World, this beautiful and remote resource is greatly endangered.

In a bizarre way, the disastrous glacial melt in Tibet represents a much slower version of the ecological apocalypse envisioned in Roland Emmerich’s 2012. The movie trailer shows a Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas overcome by a tsunami.
Readying to bring the world’s attention to the calamity is Tibet Third Pole, a group consisting of Tibetan, Chinese, and western scientists, development specialists, campaigners, and more than 170 Tibet Support Groups around the world. Third Pole will launch a series of campaigns in the run-up to and during the UN’s climate change conference in Copenhagen on Tibet’s behalf.

One thing is for sure about this year’s Copenhagen conference: More and more stories like the Third Pole’s plight will come to light. Each of our individual actions has very serious and real global impact.

Geoff Livingston is a regular contributor to the Live Earth blog.