Money & Business

Lunchtime Links: It's Giving Tuesday

By / Dec 3, 2013 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Does your organization participate in Giving Tuesday? Also: Tracking discrimination on the web.

Your association no doubt has people who dedicate a good chunk of their time to organizing fundraising campaigns. But did you know there is an entire day each year dedicated to charitable giving? Get on board with Giving Tuesday (today!), and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Give it away now: You’ve heard of Black Friday. You might even have picked up a few deals yesterday shopping online on Cyber Monday. But don’t put away your wallet just yet. Today is Giving Tuesday. The second annual event celebrates charitable giving during the start of the holiday season, and the folks at the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN) have identified a list of 124 participating members. You can find even more online at GivingTuesday.org and join in the discussion throughout the day on Twitter using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Still in the giving spirit? News site Mashable.com has teamed up with Google+ to create a dedicated hangout-a-thon so that individuals, organizations, and others can meet to discuss the benefits and impact of charitable giving. What are you waiting for? Get giving.

Do not discriminate: The internet has long been billed as a sort of equal opportunity provider—that is, no matter who you are, or where you are in the world, you can find whatever it is you’re looking for—and then some. But, as a new effort underway by researchers at Princeton University and Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven aims to demonstrate, discriminatory practices on the web are more rampant than many probably realize. Writing for Forbes, Parmy Olson describes researchers’ efforts to scour the web with “bots” designed to mimic how individuals experience the internet, taking into account such variables as age, race, gender and socioeconomic status, and other factors. “This could be the smoking gun that privacy advocates need to demonstrate a long-held concern,” writes Olson, “that no matter how democratic the internet may seem, tracking by advertisers and the ‘personalization’ of the web by large internet players like Google could gradually isolate individual users into their own filter bubbles.”

Analyze this: Speaking of tracking, The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Apple is making strides to step up its web-analytics game. The iPhone maker recently purchased Topsy, an analytics firm previously owned by Twitter, for a reported $200 million. Apple is being tightlipped about its plans for the company, but industry watchers say the move could give the tech giant a window into real-time user feedback on its products. According to theTimes report by Salvador Rodriguez, The Wall Street Journalspeculates that Apple might use Topsy to improve music selection for users of iTunes Radio.” Rodriguez adds, “Topsy could also be used to bolster the data that marketers look at when deciding whether to purchase ads that run on Apple services.” Whatever its reasons, it’s pretty clear from these reports that data tracking and analytics should be on your radar.

Does your organization track certain identifying characteristics of its members? If so, how does it use that information? Tell us in the comments.

Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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