A Purpose Statement for this Blog

Why do you blog?

Most of my recent professional experience has focused on “content curation” – being the content coordinator/editor for a website. I helped curate content to help my site visitors keep up with issues, news, reports, trends and innovations in their sector. A heavy focus of this is also on making use of technology, specifically social media, as a tool in their service work. I love connecting people to the information, resources and other people who can help them with what they need (generally, with a work/professional focus).

One of the things I never had a great deal of time to do, except in presentations, was to more deeply connect the content I curated to daily work, and to provide a deeper analysis of that content (or, at times, pulling seemingly disparate threads together in a pattern, etc.).

So, as I outline in my About page:

Things I want to try to do here

I want to use this space to:

  • think through things that I come across, issues mainly related to technology, use of social media in client-service focused non-profit organizations in Canada (as opposed to the usual U.S. version of non-profits as cause-based agencies, etc.)
  • weave together patterns I come across in various sources I follow, to see if I can pull out some bigger ideas for myself and my work.
  • try expanding on some of the ideas I may have already tweeted about to take them up a level.
  • see if I might be able to actually connect with some folks doing this work more deeply than I currently am
  • see if my writing and thinking are actually any good!

The URL and name “Actively Passive” comes from the idea (coined for me by my friend Christopher Wulff) about how I and many can use the web and social media to filter the information firehose without too, too much effort. The idea being, set up the tools well and filter effectively, rinsing and repeating as needed, and let the quality goodness flow through.

For me, heavy content curation via Twitter, has been my main tool for this (hence the heavy lifestream flow on this blog) technique. It has allowed for quick sharing of great stuff to following audiences (and, potentially, ReTweeting to their following audiences), which really leverages the “passive” notion of the web. It’s also allowed me to capture, here, and archive, useful and important links, reads, resources that I can come back to and refind in the future, just by searching this blog (findability being so very important in the days of the information firehose!).

Active means refining the filters and follows, but now also seeking to connect the reads into something more tangible, stamped with my own analysis, “insights” (if I’m able!) and connections.

So, I suppose that’s why I want(ed) to blog.

What do you blog about? (be as specific as you can here, especially if you have a niche)

My main area of focus is going to be on (in priority order):

  • Canadian non-profit use of social media and “social strategy” in their social service work
  • information, news, resources and important information about immigration, integration and diversity issues in Canada, with specific focus on Ontario and Toronto
  • social change and social issues

What do you want to become known for through your blog (what kind of reputation are you seeking to create for yourself)?

I have developed a bit of a reputation in a small sector/circle, of being someone who can help immigrant/refugee serving social service agencies understand how they can use web/internet/social technologies in their service work.

I’d mainly like to continue to build on this reputation and continue to help frontline and management-level workers in community service agencies better understand the value of particular technologies, approaches and service models.

That’s a main professional/branding goal for me.

Apart from that, I’m interested in just starting to create a space to think through deeper social/societal issues, such as those that came screaming to the forefront for me during the G20 in Toronto.

As I’ve written about in a recent blog post, I’m also going to explore my reactions to the G20 debacle. “…me out of my white, male, middle class complacency. Sure, I’ve always worked in the community/non-profit sector, in the helping professions. I thought that this was enough. My contribution to society is good, I think. I am helping to make the world a better place, I hope. Sure, I’ve read enough articles about how our system of community/social supports are part of an overall system of societal oppression, keeping the miserable not quite miserable enough to completely revolt. Even knowing that, I likely won’t stop working in that system.

But, obviously, doing this work is no longer enough.

I am awakened. I am finally politicized. I need to figure out what that means and how I will take practical steps.”

I’m not too concerned about becoming known for any of that, but we’ll see how it rolls out. I guess that’ll be the less passive (hopefully!) part of my blogging! 🙂

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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

2 Responses to “A Purpose Statement for this Blog”

  1. Brent says:

    Hi Marco,

    Congratulations on starting your blog. You've being curating stuff a long time and because of that you have much to share with people. You see far Marco and I look forward to your posts on any subject. Well maybe I won't read about your tips on growing tomatoes…..come to think of it, I'd welcome your tips on that as my crop needs some help.

    all the best,


    • Marco says:

      Thanks for visiting Brent, and for your very kind words! Hopefully, I'll live up to the move from Twitter to something a bit more long form and deep. 🙂

      And, re. the Tomatoes – good soil (amend it a lot if your regular soil isn't great), lots of sun, lots of good water. But, not too much sun. We've got a couple of tomato sites in our backyard right now and the one that gets a wee bit less sun seems to be stronger and growing higher. Will report back on tomato quality from the different batches! 🙂


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