Hi, thanks for visiting! My name’s Marco and I work as a Communications Strategist for the nonprofit sector, primarily focused on agencies providing services to immigrants/refugees. Most of what you’ll find here is a mix of immigration/diversity-related and nonprofit tech content (mainly focused on web and social media).

I’ve always hoped to blog and write more here. It could still happen. But, for now, this site is very much an aggregation of what I find, read, and share most days. I hope you find it useful.

I’m in a few spaces online, but probably most active on Twitter. You’ll find me @marcopolis. Find my professional background on LinkedIn.

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 by my friend Christopher Wulff) about how you can filter the online information firehose without too, too much effort. Set up the tools well and filter effectively, rinsing and repeating as needed, and let the quality goodness flow through. Set it and forget it, right?

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 followers (and, potentially, ReTweeting to their followers), 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. It also means seeking to find the trusted sources and (hopefully) connect what I find into something more tangible, stamped with my own analysis, “insights” (if I’m able!) and make even more connections.

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

An Intro

My work has spanned numerous non-profit sectors, including newcomer settlement, employment services, information and referral and community-based technology projects. I currently help nonprofit staff harness the communications & network potential of web and social media in their work.

I’ve worked as a website content coordinator, training coordinator and, more recently, provided social media training and support for the settlement sector in Ontario. An important part of my community work has been to facilitate small and large gatherings of people to work collaboratively towards common understandings or building new ideas. Convening, collaborating and creative conversations form an essential part of his toolkit, whether planning a new technology initiative, or bringing diverse stakeholders together to build community.

I did this interview a few years ago, and it still kind of fits:

Curating the web

Content Curator. That’s something I aspire to. This post – Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future? – outlines it nicely. In brief: “A Content Curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.”

I think this is something I do well and am aspiring to do better in my work. As indicated above, my work is focused on immigrant serving agencies in Ontario. I help curate content to help them 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).

Connect with me anytime:


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

2 Responses to “About”

  1. […] Hetherington, Orange LLP) Canadian immigration & diversity blog Actively Passive (subscribe here!) includes yesterday’s Orange blog post  Racialized Space, Colonial Legislation, & Idle […]