I come across so many great conversations, ideas, and resources all over the web every day. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve found recently (as of October 11th). You can join the conversations in the comments, or click through to the original posts to find what others are saying.

To follow more of the things I find online, you can follow @amysampleward on Twitter (which is just a blog and resource feed), or find me on Delicious (for all kinds of bookmarks).

  • Can Members of Congress Keep Up with the Digital World? – Online Fundraising, Advocacy, and Social Media – – "Let’s face it, the world is no picnic these days. We’re facing climate change. The world’s oceans are on the verge of being irreparably damaged. One of the worst humanitarian crises continues to escalate in the Horn of Africa, where famine, war and drought are threatening 13M+ people. Thankfully, we have some incredible nonprofits on the ground who continue to tackle these issues everyday, raise awareness and mobilize people into action. And now more than ever, people are reaching out to their members of congress through online channels to voice their concerns about some of these very issues. But how is Congress responding? Are they adopting new methods fast enough to respond to their constituents in the digital age? Is the fear that their responses could be modified with malintent valid? The Congressional Management Foundation new study, Communicating with Congress: How Citizen Advocacy Is Changing Mail Operations on Capitol Hill provides some good insight."
  • Donate Your Account | HelpAttack! – "Well how about that – after Epic Change’s use of JustCoz, and Al Gore’s campaign with Climate Reality Project in September to get folks to donate their status updates, someone has gone and open sourced the concept.  Donate Your Account seems to allow anyone to set up a campaign, and allow others with Twitter or Facebook accounts to automatically re-broadcast messages from that campaign."
  • 92% of Americans Take Action for Social Good [INFOGRAPHIC] – "Ninety-two percent of American’s took action for social change this past year, according to the Social Change Impact Report from Walden University. The report was created as a kind of barometer for who is engaged in social change, what issues matter to them and how they’re working together. Surprisingly, tech did not play a huge role. According to the report, people from Generation Y were more likely to get involved through traditional means than digital. Only 52% of the demographic posted a comment or expressed an opinion through a blog or website (it’s unclear if this also includes Facebook or other social networks). This, however, butts up against more promising stats such as 80% of respondents believe technology is getting more people involved in social change than ever, and 65% of adult respondents say that social media is not just a fad."
  • The Case for Innovation in Advocacy | Association Advocacy Chick – "I am not an innovator. Correction: I have been convinced that I cannot be an innovator. If you were to play word association with advocacy, I’m sure innovation is not the word you’d come up with.  But why is that? Many associations insist that it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Yes, traditional lobbying, grassroots advocacy, and political involvement are effective ways of moving or defeating legislation.  However, what if there’s a way to make those methods even better?  Fly-ins are great, but expensive.  Political action committees are prohibited for many cases.  What does that mean for the in-house lobbyist who needs to convince a few key people to support their legislation?"
  • How The Seemingly Chaotic But Wildly Successful Fringe Festival Makes It Work | Fast Company – "This has been an explosive summer–markets in turmoil, cities in flames, politics in meltdown. So it's a relief to enjoy and learn from an explosion of a different sort–the explosion of creativity taking place this August in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The festival, a one-time icon of artistic rebellion, is now the largest arts gathering in the world. It is also an entertaining case study in the power of grassroots innovation and open-source creativity, a positive symbol of how unchecked human energy, shaped by a few simple rules, can unleash truly amazing results."
Great reads from around the web on October 11th
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  •   Really nice page you made there. Some of your posts really impressed me. I will definitely visit your blog again to figure out more stuff.