Life With Alacrity

A blog on social software, collaboration, trust, security, privacy, and internet tools by Christopher Allen.

Dyads & Triads — The Smallest Teams

(by Christopher Allen with Elyn Andersson and Shannon Appelcline) Two years ago, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute ( faculty gathered to radically reinvent their sustainable business curriculum for the next decade. Our goal was not only to update course content, but also to significantly update how the material was taught. We wished to make our teaching process (our pedagogy) more interactive and also more effective for students graduating into a 21st-century work environment, where people increasingly work in teams-both online and offline.

Introduction to the Social Web (Reading List #SW4SX)

These are the initial required readings for the first two weeks of my Using the Social Web for Social Change class (hashtag #SW4SX) that I teach in the MBA in Sustainable Systems program at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. The goal of this portion of the class is to cover an introduction and overview of the landscape of the Social Web, establish among the students the beginning of a shared language about the medium, and introduce a process toward a collaborative culture that we will use for the rest of the course.

Using the Social Web for Social Change (Syllabus #SW4SX)

This fall with be the 4th year, and the 5th time that I've taught the class Using the Social Web for Social Change (hashtag #SW4SX) in the MBA in Sustainable Systems program at Bainbridge Graduate Institute ( The class itself is an elective, but has become so popular that during this school year I am running the class three times: once this summer, again this fall, and a third time in the spring. This class is unique because it crosses class cohorts; it has also been available to members of the Seattle Metro MBA program; is the most popular class for auditing and alumni participation; and we have even had some faculty and TAs take the course.

Tools for Ignition & HyperCard’s 25th Anniversary

Over my lifetime I have encountered a number of “tools for ignition” — a phrase which I use to describe innovative products that have empowered people and created movements. On the 25th anniversary of Hypercard’s introduction, I want to take a look back at some of these tools. BASIC (1976) In 1976 I encountered my first tool for ignition: Bill Gate's MicroSoft BASIC running on the IMSAI 8080. There was no ROM on this computer, so you had to load a boot program using the front panel switches you see above.

BGIedu Students Post for Blog Action Day on Food

Today is Blog Action Day, where each year a topic is chosen and bloggers and activists worldwide write about that topic in their blogs or post about it on Twitter and Facebook using the tags #FOOD and #BAD11. This year's topic is Food, and this year many of my students of my BGIedu class Using the Social Web for Social Change are using the day to help kick off their "Beat Blog" assignments.

Managing your Social Graph with Google+ [Google Plus]

With Google+ almost two weeks into its test phase, conversation about this new social network service seems to be going in circles. Literally. That’s because Circles is the Google+ feature that users are generating the most buzz about. It’s Google’s answer to the problem of organizing your social graph online. If you’re not familiar with a social graph it’s a map of everyone you know and how they are related to you.