Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Monday, December 11, 2006

Change One Thing

This is a story about about how the Internet brings people closer together. This is an example of why political borders are becoming increasingly insignificant. This is a demonstration of how a web 2.0 community like YouTube can be used to aid an individual or a family without the help of intermediary organizations or governments. Enough of an introduction, let's get on with it.

It begins more than six months ago in Australia, when the daughters of Ben and Amanda (YouTube username "Orbvious") were abducted by their birth father. He has kept them apart from their mother and step-father ever since. They've been running into roadblocks in the Australian legal and family court system, unable to find assistance. Amanda, of course, is wreck over this.

Ben wrote an email to Scottish singer-songwriter (and YouTuber) Peri Urban telling his tale. Peri was inspired to write a song for Ben and Amanda, which he posted on YouTube. This cheered Amanda up considerably.

That's when I stepped in and said, "If one song can cheer her up that much, what would fifty songs do?" And so, with Ben, Amanda, and Peri's permission, I started the "One Tube Group" on YouTube. We got our fifty songs, poems, and well wishers. We also got people from all over the globe to write letters on Ben and Amanda's behalf to the Australian authorities. And, we managed to raise a few dollars for their mounting expenses.

The video below is the latest part of this effort, and represents a great collaboration of the members of the OneTube group. Peri and I co-produced it, I wrote the bit of dialogue at the start, together we solicited clips from about thirty other members, and then Peri did the amazing work of writing and producing a new song and editing the entire thing into a cohesive whole.

Please take a look at the video, and if you are moved to join us, or read more about the situation, please visit us at The OneTube Challenge (on

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