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Open Actions XML -- An Introduction

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Saved by Christine Egger
on November 3, 2009 at 2:47:28 pm

The Basics


Social Actions views the development of a versatile XML schema for publishing information about online and offline actions and their anticipated impact as a critical component of the philanthropic web (link to prezi or more formal rendition).


Open Actions XML is an open standard, in XML, for publishing up-to-date information about online and offline actions and their anticipated impact. It is being developed independently of any particular aggregation.


The Setting


The nonprofit technology community is filled with many bright minds and innovative thinkers. For better or worse, this passion often gets channeled toward one-off projects that benefit a single organization or a coalition of organizations.


Social Actions would like to see the brightest minds and most innovative thinkers in the social sector come together to create open standards that lift all organizations and all coalitions of organizations. The open standards we'd like to see developed and adopted would have the following outcomes:


  • The open standards would help social benefit organizations and community groups seamlessly publish rich information about their donation opportunities in a structured format, helping major grant-makers and citizen philanthropists make smarter choices about their giving


  • The open standards would help social benefit organizations and community groups publish rich information about their service opportunities and event-based opportunities, helping individuals connect with online and offline opportunities to lend time and knowledge; and


  • The open standards would help peer-to-peer networks publish information about monetary and non-monetary oppotunities to do good.


From a technological perspective, these are modest goals. They become difficult to achieve at the level of organizational culture, grant-making priorities, and leadership. Social Actions understands fully that conversations about open standards have been launched on many occasions over the years. Nevertheless, we hope that our unique approach can overcome cultural, funding, and leadership barriers to creating a social sector that charts its own course toward open standards, open data and collaborative innovation.


Our Goals


  1. To ensure that open standards exist that serve the creation of the philanthropic web, allowing action sources participating in the Social Actions API to share rich information about their opportunities to make a difference, reflecting the diversity of data-points represented in their content but united by a common XML format.
  2. To strengthen the community and work of people and organizations that share Social Actions' interest in open standards. Every opportunity for substantive collaboration will be built into the development and proliferation of Open Actions XML.


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