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Commoner Letter #3 – Beth Kanter


This week’s Commoner Letter comes from Beth Kanter, an activist and strong CC supporter. Beth has shown her support in a variety of ways, all which help to spread the word about CC and how it has impacted her own work.

I am a trainer, coach, and blogger who works with nonprofits on how to use social media for social change. Creative Commons plays an important role in my professional life — whether I’m searching for Creative Commons licensed photos or music to use in my instructional materials or blogging about the innovative ways nonprofits are embracing the spirit of openness.

I recently read an article about fundraising on social networking sites. One particular quote jumped out at me, “The Facebook generation wears their causes like the way they wear their favorite fashion.” While technically, I’m probably over the legal age limit to be included in the Facebook Generation, after all I celebrated my 50th Birthday with 50th Photo Birthday Card Remix Contest, nonetheless I’m wearing one of my favorite causes as fashion on my blog this month.

Last month, I turned my blog pink in support of Breast Cancer. This month I turned it gray to match the colors of the Creative Commons logo. But that’s not all. I placed the photo of me wearing my newest Creative Commons T-Shirt on my Facebook profile and on Twitter, you’ll see the Creative Commons Logo with a donate message.


I have a strong interest in the future of my work and participatory culture. As an activist and evangelist for Creative Commons’ values and tools, I want to do my part in helping to ensure that our culture remains as free and accessible as possible.

That’s why I remixed the fundraising widget on my blog in support of the Creative Commons Annual Campaign. I hope you will do the same and donate too.

That’s how much I appreciate Creative Commons licensing, no – love Creative Commons.

So much so that I release almost everything I do under CC licensing – with the least restrictive license — the “BY.” That means I’ve made it easy to share my work with you and others. I’ve reaped the benefits too. My photos, my articles, my videos have literally traveled around the world. It’s helped me build an audience.

I want to make sure that my kids still enjoy this freedom when they grow up.

And I’m teaching my kids about Creative Commons too. Just the other day, my son had to create a slide show about beavers. So, we searched for CC licensed photos. I taught him the four different licenses. He’s only 8, but was able to not only tell his classmates about beavers, but also told them why and how he can use those photos from the Internet! He’s only 8 too!

So, join me in putting the CC widget on your blog, social networking profile, etc – and tell the world why you love Creative Commons. And, if you can – please consider making a donation to the Creative Commons annual fund this year.

Posted 12 November 2007