Monthly Archives: April 2009

Evidently Even I Can Podcast!

Podcasts are really just a way, like TV, of diplaying audio and video content. And iTunes is the TVGuide of podcasts.

Podcasting for Nonprofits 101 is one of the workshops covered at NTEN’s National Technology Conference 2009–blowing all economic predictions out of the water with a record and 300+ over expectiations 1500 attendees. Hot, hot, hot!!
podcast photo by the mrbrown show
Flickr photo from Mr Brown

So you want to do a podcast?
Make a plan! Consider:
Where will people be tuning in? Driving audience–more conduicive to audio. Urban subway–great format for video.
What concise content will you cover? Remember that the adult attention span is short–think 3 minutes!
So plan ‘mini-topics’; if you have sponsors, be sure to call them out in the beginning.

Let’s get started!
a href=”http://www.wearemedia.org/ntc+podcasting”>We Are Media Podcasting wiki describes (and links to!) the tools and software that can have you podcasting (or at least practicing) in 90 minutes!

Audacity is the main sofatware you’ll need to download. If you have a mike, then you’re ready to begin. This follows along my earlier ‘intro’ post, but that was before I had the power of the tools in my hands!
So, this is what you need to record. But there’s more–add video, edit, and post and share your podcasts–more to come, but this is a place to get started!

As far as function, I am thinking of non-serial podcasts as a way to train volunteers, kick off a focus group or project, and to provide an organizational overview.
Are there other tools or uses you’d recommend?

P.S. If you’re hungry for more, or more details, Deb at Community Organizer 2.0 covered this same info in much more detail and knowledge!!

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Engaging Techie Volunteers

From the TechSoup webinar, Managing IT Volunteers.

A techie can be ‘into social media’, an enthusiastic learner, or can be from the IT profession–with specific skills and interests. Since I’m engaging virtual volunteers, I’ve modified some of the in-person hardware/software type suggestions to include working with virtual tech volunteers, too.

Step 1: List tasks.
Ask staff, volunteers, & brainstorm. Ask first what staff need help with, and then if IT volunteers could possibly help.

Short-term IT volunteer task suggestions:
• Host a workshop or webinar on a particular social media tool for staff or other volunteers
• Updating (free) virus software on staff computers
• Set up a (free) survey online
• Create list of possible IT volunteer tasks
More from experienced volunteer management guru Jayne Cravens on tech volunteers here.

Long-term (with end date) IT volunteers can:
• Provide technical support for website
• Develop tech plan
• Developing a social media tool
• Measure social media usage
• Tech volunteer screener/interviewer
• On-call tech support for various hardware/software/social media areas

Step 2: Design volunteer positions.

Need written description. Define frequency, end date & benefits to both parties.
Before recruiting, define how you’re going to reply to and select candidates. Define tasks and end outcomes clearly so that volunteer can meet your needs–not all techies do all the same tech things!

Step 3: Recruit.
Don’t start worrying about finding the volunteers until you’ve defined your needs. You never know when someone who fits the bill might appear, and you’ll be ready.

Post to VolunteerMatch, Craigslist (if this is popular in your area), and local volunteer center (1-800-volunteer.org), college & university career/volunteer centers to recruit for interns (in August & January, particularly), businesses with IT departments in your neighborhood, and word of mouth with current volunteers & newsletters.

Step 4: Recognize.
Tech volunteers should be included in your regular volunteer recognition program. Online-only volunteers also need to be recognized, but be sure to ask how they like to be acknowledged–some would like to receive online recognition on social media, but others would like a simple online thank-you or periodic connection with other volunteers.

Now what?
To learn more, talk to folks in the tech arena. Ask them about possibilities and the proper language to use that appeals to techies.

To begin planning, see TechSoup’s manual for working with hardware/software tech volunteers which has some great specific worksheets. One is a questionnaire on tech skills (which helps those of us who don’t know, outside of general categories, what tech skills are out there!!) that would be a good point of discussion during a tech volunteer interview.

As your volunteer and tech volunteer program grows, recruit for ‘volunteer volunteer managers’ and ask them to manage ‘task teams’ of volunteers.

Investing your time in engaging tech volunteers could lead to better computer operation systems, but it could also lead to new corporate contacts, a wider network of supporters, younger volunteers and beginnings of a social media campaign.

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Meet. Up.

I’ve finally taken the Meetup.com plunge.
Meetup logo

I’ve been a lurker, joining some groups around town, and even a few in other places just to see how different groups operate. I’ve even attended a few area meetups. Wow–was that a personal challenge for this introvert, or what?! I feel comfortable with the online interface as a user, so I figured it was time to start a group.

Oh, that, and I have some fabulous volunteers who are interested in managing and hosting groups!
That’s key to my outreach strategy for non-profits. It can be overwhelming managing all of these social networking tools. So I crafted some volunteer descriptions specific to meetups, and they’ve just been waiting for the right souls to fill them.

I’ll keep you posted, but wanted you to check out Meetup and share if you’ve had any experiences with joining or running groups of your own. And has anyone done this in relationship to a nonprofit?

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Latest (not last…) Word on Facebook: Go with a Page

The tide is turning from the ‘Can’t decide? Get a page and a group on Facebook.’ advice to:
Pages

With Facebook’s upgrade to Pages two weeks ago, the features once held only by Facebook Groups are now integrated. WildApricot tells more about the changeover, and echoes the buzz–Pages are better.

Already have a Group? Facebook will merge your Group with your Page.

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