Monthly Archives: August 2009

Serenity Now

I’m headed off to the Midwest–a place I think of as verdant green with bucolic farm scenery. I wonder if I’ll find any unexpected uses of technology there….

Where have you found unexpected tech?
As libraries reinvent themselves for the new century, that’s one place you might find it. Some libraries are even lending e-book readers, and providing downloads of books (and movies!) for your own device–all from the comfort of your own computer–be it in the arid West or the spa-like humidity of the Midwest.


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Wha???? Claim Your Feeds

Okay, I know that my head is not totally in the clouds, but this is an unresolved issue.

When I started wondering if I could tell if anyone was even following my blog (Bueller? Bueller?), I searched on WordPress help and saw a few posts about email subscriptions and that word ‘Feedburner’ popped up again. Yeah, I’ve seen it, and yeah, I generally get that it has to do with directing traffic in and out of a blog.

So then I looked some more. Come on people–could it be a little less tech-geeky out there?!? After clicking on my sixth link from a web search ‘feedburner what is’, I gave up and decided to write this post.

When reading the statement ‘claim your blog’ makes you think ‘Hmm. I started the blog. Isn’t that claiming it??’ you know there’s some lingo that’s obfuscating the real meaining. When you’re confronted with a suggestion to claim your feeds, and you’re wondering what in the world that even means, there should be an easy answer.

Here’s one for Feeds.
And then from there, it’s a bunch of goobledygook for me.

Here’s hoping you have better luck, and I’ll climb back on this horse another day.

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Volunteer Time Equals Computer Use

While this interactive graphic from the New York Times has many fascinating aspects, one of the most thought-provoking for me is the trendline for volunteering.

According to the NYT, Americans spend about an hour a week on volunteer activities, including tutoring, coaching teams, working in a soup kitchen, ushering at church and handing out political fliers. That averages to less than 10 minutes a day, which peaks mid-morning and in the evening, and is about equal for men and women. Further striking is that the unemployed spend only slightly more time volunteering than the employed.

How Different Groups Spend Their Day

How Different Groups Spend Their Day

Is that the ‘busiest people get the most done’ syndrom, or a lack of awareness that volunteerism during unemployment could be a very satisfying, motivating and skill-building experience, or something in-between??

What I’m most struck by is that volunteerism is equal in time spent on the computer. So, with all the Facebooking and emailing that we hear about, people are spending an equal amount of minutes volunteering. Or has volunteering taken a cut to give over time to online activities?

And even more awe-inspiring is how to capture more of this time–online or otherwise–and engage the unemployed and employed alike in community improvement and volunteerism. Are we as organizations doing enough to combine online activities and volunteerism, are we making the best use of volunteers’ time? So many questions, so little time.

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