Tag Archives: tools

Book Review: e-Riches 2.0

I’m reading a lot this summer. It’s summer. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Well, there’s no beach involved, but I’m on goodreads if you care to sign in and find my lists or keep your own.

e -Riches 2.0: Next-Generation Marketing Strategies for Making Millions Online by Scott Fox is a good book for organizations wondering why and beginning to get into the social media scene.

e-Riches covers the what, why and how of some of the most popular social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and social news. With a bent towards marketing and business. But nonprofits market, and nonprofits are in business, so go forth and find this one to learn how public relations have changed, how you can measure your marketing program, and touches on higher-level topics like search-engine optimization, posting information content that can be freely accessed, and using video and advertising to drive more traffic to your site..

The book reiterates key points like:

  • Social media is just one PART of an overall marketing strategy.
  • Don’t forget that e-mail is still the number one social media tool.
  • MySpace is not where it’s at for most businesses.
  • You gotta build the crowd through multiple means.

Specific examples of each strategy are included, but this is not a book to devote hours and hours to pouring over. Rather, I find it useful as a skimmable reference for newbies or those looking to integrate social media to other parts of their organization.


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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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Wikis (vs. Blogs)

Wow, this can’t be that unusual of a post–there’s got to be tons of info already out there. Just catch this Kennedy-Nixon debate on the subject:


A dear friend called me–she must’ve been really lacking for tech info!–to determine if she should use a blog or a wiki on her project. She knew a bit of blogging from her travels, but had also heard me talk about managing some wikis with The Librarians. She wanted a place where an environmental coalition could track progress on their mutual goals.

Not only that, she wanted to post info for the public that wasn’t available elsewhere and needed a cost-effective means of communicating for the coalition’s partners–a mix of non-profits, government agencies and private industry. On top of that, there is no one on the team with web experience or funding for such.

I recently sat down with her to ask, as a neophyte, how she made her selection.
KT: I chose a wiki over a website since websites invoke a connotation of needing to be ‘polished.’ A wiki puts a more grassroots face on an issue, making its information accessible by all types of people. Our purpose was truly to share information in the simplest, easiest, fastest yet long-lasting way. And I chose a wiki over a blog because we needed a collaborative communication tool rather than a place to share news.

JW: There are so many free wiki building sites out there. For example, PBWiki provides free educational or personal pages. I also have used wetpaint. How did you choose which tool to use?
KT: A asked a few people I knew which ones they were using and I also did a little internet research on my own. Many of the wiki tools I found were overly formulaic but they also weren’t flashy and had a low entry level for new computer users.
Wikidot: 100MB, no ads, not good with Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0 or less
Bluwiki: no ads, very basic, mainly german sites
Intodit: questionable compatibility with IE
Wetpaint: unlimited MB?, image gallery, plain text editing

I went with wetpaint–despite its generic template–as it met our criteria: free, easily accessible by different browsers and users.

JW: Aren’t you a bit afraid to introduce the wiki to your collaborative?
KT: At first, I had the privacy settings open to anyone but after I remembered some public meeting participants who really sidetracked the issue of lead-poisoning, I decided to restrict who could create new content on the site. Comments are still open to everyone; I at least wanted to start out showing our collaborative how we could communicate with each other effectively at the wiki. I’ve taken the initial stab at collecting and posting info, and soon I’ll do a ‘show and tell’ at one of our meetings. I’ll then be able to train the non-techies, and I can easily explain that a wiki is simply a tool for communicating. I know that not everyone in the collaborative will become an avid wiki user or advocate.

JW: But maybe someone will adopt, and get excited about promoting the wiki or adding content.
KT: The end product is owned by the coalition, not the me or my organization as the creator. That’s the advantage to using a wiki over a website or author-connected blog. And there’s an added bonus for us, modeled after another wiki I found in my research, one that collected public comments as a tool to promote advocacy for their issue. I’m hoping we can move to that level of usage in the future.

Now, see the finished product (well, by nature, wikis are always a work in progress) from the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning in Denver.

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Learn the New Web

In 12 lessons, this is a self-paced course at School Library Journal. Come learn with the librarians about 12 new tech tools. Bookmark the site and take the self-paced learning journey –one per month? one per week? with your staff?

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Web 2.0 for Volunteer Management

Here’s an article on Enhancing Your Youth Program With Web 2.0 Tools, which is really a basic overview of 2.0 tools for your non-profit. There’s a bibilography of links to the tools and other info on virtual volunteering.

This is Susan Ellis’ Energize, Inc. (volunteer management guru) ‘bible’ to virtual volunteering.

Get informed, get connected: Idealist links articles and ways to learn & connect around volunteer management in general.

Watch tutorials or attend webinars on using online marketing from ConstantContact

View my presentation to AmeriCorps Alums on diving into this whole social networking world with an eye towards connecting with potential volunteers.

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New Tool, New Volunteer Management in Teams

I’m multitasking today, demonstrating ‘live blogging’ while attending Temple University’s Center for Intergenerational Studies’ webinar on Baby Boomer engagement.

I’ll be back after the webinar with a ‘Cover It Live‘ review…..

Click here to view Part II on Implementing….

Click Here to view my notes on Part I of the webinar on Self-Directed Teams

Read more about teams at http://www.ncoa.org/downloads/wwreport.pdf

You’re probably dazzled by my skills, right?! That cracks me up! You know why? Today is only my second time using ‘Cover It Live‘ .

My sole experience with this ‘live blogging’ tool is looking over the should of someone next to me at a conference, visiting the URL on my own wireless connection & laptop, and poking around at the website to sign in. At the next breakout session, there I was, publishing my notes live on a website I had access to. Not without error, but I was learning as I was doing!! Same thing today–I had to look up how to log in and figure out how to embed the code here. But it took less than two minutes to start up again.

Applications? This is relevant in newsworthy situations–the recent political conventions come to mind, but a conference is a great application–and a great way to experiment with testing the ‘but they didn’t pay to get in’ waters!! It delivers real-time information to people anywhere, and it archives your notes and comments in a readily accessible format. Other ideas for nonprofit applications come to mind?

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