News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Affinity Group News: Calculate Your Computer's Carbon Footprint, New Drupal Group, and Austin 501 Tech Club on Facebook

Submitted by Anna on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 3:48pm

Earth Day spurred some conversation on NTEN Discuss about how to figure out carbon emissions for every watt a computer uses per hour. Dean Matsueda wrote that he had seen and used carbon-footprint calculators online to gauge household, car, and air travel C02 emissions but would like to drill down to more specifics, like computer use.

Walt Daniels gave this response:

Carbon footprint is a simple multiply if you have the watts/hr and number of hours. watts/hr is what is hard to come by for most computer setups unless you have a meter on it because the usage depends on too many things,like duty cycle and how you have the power savings features on your computer set.

Gavin Clabaugh lets us know that to do it right, you need to meter the machine. He uses a Kill-A-Watt (a simple one costs about $20).

And Dave Shaw, H4 Consulting, added:

The Bridge is Back: The 2008 Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:54pm

2008 Bridge ConferenceThose of you in Fundraising know it's all about communicating your mission and building relationships.

Those of you in Communications share the goal of growing your constituencies while increasing support for your cause.

Wouldn't you love to get together and share tips, strategies, resources, and contacts?

You got it! Brought to you by AFP and DMAW, the 2008 Bridge Conference will have over 75 sessions, more than a thousand of your colleagues, inspiring keynote speakers, plenty of networking opportunities, and the "very best of insider tips and trade secrets."

But wait, there's more! If you're an NTEN member, you have the golden ticket. NTEN Members can register for the conference at the low member rates -- and if you register before June 1st, you get to go for the best rate available!

Get in touch with me to get your golden-ticket registration details.

What's that? You're not a member of NTEN yet? Take advantage of this and other benefits of membership by joining NTEN today!

Citizen Media Legal Guide -- Know Your Rights

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:33pm

Flickr Photo: ourlady ofdisgraceDoes your organization blog? Do you encourage folks to post pictures online? Perhaps you have a video podcast?

If your organization uses social media tools, you want to bookmark the Berkman Center's new Citizen Media Legal Guide. It's not completely built out yet -- I couldn't find any information about Libel and Blogs for example. But the resources that ARE live are great. Here are just a few resources that address some of the questions I hear all the time:

I am especially looking forward to the forthcoming "Special Content" section which will cover enticing topics like "Employee Blogs." Did that sound sarcastic? I really mean it. I'm excited to see some really practical guidelines to which we can point the sector.

Personal Tech Solutions: Getting & Staying Organized with Social Media

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 11:42am

Flickr Photo: not waltonSince I became Executive Director of NTEN last November, the number of things I've needed to stay on top of has exploded. On any given day, I need to be an expert in:

  • Social Media tools and strategies
  • DNS settings
  • Nonprofit and Board Governance
  • How innovative nonprofits are using technology
  • The state of municipal wireless
  • Email open rates
  • Human resources laws
  • Anything and everything NTEN members are up to
  • And everything anyone is saying about NTEN

My old way of managing information was not cutting it. Although I use a lot of social media tools, I was very email-inbox centric. My inbox was the place I kept articles I wanted to read later, ideas I wanted to follow up on, and all of my to-do items.

The result? If you emailed me in the last three months, I probably didn't respond very quickly, if at all. That's no way to lead a membership organization.

You Are Not Your Target Audience

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 04/23/2008 - 8:32am

Brian Reich, EchoDitto

If you are in charge of marketing, recruitment, engagement, or fundraising for an organization, you spend most of your time looking for some tiny advantage -- something to generate buzz and differentiate your offering from the crowd of other organizations. There are, after all, thousands upon thousands of not-for-profit groups doing excellent work in local communities around the globe.

Too often, the decisions that organizations make when it comes to online marketing, especially non-profits, are dictated by "shiny object syndrome", a terrible affliction that results in a marketing path based on whatever is newest or generating the most buzz of the moment, instead of what will truly be effective.

To be successful, organizations need to share, clearly and consistently, the societal impacts of their efforts. They need to provide hands-on experiences that the user can explore and understand, and they need to demonstrate their commitment over time.

Mission Over Membership in Online Advocacy

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 2:42pm
Charles Lenchner, DemocracyInAction

Online advocacy at its best is about giving more citizens more power to act together in creating social change. At its worst, online advocacy is a fundraising technique and promotional strategy that can work, while generating some very negative inadvertent outcomes. Organizers working for the common good need to do a better job of articulating good online advocacy strategies and resisting demands that our work be measured in dollars raised or a higher public profile.

What we have at stake is not (just) the integrity of our cause or organization, but the effectiveness of our mission.

The conflict between the different ends of the online advocacy spectrum can be captured in a phrase: Mission over Membership. When we focus on mission, we can sleep well at night, knowing that the actions we request from our supporters will in fact lead to the change we want effected. If, on the other hand, we use the language of change primarily in support of fundraising and organization building, we run a serious risk: that online advocacy messaging becomes devalued, along with the emails from our organizations.

BE the Media -- Free Speech Unfurled

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 2:29pm
Lauren-Glenn Davitian, CCTV Center for Media and Democracy

While mainstream media remains under the control of a handful of giant corporations, you no longer have to own a printing press to reach a dedicated audience. Building on traditions of public access, independent media and peer-to-peer networks, we now communicate, "many to many", across phone and internet networks with affordable and high powered laptops, PDAs, phones and gaming devices. In this major step forward for free speech, the “network centric” age enables us to "be the media", tell our stories, and make social change happen.

But what media and communication tools will make the biggest impact and have the farthest reach? Whether you are planning a demonstration, a print campaign, a web site, a viral video, or a mobile action, you need to start with a goal and a strategy. To help, we’ve compiled many of the rich resources available to the nonprofit community in a few basic steps to strategic communications.

The Seven Things Everybody Wants

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 2:09pm

Katya Andresen, Network for Good and Mark Rovner, Sea Change Strategies

Some very human principles make or break the success of absolutely everything you do online. These are the kinds of truths Buddha or Freud –- explorers of the deepest recesses of the human mind -- talked about.

To achieve true marketing "enlightenment," you need to tap into fundamental human needs with your technology rather than hoping technology can inspire alone. There are at least seven of these fundamental needs:

  • To be SEEN and HEARD
  • To be CONNECTED to someone or something
  • To be part of something GREATER THAN OURSELVES
  • To have HOPE for the future
  • To have the security of TRUST
  • To be of SERVICE
  • To want HAPPINESS for self and others

Happy Day, Earth!

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 10:46am

Flickr Photo: lnkyhackI would be writing this post from a solar powered MacBook but alas, we haven't seen the sun in a week here in Portland. Though Spring is not cooperating with my gardening and hiking plans, we here at NTEN would still like us all to take a break from our keyboards and monitors and remember that in our tech-obsessed world, there are some easy ways to give Mother Nature a break.

Here are a few of our favorite sites and ideas. Share yours by adding a comment!

Web 2.0 Is Sexy, But Email Is Where It's At

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 10:52am

Flickr Photo: MuffetAh, Spring: tulips, sun, clean, crisp air, and email metrics.

Today, we hosted and co-released the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study with M+R Strategic Services. During the live event and webinar, we learned a lot about how nonprofits are using email, and how stakeholders are responding. NTEN Members can get the recording of the webinar for free.

Convio also recently released a benchmarks report of its own clients. The reports don't cover exactly the same statistics, but it's interesting that the numbers they do have in common are very similar.

For all organizations in both reports, we found: