News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Things We Like: April 2008

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 12:13pm
A monthly roundup of our favorite nonprofit tech resources. Read more posts on our blog.
  1. 42 Ways Not To Make Trash. We believe No Impact Man may be the reincarnation of Too Much Coffee Man.
  2. Soocial promises to manage your address book across your computers, mobile phones, even Gmail. Their demo movie uses vintage Knight Rider clips. What is it with Europeans and David Hasselhoff?
  3. Facebook's new "Insider's Guide to Viral Marketing". As one wag puts it, "First they ban you from spamming your friends, then they tell you how to do it."
  4. WaterSaver Technology's AQUS: Flush your toilet with waste water from your sink! Without using a bucket!
  5. Blog It promises to update all your blogs from within Facebook.
  6. TeachStreet. We like the concept of linking students to teachers. The Beta is limited to Seattle, which explains the beer making and How to Use Microsoft classes.
  7. The Sea Level Rise Explorer uses the Google Maps terrain feature. Looks like Portland won't get too wet...
  8. Salesforgle. OK, we made that up, but the integration between Salesforce.com and Google Apps shows great promise.
  9. Tired of wearing the same clothes everyday? Use Rehash to swap with others -- everything from "Cute Black Top" to "Faux Snakeskin Eyeglass Case" -- rather than buying new.
  10. "Rebooting America: Democracy in the 21st Century". There's still time to submit your own work for inclusion in the anthology.

Looks Like We Got Us a Great Big Convoy

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 9:03am

Flickr Photo: zombophotoI do a lot of traveling and talk to lots of people about social media and why I think it matters for nonprofits. I give a good twenty minutes about how the ground has shifted under our feet and social media is aligned with our current values as a society and a sector. It's one of those 10,000 feet view sorts of things.

And while I think that most people really appreciate the context, I can practically HEAR them thinking as I talk, "Yeah, but how the heck do I actually figure this stuff out?"

I usually give a few pieces of advice and then start showing off the tools that matter most to me. Now I have some new sources of inspiration for my talks. Chris Brogan has a great post today that consists almost entirely of questions:

  • What were your first steps into social media?
  • Who were your early people you admired and followed?
  • How did you get started?
  • If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?
  • What will you do in the next few months with social media?

There are dozens of comments with answers already, and they reveal some pretty great advice to folks who are currently wondering how to get started with social media. A few of the points come up again and again:

Wiki for President

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 4:58pm

Flickr Photo: savolskertsonNo matter which side of the political aisle you sit on, there's no doubt that social media is having a big impact on this presidential race. We even dedicated a whole newsletter issue to the topic.

My favorite stories are the ones that don't actually involve the campaigns. I love hearing about ordinary citizens starting up FaceBook groups or MySpace pages for their candidates, making democracy their own.

The latest example to come to my attention? Super.del.egates.us for Obama. No endorsement of candidates here, just sheer admiration for Jo and Michelle for taking the reigns of democracy into their own hands and empowering others by using a wiki.

It gives me hope on days when Hillary, Barack, and John all film spots for a WWE episode instead of debating.

Send Your E-Newsletter for Free

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 2:28pm

VerticalReponse used to offer a 15% discount to qualified nonprofits -- and they still do.  But now, the first 10,000 e-mails you send through VR each month will be free! You can read all about in on their web site and blog.

NTEN uses VerticalResponse for App Exchange to send out our monthly newsletter, NTEN Connect, and we've been generally pleased with its performance.  I suspect the price break will only increase our level of satisfaction.

Social Media Has Feelings Too

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 8:59am

Flickr Photo: Capt KodakIt's not about the technology, it's about the people.

You are not marketing, you are building community.

In case you need to remind yourself, or others, of these principles, check out Twistori. It's a perfect example of what social media is all about: people. It exposes the humanity that makes social media so powerful -- our love, our hate, our thoughts, our beliefs.

The next time you're thinking about how to get your message out in social media, visit Twistori. Then think about how you can help inspire, motivate, and excite the people in your community instead.

Ask the Expert Chris Brogan Edition: A Members Only Event

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 1:15pm

Chris BroganAre you an NTEN member? Then you're in luck! Chris Brogan, social media expert, is going to be kind enough to share an hour with us next week for an Ask the Expert session.

Okay, so Chris prefers to say he's not an expert, but that he advises people on social media use. That doesn't change the fact that he's smart and savvy on the social media front. One of his specialties? Starting and maintaining conversations with stakeholders.

If your organization is trying to figure out how to move your stakeholders from passive listeners to passionate participants, this is your golden opportunity. NTEN Members get exclusive access to ask questions and hear them answered, for free!

Join us on Monday, May 5 at 11am Pacific for this phone call and live chat. The event is free for NTEN members, so sign up today.

The Long Tail of Trust

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:32am

Let's see how many social media metaphors I can cram into one post, shall we? :)

Jeremiah Owyang has a piece today about trust. I don't know if you've felt this lately, but I certainly have: we're head over heels for trust in the sector these days. I wrote a bit about it back in November. Katya Andresen and Mark Rovner think it's one of the seven things everyone wants. Search for "trust" on Beth's Blog and you'll come up with myriad posts. Search for trust on the NTEN website and you'll get dozens of job listings where "building trust" is in the job description.

But back to Jeremiah's post. Want to guess what the number one source of trusted information is for most Americans?

Are You Measuring Success?

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 9:16am

Flickr Photo: NCBrianChris Brogan is one of my social media heroes. I really respect his approach to the power of these tools and how we should use them.  (And you can learn more from him at our Ask the Expert session on May 5th -- free for NTEN Members!)

Chris has a great post today about Online Community Management in which he shares how he would measure a community manager's performance:

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!