News from the NTEN Connect Blog

NTEN Member Online Round Up: In the News and On the Move

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 2:03pm

Flickr Credit: VanlalFlickr Credit: VanlalOk, maybe the title is a little cheesy, but it fits: my round up for this week catches up with NTEN members in the news or making announcements. Let's get started, shall we?

If you were sad to hear that Amy Sample Ward was packing up and moving to London, cheer up! She's sure to remain a great resource for information and inspiration as the new Community Builder for NetSquared. (And still a proud member of NTEN, no less :)

Long-time member and 2008 NTENny winner Steve Heye announced his new blog. He's now flying solo, after his work with the YMCAs.

At it Again: Austin 501 Tech Club Teams Up to Deploy Social Media for Good

Submitted by Annaliese on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 7:25am

We recently bragged about how the NTEN 501 Tech Club in Austin helped get social media users involved in the Capital Area Food Bank food drive. Now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, they've teamed up with other tech-savvy do-gooders to deploy a 5-day online donation campaign.

Using widgets and friend-to-friend appeals through social networks, they hope to raise $5,000 in 5 days. (Thanks to @SusanReynolds for the heads-up!).

Vote Now for Your Favorite 2009 NTC Sessions

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 4:22pm
It's the moment you've all been waiting for: time to vote for your favorite session ideas for the 2009 NTC in San Francisco!

Vote yourself, then tell a friend!

Vote now through October 3
Voting is easy! Just give each session a ranking, from 1 to 5 stars (5 being the best). You can click on each session title to see the full description, and to share a comment about the session with us (like if you're interested in presenting at that session).

Check out:

There are over 200 sessions to choose from! Please be sure to make it past the first page in each category -- there's lots of great stuff to look at.

Optimizing Keywords in AdWords

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 10:16am

To publicize our CMS and CRM Vendor Satisfaction Reports, we tried including, in an AdWords campaign, the names of the software covered in the reports -- "Plone", "Drupal", "Salesforce", and so on. For 2 days, our impressions shot into the thousands. On day 3, it dropped to, oh, 36, 37 per day, and there was a message from Google that said, basically: "Your clickthrough performance is too anemic to be worthy of these keywords, so we've turned them off. Please increase your bid or improve your CTR."

Aaaaand they're still turned off.

So, I'm looking forward to our upcoming webinar, "Optimizing Keywords in AdWords", the 2nd in our series on AdWords, presented by some wonderful people on the Google Grants team.

Sharing Your Story with Social Media: Energizing Your Base

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 1:51pm

Remember when we all started using email in our nonprofit work?

(If you're under 25, you are excluded from the next paragraph: you don't remember a time WITHOUT it!)

First, we got excited because email made communications cheaper and faster; you could send out 1,000 messages in no time at all, and for very little money. Then, we realized email had a little secret sauce to it. Unlike direct mail, emails could acutally change hands and reach NEW audiences pretty easily. So, we all started adding "Forward this to a friend" pleas to our messages and waited for our campaigns to go "viral."

What we were hoping to do was tap the power of networks. Just like the old shampoo commercial, we wanted our supporters to get our message and tell it to friends, ad infinitum.

Sometimes it worked. Most of the time it didn't.

The Nonprofit Tagline Report

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 3:14pm

Building your brand in eight words or less: that's the challenge of the tagline.  Many of you took part in Nancy Schwartz's nonprofit tagline survey, and now Nancy has released the report

A couple of the many interesting tidbits:

  • Taglines are just like websites -- everybody hates their own!  72% of nonprofits rate their taglines as poor or don't have one at all. 
  • 75% of human services agencies have taglines, but only 30% of environmental nonprofits do.  Maybe enviro groups don't want to waste the ink?

The part of the report I love best is the "The Ten Have-Tos,"  a really great checklist for evaluating your own tagline.  The report can't write your tagline for you, but it can help you think through your next one with a little more clarity. 

Personal Branding for Organizational Goodness

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 11:33am

Flickr Photo: VisualAgeFlickr Photo: VisualAgeOne of the tensions that surfaces when nonprofits start to integrate social media into their communications strategy is that social media is, by nature, personal and organizational communications, well, aren't. 

Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and blogs are all about helping individual actors share, and by so doing, meet other individuals.  The central question of Twitter is, "What are you doing?"  Facebook has Groups, but the Groups are designed to be expressions of individual enthusiasms, and aren't really geared toward organization-speak.

Another way of putting this: Organizations don't make friends.  People make friends.  

In the friend-crazy world of social media, you've really got to think about how the people who work for and empower your organization can build your organization into their social media brand.  How will you make sure that when Staffer A blogs, tweets, or friends someone else as part of her work with you, that her posts, tweets, and friends are representative of your organization and your brand, while still being personal?

It's a tough line to walk.  I do it all the time.  On the one hand, I want to make sure NTEN's values are imbued in all my social media contributions.  On the other hand, sometimes I'm just looking for a good cornbread recipe.  Are those two things at odds?  I don't think so, but I actually do a lot of self-editing in my head.

One resource I've found helpful over the last week is a handy guide from Chris Brogan, "Personal Branding for the Business Professional."  I think the guide should be an exercise organizations go through with their staff who use social media on the org's behalf.

I also just found a post from one of my favorite women in tech, Deborah Schultz.  Looks like we're on the same brainwave lately.  She writes:

No matter how you slice it - everything is personal.  Not personal as in taking things personally [tho there is plenty of that taking place], but personal as in this is 'personal to me'.  Social web tools are just that social and personal. They are a reflection of their creator - without a personal voice and tone there is no "there there". And they are changing the dynamics of how we interact, relate and do business.

The challenge for a business or political campaign is how do you infuse the personal without over-sharing and how do you find the balance of what is appropriate? 

Neither Chris's guide nor Deborah's post actually contains answers.  Nope.  Instead, they have pointers.  That's the fun of all this: no one has the answers, but we're all required to try.

UPDATE: I just found this post from Dave Crain which offers a complimentary perspective. I especially loved his "dichotomies of Personal Branding"

Are You a NetWit Too?

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 8:35am

Flickr Photo: JamesPDXFlickr Photo: JamesPDXAdmittedly, Portland is not the Silicon Valley, but that doesn't mean we can't flex our tech muscles up here in the Silicon Forest!  After all, we're home to Linus, IBM, Intel, and a slew of startups.  We've also got over 6,000 nonprofits.  So I'm really excited Blackbaud is headed our way next month with a free social media for marketers event: NetWits, to be held at the Hilton on October 2.

It doesn't hurt my enthusiasm that they asked me to speak at the event, but I'd be happy about it anyway. 

Allison, Chad, and the rest of the crew will kick things off on Oct. 1st by presenting at our Portland 501TechClub meeting. So, join us on the 1st for tech and beer (you KNOW how I feel about that combination), then on the 2nd for tech and breakfast!

Discussions from NTEN Affinity Groups

Submitted by Anna on Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:49am

Flickr Photo: mybluemuse aka PJ TaylorFlickr Photo: mybluemuse aka PJ TaylorNTEN Discuss has been full of recommendations and interesting bits of information over the past few weeks. Read on for a summary -- and join the discussions on the NTEN Affinity Groups.

Blog Guidelines

Holly Wright was put in charge of creating blogging guidelines for her organization, Bread for the World. She asked the NTEN Discuss list for any helpful pointers they might have:

America's Next Top Republican Presidential Candidate

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 09/05/2008 - 12:09pm

Flickr Photo: gin_ableFlickr Photo: gin_ableI had a hard time watching all of the RNC Convention this week, and am just catching up now, watching all the speeches online.  I could say that I was so busy with work I couldn't keep up, but I'll confess that it's mostly due to the fact that 90210 and ANTM premiered this week.

Anywhoodle, I did manage to keep up with a lot of the convention as it happened, and there's now a nice archive of convention activity in the social media world:

  • Tweetscan: following all tweets with "RNC2008" in them
  • YouTube: videos tagged "rnc2008"
  • Technorati: blog posts tagged "rnc2008"
  • Flickr: images tagged "rnc2008"
  • FriendFeed: what all my friends are saying about the RNC
BTW - You know Brenda's being all nicey-nice now, but Kelly should totally watch her back.