News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Old Tactics, Old Tools (What Is Going On?)

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 3:53pm

Brian Reich, EchoDitto

We are only part way through the 2008 election cycle and there have already been dozens, perhaps hundreds of articles written, TV hours spent, and blog comments posted about the role that the internet and technology are playing in this election cycle. The general consensus among the pundits seems to be that this is the year that technology, particularly social media, has had a significant impact on the outcome of the presidential election contest.

Unfortunately, that consensus is wrong and those pundits don’t know what they are talking about.

NTEN Members Online Round-Up: Salesforce, Tidbits, Mashups, and Techie Love

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 3:07pm

LOLnptechThe Salesforce Foundation's Innovation for Nonprofit Success, in NYC, was the big nonprofit technology this week event.

Jake Brewer, of, wrote an article for the Huffington Post, that gets at the heart of what we nptechies are all about: technology levels the playing field and allows even the smallest nonprofits to run their programs using the same tools as the big guys. Jake gives a shout out not only to Salesforce's contribution to nonprofits, but also to Google Apps and the organizations, big and small, that've been able to use these tools to further their missions. (There are too many NTEN members highlighted in this article to name here, so check it out!)

Judi Sohn blogged about the Salesforce event this week too -- but from a different perspective. She couldn't be there! Syncing Google calendars with her husband made her realize that she'd have to miss the NYC event. I missed it too, Judi, and I have Old Man Winter to blame for interfering with my travel plans! Thanks for the down-to-earth insights about using these tools.

Michelle Murrain is back this week with an aptly titled post (Tidbits) about a developers' challenge -- and an open source update, of course.

You Are as Powerful as Google or Microsoft

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 7:21am

Flickr Photo: Jeff KubinaFlickr Photo: Jeff KubinaI spent yesterday at the Salesforce Innovation for Nonprofit Success event in New York. It was a really fun event, and I met a whole host of really interesting people doing amazing work at their nonprofits.

I sat in on most of the sessions yesterday and heard a lot of interesting ideas. What really struck me, though, was that almost every session, including my own, had one theme running through it: the empowerment of nonprofits.

We are moving to a new model of software delivery for nonprofits, and it means more than convenience. Software as a Service is on its way. Google Apps provide just one example you're probably familiar with. Most of the Web 2.0 tools you use also qualify, from your blog software to Facebook.

They are always on, and always available. More importantly, they work the same whether you are Microsoft or Save the Bay. Software as a Service means that we all have access to the same platforms and all they can do for our organizations. It will help bridge the technology gap between nonprofits and the for-profit sector.

There's another benefit...

Is Facebook a Bust or Is Obama's Model the Future?

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 2:33pm

bigmouthmediaI've heard a lot of buzz today about the apparent bursting of the social media bubble for campaign purposes.

Just as I was forming my own thoughts around this, coming up with the example of Barack Obama's grassroots online fundraising success, I came across this article in Slate, which also points to the Obama campaign as an example of success.

The article refers to the recent Case Foundation fundraising contests (which we've blogged about here), skeptically asserting:

"The amounts involved show that Case understands these endeavors are more social experiment than nonprofit sweepstakes. Sure, prizes of $50,000 matter for the winning organizations, as do the overall dollars raised... But the denominations of the donations remain small, and it's not clear that one-off contests will lead to more. Any fund-raising professional knows that most nonprofit organizations secure the bulk of their money from a relatively small number of large contributions, either from wealthy individuals or institutional sources. Those gifts demand personal cultivation, and an online nudge doesn't usually do it."

But what about Barack Obama's stunning fundraising model of reaching out to many online donors online, asking them to contribute small amounts?

Love Your Techie Day: Give the Gift of NTEN

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 3:17pm

We used -- more on them later --to create an easy way for you to send a little light-hearted love (and the gift of NTEN) to your favorite Techie for Good.

You can help:

  • Install our "Love Your Techie" widget (below) on your Facebook profile, blog, or whathaveyou to help us get the word out. It's simple! Just click the Sprout's "Share" button.
  • Invite all of your socially networked friends to install our widget, as well.

On Love Your Techie Day (February 14th -- if Hallmark can create a holiday, so can we) we'll wrap your message in a pretty package and send it along with a coupon good for 10% off a new NTEN membership; they can use it themselves or pass it on.

You can even send it to yourself. We won't judge.

Thanks for helping us spread the L-word!

NTEN Members Online Round-Up: How-tos, Cool Tools, News, and Social Media as Boon or Bust?

Submitted by Annaliese on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:55am

LOLnptechLet's start with the How-Tos.

NTEN member Amy Sample Ward points her blog readers to a helpful how-to published by Global Voices, "Blogging for a Cause". I think Amy's doing a good job of this herself!

Michelle Murrain, NTEN Board member, continues her helpful series of posts about open source tools by discussing Filezilla, an FTP application. She also includes a helpful post about data portability, pointing out that, with more organizations working in and with Web 2.0, they need to understand what data portability is and why open standards are important.

Judi Sohn offers an update on her organization, C3, which was recently featured on Lifetime TV. She also catches her readers up on staff additions, technology implementations, and the sad loss of one of their advocates.

Project Management for Nonprofits

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 4:22pm

Having spent a number of years in the start-up world, I know that nothing kills a great idea faster than poor project management. Project management provides an organized framework for planning and implementing successful projects. Join NTEN and Norman Reiss for the aptly-named webinar, "Project Management for Nonprofits", and learn how your organization can apply basic project management principles.

> Learn more and register today!

Tweet us at the NTC!

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 11:48am

If you're reading this, it's likely that you'll be joining us in New Orleans for the 2008 NTC next month. Even if you aren't, you may want to follow all the action via Twitter. Indeed, we have set up a twitter account just for the conference:

When you choose to follow it, it will auto-magically follow you in return. This means we'll be able to see the tweets from all individuals following 08NTC at:

Viewing that page will let you see the full stream of everyone's tweets during the event. Alternately, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of that stream at:

How does that sound as a plan? Anyone want to recommend an alternate idea?

You'd Better be Thinking UnWired

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 11:25am

Last week, I had the great pleasure of visiting Austin, TX for the TIG conference. I gave a presentation on the power of municipal wireless networks and mobile devices -- two great flavors that are going to taste even better together!

James spent some time heckling me from the front row, but he finally took pity and let me finish. Turns out, it was a good presentation for him!

Here are my slides, should they be useful to you. Props to MobileCommons for letting us do the demo.


The Secret Life of Your Blog Post

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 02/07/2008 - 9:09am

For some reason, I've been shadowing Beth Kanter on the conference circuit lately. I've had the great pleasure of listening to her speak several times in the last few months -- with more to come! At some point during every presentation, one of the attendees, whose mind has just been blown by her awesomeness, asks "Do you have that written down somewhere?"

Beth's answer is always the same. "Just 'Google' Beth. My blog will be in the top of the listings. See?! Another reason to blog. It increases your search engine rankings!"

While I've always agreed with her -- blogging has clearly increased our own search rankings -- I now confess that I never truly understood why... until today!

Many thanks to Paul Hyland for posting this Wired Magazine infographic about the secret life of your blog post on his Facebook news feed. It sums it all up nicely. Next time I see Beth, I'll be able to agree with her whole heartedly.