News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Ask the Expert: CiviCRM Q&A with Dave Greenberg

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 10:04am

Flickr Photo: Darwin BellFlickr Photo: Darwin BellOK, NTEN Members: this is your chance to step up to the mic and ask those burning CiviCRM questions!

Join us Tuesday, July 15, at 11am PT/ 2pm ET for a live conference call and online chat with Dave Greenberg, from the CiviCRM Team.

> Register Now - FREE for NTEN Members!

This IS Novel: Twebinars as Work in Progress

Submitted by Annaliese on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 12:51pm

Flickr Photo: bitzceltFlickr Photo: bitzceltI just had a conversation with one of the organizers of the Twebinar, a summer series of webinars about social media hosted by Chris Brogan and Radian6. David Alston, from Radian6, picked up the phone (you remember those, don't you?) to respond to some of the questions I had emailed him about the Twebinar format.

I had expressed some confusion about the series, based on the first session I attended, the descriptions they provided, and the discrepancy I saw between the two. David was generous enough with his time to respond to some of these concerns.

Here's what I learned:

Quantity Counts in Email Subject Lines, But Do You Want Open Rates or Click Throughs?

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 10:57am

Flickr Photo: m-cFlickr Photo: m-cI talk a lot about email marketing campaigns with folks just getting started with email (and you are NOT alone: there are lots of you just getting started). One of the most frequent questions I hear is, "What's the best way to approach subject lines?"

I usually take this question to mean, "How do a I write a subject line that will make people open my message?" But maybe I've been focusing on the wrong question. Maybe the question should translate to, "How do I write a subject line that will compel more people to click through?"

Really, isn't that what you want? Who cares how many people open your email if no one clicks through to take action?

What's Your Social Media Plan?

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 10:54am

Flickr Photo: fr@nsI'm not normally an Oprah's Book Club kind of girl, but I happened to be trapped in a Starbucks with no reading materials for 90 minutes one day, so I bought "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Although everything jaded and cynical in me was annoyed by the sappy homilies, one bit really stuck with me: Your car follows where your eyes lead.

When it comes to our use of social media as a sector, I have to wonder, where are we looking? Where are we trying to drive? I hear a lot of general answers: we want to raise more money; we want to spread our message further. But I don't hear the specifics needed if we're going to do those things meaningfully. Having a Facebook group and a blog will not, on their own, raise more money for your organization.

An Online World

Submitted by Anna on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 7:01am

Flickr Photo: Lizette GrecoFlickr Photo: Lizette GrecoWhat will a truly online world look like? A world where each and every one of us has quality access to the internet?

Sam Churchill,, has compiled some graphs and rankings on the current wired and wireless states of the world from a Forbes article. We need to analyze this and wonder why the United States is dropping in these rankings. But what I found most interesting in the article is an organization that had its launch at the Personal Democracy Forum: Internet for Everyone.

BE the Media? We ARE Media!

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 4:02pm

One of the interesting side affects of the new web-based world we live in is that people expect everything to be free. Have you noticed that? I totally expect to have to pay for mobile phone service, but I want Internet access for free. I know I have to buy the book if I go into Powell's, but think I should be able to read it online for free.

Because the Internet really has democratized access to information, we all expect more information, more transparency, more openness, more collaboration. While I know that not everything can be free, I generally think this trend towards sharing is great.

So I was surprised when a group of lawyers representing a forthcoming book told us they didn't want us using Be the Media for the name our latest project.

How Do You Get Your Piece of the Budget Pie?

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 10:44am

Flickr Photo: matuko_aminiFlickr Photo: matuko_aminiRaise your hand if getting funding for your tech projects takes longer than implementing the projects themselves.

Halfway through the year, most organizations are starting to think about budgets for the next year. The lobbying, pleading, persuading, and cajoling begin early, as every one of your departments vie for a piece of the budget pie.

How do you get yours?

Want to Attend the 2008 AFP and DMAW Bridge Conference for Free?

Submitted by Annaliese on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 10:27am

The Association for Fundraising Professionals and the Direct Marketing Association of Washington are co-hosting the 2008 Bridge Conference, July 23-25 in Washington, DC.

The Bridge Conference is all about marketing, fundraising tools and strategies. Members of NTEN can register at the lowest rate (contact Annaliese for details).

Even better, you can enter this contest to win a FREE registration!

A quick glance at the session tracks shows that the nonprofit technology community can find plenty of content to help mission-oriented marketing and fundraising campaigns -- and look, there's even an NTEN track, a little home-away-from home while you're waiting for the 2009 NTC.

How Many Jellybeans Are in Your Jar?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 3:47pm

Flickr Photo: husband unitIt's the day before a major holiday, so things are a wee bit quiet around here. Well, except for the iPod blaring Elton John. But quiet other than that.

I've finally had some time today to dive into the conversation that you, dear NTEN community, are starting on our Be the Media (name about to change) project.

If I didn't already believe in the wisdom of crowds, I certainly believe in the wisdom of THIS crowd. So many of you have contributed to the first module: Why Should Nonprofits Embrace Social Media (Or Not)?

NTEN Member Online Round-Up: Yes, It's Been a While

Submitted by Annaliese on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:41pm

Flickr Photo: 2-Dog-FarmFlickr Photo: 2-Dog-FarmIt's been a while since I've posted a round-up of the online news and activity of NTEN members, but that's because there's been so much going on with you all, not to mention around here at NTEN!

On this afternoon before a long weekend, I thought I'd channel my cabin-fever energy into a roundup of what I've seen online this week from and about NTEN members: