News from the NTEN Connect Blog

The Future of Broadband

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 1:22pm

If you are in the NE, I encourage you to participate in an event from the fabulous Berkman Center. On February 25, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School will host a Federal Communications Commission en banc hearing on broadband network management practices, and a public post-panel discussion and reception.

The FCC will hear from two panels of stakeholders who will offer policy and technical perspectives. Panelists will include executives from BitTorrent, Comcast, Verizon, and Sony, as well as network visionaries and architects. Berkman Center Faculty Co-Director Yochai Benkler will speak on the policy panel.

The full schedule and list of panelists can be downloaded at:

Case Giving Challenges Winners Announced

Submitted by Annaliese on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 10:37am

We tracked and blogged about America's Giving Challenge and the Causes Challenge, sponsored by the Case Foundation and Parade Magazine, which challenged individuals to leverage their friends, families, and online networks to raise money online for their favorite causes. The idea was to encourage many people to give small donations, proving what Jean Case so eloquently stated in a Slate article: "Small amounts of money given by large numbers of individuals can be combined to do great things."

Today they announced the official winners, including the cause championed by "NTEN Member for Life" Beth Kanter, with the help of Michele Martin. Their cause, "Route Out of Poverty for Cambodian Children," raised $41,673 from 1650 donations, and earned another $50,000 from the Case Foundation for coming in first in the Global Causes category, sponsored through GlobalGiving.

Congratulations, Beth! You can read more about her successful campaign, including from her campaign wiki and her giving challenge diary, here.

We also want to congratulate and thank all the individuals who participated in and organizations who helped sponsor these challenges. Many in the NTEN community participated and discussed the challenges, and we all saw another example of the power of technology for good -- another reminder that the real power comes from you!

TXT the NTC!

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 10:11am

Each year for the last couple of of years, we've used the NTC as a showcase for new technologies we think you should be thinking about. This year, we're going mobile, in support of the local New Orleans nonprofit community.

Here's how it works:

Subscribe to the NTC campaign by texting TXTNTC to 69866 or completing the form in the full blog post.

You will receive messages only during the conference. We'll feature a different New Orleans nonprofit on each day of the conference. They will send you a few messages each day, with some unique opportunities and special surprises:


Submitted by Brett on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 2:14pm
Monique Cuvelier, Talance, Inc.

Back when everyone was saying Al Gore "invented the Internet," no one rolled their eyes more than the Brits. Back then, the very notion of Internet-based technologies was enough to send British eyes into one-eighties, never mind the marriage of politics and social media. The idea of the Queen appearing on YouTube? Patently ridiculous.

What a change a few years can bring, because there she is, on YouTube's Royal Channel, with her annual Christmas speech and video clips of Prince William flying a plane.

With the next general election looming in 2009, politicians are beginning to mirror their American counterparts in hopes of winning more votes.

Hallmarks of an Online Insurgent Campaign

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 2:10pm

Justin Perkins, Heather Holdridge, & James O’Malley, Care2

It's happening.

A few small nonprofits with distributed networks of volunteers are swamping social networks and raising thousands of dollars for orphans in China and other worthy causes. Obama, Edwards and Ron Paul have seen droves of new donors come out of the woodwork with surprising speed.

Though the tried and true one-to-many broadcast model is still working, plenty of examples confirm the notion that loose distributed networks with very little centralized oversight or control can rally together around a common goal in support of an organization -- both nonprofits and political candidates.

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

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 2:53pm

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 - 2:07pm

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 - 6:21am

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 - 1:33pm

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 - 2:17pm

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!