News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Open Source Software for NGOs

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 1:21pm
The growth of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – what we in the U.S. loosely refer to as "nonprofits" – has been not only worldwide, but deep, as NGOs have intertwined themselves with the development world. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has experienced rapid growth as well, and given the competition NGOs face for limited resources, free software, so long as it works, and works well, can give budget-conscious managers the chance to allocate money to more pressing concerns. The problem is, with so much FOSS, how can you choose the right package for your organization?

.org Registry Gets a New CEO

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 4:20pm
The Public Interest Registry (PIR) is the agency that manages the .org domain. They've just appointed a new CEO, as detailed in this press release:



RESTON, Va. July 2, 2007 The Public Interest Registry (PIR) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexa A. S. Raad, an entrepreneurial technology executive, as its new CEO. The appointment is effective July 9, 2007.

NTEN's Tools You Should Know: Episode 02

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 2:06pm

A monthly podcast about a few good tools you should know! If you're like me, you're always on the hunt for the one little thing that will help you get through your to-do list a little faster, or make your work a little bit better. That's what this podcast is all about!

This month, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Director of Content at Splashcast Media tells us about:

Earthwatch on Google Earth

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 2:05pm

Google Earth is an incredible tool that Earthwatch has found a number of ways to use.

At its simplest, Google Earth is a free software program that allows you to see aerial views of any place on the globe from any elevation: you can zoom out to see the whole country, for example, or zoom in and see your own neighborhood. These aerial views are based on satellite photos taken within the last 3 years. Depending on the area you're looking at, the photos may be sharp enough to see the cars in your driveway.

But that's just the start. You can create "placemarks" -- virtual stick pins in the globe -- and associate those spots with photos, information and web links. And you can share these placemarks easily, with the community at large, or just within your organization.

Join us for NP.IT: Midsummer Mixer at Google Headquarters

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 06/28/2007 - 3:31pm

Innovation in Online Giving: NTEN is Educational Partner at the 2007 AFP/Bridge Conference

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 06/28/2007 - 8:14am

More than 1,000 fundraisers will be convening in Washington, DC at the 2007 Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference , July 8-10, 2007, at the Hilton Washington. NTEN is the educational partner at the conference, featuring several tracks focused on online fundraising and using technology in development. We are honored to share our network's vast expertise in using technology and the web in fundraising with the Washington DC AFP community.

Growth in online giving has seen a surge: $6.87 billion was donated online in the US in 2006, a 51% increase over 2005, driven by significant increases in online giving for both small and large organizations and the unprecedented use of the Internet by individuals for non-disaster and disaster support efforts.

“The Internet is fundamentally changing the way people connect with causes and is forcing organizations to re-think the traditional models for communication and fundraising,” said Gene Austin, CEO, Convio, Inc.

While online giving is still small overall, there is steep growth. A surge of interest in philanthropy and civic engagement, with people of all ages online, presents a huge opportunity. Generations X and M -- younger people -- are the next generation of donors. They have money and they're online. Smart nonprofit organizations that want to further their causes go to where their donors are. And they are online.

A joint press release can be found here. NTEN members interested in attending the conference are eligible for a significant member discount.

A Beginner's Guide to Facebook

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 06/27/2007 - 10:25am

NTEN recently started a group on the FaceBook platform, so I've been doing a lot more thinking about how to integrate it into our overall programs. I haven't come up with any concrete answers yet, but I've had a good time exploring! Robin Good, one of my favorite blog reads, had an excellent post yesterday about FaceBook and why it's the platform du jour of the social networking scene. A great read, and a great example of how open technology makes good business sense too:

"The sudden sharp interest is directly indexed to the opening up of the Facebook Platform, which allows developers from around the world to create their own unique Facebook applications. This essentially opens up the entire world of online content for easy aggregation into the existing social networking functionality, so that users can create a profile and personal network of friends whilst taking advantage of all of their favorite online tools and services."

Google Earth Launches Nonprofit Outreach Program

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 06/26/2007 - 1:12pm
Google officially launched its nonprofit outreach program today for its Google Earth product. I was at the launch party where nonprofit groups such as NTEN member Earthwatch Institute and the Goodall Institute (with Jane Goodall videoconferenced in from London) described how they use Google Earth. We already described how a small nonprofit, Appalachian Voices, uses the tool to fight against mountaintop removal for coal mining. Mary Ann Hitt, Appalachian Voices' Executive Director was there for the launch.

The new site launched by Google features case studies and tutorials on how to use KLM. There is an extensive community, including developers, available to assist nonprofits for pay or pro bono. Google also offers grants for the more powerful Google Earth Pro platform.

More Google Analytics, Now with Beth Kanter!

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 06/26/2007 - 10:16am

Last week's Google Analytics webinar with Avinash Kaushik was a masterpiece -- informative, fun, funny and useful! If you were not able to join us, you can now get the recording and a nice list of resources from Avinash himself.

If you WERE able to join us, then you definitely want to check out a couple of additional resources. First, Beth Kanter has put together a fantastic primer on Google Analytics screencast for NTEN. It's a nice companion piece to the webinar and a great way to share web analytics with the less tech savvy folks in your life.

Second, I have to plug Avinash's book again. Web Analytics: An Hour a Day is getting rave reviews! If you've already read the book, be sure to share your opinion over on the Amazon site. I know Avinash would appreciate it.

How To: Put Technology to Use

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 06/25/2007 - 11:46am
Your guide to resources that will help you put technology to work for your cause.


> Having trouble integrating data from different sources? Read NTEN's Report on Open APIs to find out what APIs are and how they can help your data repositories talk to each other.

> Or you might want to create your very own data mash-up. ProgrammableWeb makes it seem almost too easy.


> If you're looking for a new CMS, check out the Content Management Matrix, where you can compare and discuss your options.


> Wikis are "easy to use, but hard to describe". See Common Craft's video "Wikis in Plain English".


> Scott Williams of Community IT Innovators has written a white paper on podcasts. The section on how to create podcasts is based on John Wall's NTC 2007 session. You can see the session materials here.