News from the NTEN Connect Blog

NpTech Tagging Community

Submitted by Bonnie on Tue, 03/20/2007 - 10:56am

Marnie Webb, TechSoup

Beth Kanter, Beth’s Blog

Tagging facilitates the sharing of information among members of a distributed community, and it can also help form or catalyze a community. In some respects the NpTech tag serves as a beacon to attract people interested in sharing resources on nonprofit technology and makes it easier to form connections and relationships with new people. The NpTech tag is also easy to use - the services are free, and many people have already incorporated services like and Flickr into their knowledge management practices. Furthermore, many tagging services encourage connections and conversations around particular tags via embedded social networking features. For more on this, see
Marnie’s blog, and Beth's NpTech Tag presentation.

A Few Innovative Nonprofit Tech Projects

Submitted by Ali on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 11:56am

Nonprofits are using technology some truly inspiring ways, and we think that deserves some recognition. Below are brief descriptions of a few technology projects by NTEN members that are making a big difference. You can find out about other innovative technology projects and meet the people behind them in the Innovation Plaza at the Nonprofit Technology Conference.

Cutting through tax-code confusion

Tax season is here, and with it the annual confusion of deciphering perplexing rules about tax credits and deductions (and squinting at the tiny type of IRS forms). The Legal Aid Society of Orange County is helping its clients cut through the tax code confusion and ensure they get the refunds they are entitled to with its I-Can! E-file program.

Have an idea for a new online service?

Submitted by Bonnie on Wed, 03/14/2007 - 12:20pm

Tell The Economist, and they may just do something about it. The Economist is running an interesting project - Project Redstripe - that is essentially tasked with developing something innovative and online - and it can be anything. Right now the group is asking for ideas on what they should build. So if you have a brilliant idea for an online product or service that you want to see come to fruition, this could be your chance.

Even better, the project's team members say they want whatever they develop to make a difference in the world, although they're not guaranteeing it's one of their goals.

Here's how Tom Shelley, one of the project's team members, describes the type of ideas they're looking for:

Twitter at the NTC, Among Others

Submitted by Bonnie on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 9:44am

We hear you loud and clear. At this year’s NTC we’ll have lots of back channels so you all can connect, find each other, and sound off on the conference. And one of these will be Twitter, which lets you get updates on what people are up to via your cell phone, IM, or through a website.

We’ve heard great things about how Twitter was used at SXSW. Beth took a screencast of the action on the SXSW Twitter page that you can check out here.

So stay tuned for more details on twittering at the NTC and other back channels. Special thanks to Kurt for leading the way, and to Deborah for her ideas!

Social Networks Redux: It's Facebook, Baby

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 8:06am

So I did a little Alexa sleuthing (yeah, yeah, Alexa is not definitive but nonetheless interesting) about 'social networks for good' for our next newsletter which will focus all on "communities for a cause." That with the NTC coming up - our own little 'community for change', of course - for ultimate bonding. Call is cross-marketing...

The picture is rather fascinating, comparing some of the more well-known sites Facebook, the overhauled Ning, MySpace, Idealist, and the new

Seeking "Tech for Good" Stories for ABC News

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 7:28am
I am seeking some very good stories from YOU for a piece on ABC News/vcast TODAY that will feature "technology for good' or how nonprofits are using tech to make the world a better place. Here is what I am looking for:

Nonprofits are getting more and more savvy in using tech - and deploying techies who are doing good in the world. In April, more than 1,000 of these "Techies for Good" are coming to Washington DC.

Grantmaking in a Web 2.0 World

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 5:10am

Is the web -- many small pieces loosely joined - making old grantmaking practices in advocacy and democratic engagement obsolete? What does grantmaking in an interactive world look like? The rise of collective knowledge, organizing networks, and the transparency that millions of eyes and voices generate is changing politics (remember Macaca?), economic paradigms, how corporations conduct business, and yet has made precious few inroads into how we, as a third sector, operate -- and that is especially true for funders.

In a world more connected than ever, we are already seeing the next big social transformation - as messy and as iterative and lose as all the movements in history, with strong and persuasive visions but at best highly informal plans. 'Social change' in a connected world is based on an entirely different paradigm than that of the 'strategic plan' and clear 'year-end metrics' that funders demand. In a highly fluid, networked, and iterative world, funding by 'blueprint' becomes meaningless. Read more.

Happy Women's Day!

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 2:03pm

Happy International Women's Day! As women in tech, Holly and I toasted each other with great coffee -- and all of you other techno babes. We are hailing from Portland where we have a brandnew office (see photos from the trusty Macbook Pro of our view!). We are getting pings from all over the country from our women colleagues in tech - Usha, Beth, Joyce, Michelle -- saluting you all in the NTEN community! Special greetings to our board chair (yep, an extraordinary woman) Lynn Labieniec from Beaconfire.

Around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) marks a celebration of the economic, social, cultural and political achievements for women.

Last Call for Entries for the NTC Video Contest

Submitted by Bonnie on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 7:39am
Go ahead, and put the final touches on your entries for the NTC Video Contest! All submissions are due by midnight on Sunday, March 11.

Do you have videos on YouTube or other video hosting sites that urge people to take action for social change? Submit them now to enter the video contest. Have you been pondering an idea for a short video that will advance a cause you support? Here’s your chance to bring it to a larger audience. Finalist videos will be aired at the Nonprofit Technology Conference and the grand prize winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2008 NTC in New Orleans! Find out more about the NTC Video Contest and how you can participate.

Netsquared Technology Innovation Fund

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Sun, 03/04/2007 - 9:03pm

NTEN is supporting Netsquared's Technology Innovation Awards, and I would like to encourage all of the NTEN community to take part. More than 100,000 is on the table for selected projects as part of the second Netsquared gathering.

See the guidelines, whether you are eligible, and important deadlines. To nominate a project, go here. Projects are voted on by the community and 20 featured finalists be be flown out to the next Netsquared gathering in May. Both nonprofit and for-profit ventures can apply. Good luck!

Disclosure: I am a project advisor to Netsquared's Innovation Fund.