News from the NTEN Connect Blog

How To: Start Putting Technology To Use

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 08/20/2007 - 12:17pm
Your guide to resources that will help you put technology to work for your cause.


> Your organization doesn't have a blog yet? Fair enough: it's possible you don't need one. In the spirit of summer reruns, though, you should read two excellent posts by Britt Bravo to help you decide: "10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs" and "5 Tips to Start a Nonprofit Blog". Like an episode of Cheers on TV Land, these posts feel fresher than many newer offerings.

> New NTEN Board member Michelle Murraine has more great advice on starting a blog in her article, "Blogging as a Tool for Activism". Michelle covers not just blogging, but tagging, RSS, and trackbacks with uncommon clarity.

> If you're hungry for more on blogging -- and social networking -- you'll find plenty of ways to sate yourself with NTEN's compilation of resources in a single Google Document. No need to thank us. We do it because we like you. And because we come to you to compile these amazing resources in the first place. We do it because you are great.

Interact with Google

> Speaking of Google, did you know that you can post comments to stories on Google News that mention your organization? This could be a great way to gain exposure or correct misconceptions. Kudos to Google for referencing not just the Tooth Fairy, but the Tooth Mouse on their How-To page.

> Avinash Kaushik, Google's own Analytics Evangelist, continues his crusade to convince the world that the Bounce Rate metric is "sexy". You can enjoy more of Avinash's charm while learning about Google Analytics sexiness with the recording of the NTEN webinar, "Know Your Web Site: An Hour a Day with Google Analytics".

> If you've been considering Google Apps -- remember, they're available free to nonprofits -- Google offers free webinars on their uses and functionality.

Manage Mailing Lists

> Given the array of email list management options, it can be hard to choose among them. e.politics offers a product round-up, while another by Idealware provides more options and advice.

> Once you have a mailing list, you need to start worrying about your reputation, which Dr. Bill Pease, Chief Scientist at Convio, calls, "the driving component governing your deliverability." This isn't like high school, though, when you had to track down whispered accusations: Secure Computing's TrustedSource, ReturnPath's Sender Score, and Ironport's SenderBase all offer ways to check some aspects of your emailing reputation, for free.

Dear Facebook

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 08/20/2007 - 12:15pm
Dear Facebook,

All I can say is: "Wow!" It's been an amazing three months. I've had so much fun idling away these long summer evenings with you, playing games like Scrabulous, critiquing movies on Flixster. And who knew we would be Twittering so early on? Because of you, I feel more connected to new and old friends alike. I'm blown away by how close we've become - and so quickly. You've really made me look at things differently. I see possibilities that weren't previously there. Most importantly, you've shown me ways I can have a different impact on the things I care about. I'm truly grateful for having met you (but I promise not to use the "L" word yet).

I have to admit, when we started flirting in the Spring, I totally didn't get where you were coming from. You seemed like everyone else who was trying to get me to take notice. Sure, you're smart and good looking (especially compared to you know who). And everyone always talks about how hot you are. It wasn't until late in May, when you really opened up, that I finally "got" you. Everything changed and I realized how much we had in common: we like the same things, have so many of the same friends, and are both really trying to make positive change in the world. I can honestly say, I've never met anyone like you.

From the Affinity Groups: Recommendations for VOIP Solutions

Submitted by Visitor on Thu, 08/16/2007 - 1:41pm

With over 100 active groups and nearly 5,000 users, NTEN's Affinity Groups platform is an incredible resource for those in the nonprofit tech community. Recently, in the general NTEN Discuss group, an informative discussion occurred about replacing traditional phone systems with VOIP. Many told of seamless transitions, and one participant offered some general guidelines:

21 Days of Twitter Day X: I'm a Hopeless Addict

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 08/16/2007 - 7:21am

OK, I totally lost track of what day I'm on in my experiment, but I'm pretty sure I'm not at 21 days yet. Still, I can honestly say I'm now a Twitter addict. Do you think they have a program for this at Promises in Malibu? Because the first thing I do every morning is check in with Twitter. Whenever I'm switching tasks, I check Twitter. Twitter is down right now, and I am shaking.

Well, I'm not really shaking. But I miss my Twitter friends and their Tweets! And honestly, Twitter has turned out to be much more than just a social network. I get a lot of professional development out of it. I find articles and announcements from folks, as well as tips and advice. Sure, it's all arriving in between Tweets about what User A is having for lunch, but I actually find that charming now.

NTEN Community Call: Recording Now Available

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 08/15/2007 - 3:30pm

Thanks again to the 60 or so folks who were able to join us for today's community call with Kintera. Kintera has been under new leadership since March of this year. We convened Scott Crowder, Kintera’s new CTO and the NTEN community for a discussion about where Kintera is headed, especially in relation to Kintera Connect, their plan to open their platform to clients and select developers to create integrations and third party applications.

Get the Recording.

And, if you have any follow-up questions, feel free to contact Darryl Gordon, VP of Marketing.

MacArthur Foundation Announces $2 Million New Digital Media & Learning Competition

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 08/14/2007 - 12:22pm

If you work with kids and education, you should know about the new competition just announced by the MacArthur Foundation. Hat tip to Andy Carvin for the heads up (via Twitter). From the release:

Awards will be given in two categories:

  • Innovation Awards will support learning pioneers, entrepreneurs, and builders of new digital learning environments for formal and informal learning. These innovations might range from a teacher add-on for MySpace that allows for safe assigning of a class group discussion, to a platform co-developed by teachers and students to facilitate digital literacy and peer-mentoring between college students and high-school drop-outs earning their GED degrees, to a digital learning festival for the leaders of a worldwide youth environmental campaign.
  • Knowledge Networking Awards will support communicators in connecting, mobilizing, circulating or translating new ideas around digital media and learning. For example, a team of teacher bloggers who already reach hundreds of thousands of readers may now seek to provide multimedia coverage and translation of MIT Professor Henry Jenkins’ recent white paper on media literacy.

eNewsletter Advice

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 08/14/2007 - 7:01am
There's nothing revolutionary about the idea that your most important eNewsletter article should be at the top of your newsletter. Still, there's some good, practical advice in the the 2-page article just released by M+R, "Digging Into eNewsletters." As usual, my favorite part is that there are some actual numbers in the report, giving us a chance to compare our own.

In the News: Our Own Lauren-Glenn Davitian

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 9:34am
NTEN Board member Lauren-Glenn Davitian was just honored by the Alliance for Community Media with the George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communication. And, she has a great write-up in the Vermont Weekly, Seven Days.

If you don't know Lauren-Glenn, you should! She's wrestling with some of the biggest issues central to how and why we do our work - who has access to and how are we able to use media, including the Internet. My favorite quote from the piece:

Davitian says that while the Internet has enormous potential as a democratizing agent, there remains a huge digital divide, mostly along economic lines. “Time magazine can say, ‘You are the person of the year,’” she explains. “But the reality is, the ownership structure is still in the hands of the few.”


Resources on Blogs, Social Networks, and Tags for Nonprofits

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 7:08pm
As part of our association with the Neighborhood Networks Conference, NTEN asked for a list of resources on social networks, blogging, and tagging, as they relate to nonprofits.  This amazing community came through, and the aggregated resources can now be found in a single Google Document we’ve shared with the world.

But this is only the beginning.  I’m sure we haven’t begun to tap the accumulated knowledge of the NTEN community, so if you have a related resource you think we should add, please post it in a comment, below.

NTEN Community Call: What Kintera’s Open Platform Means for the Nonprofit Sector

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 08/08/2007 - 8:03am

Wednesday, August 15 at 11am PT/2 pm ET for a free community call with Kintera CTO Scott Crowder.

Kintera recently announced Kintera Connect, an upcoming open application integration platform that provides nonprofits with the opportunity to select industry solutions that best meet their unique needs. But what does an open platform mean for you? And what types of solutions and capabilities will an open platform offer to nonprofits? What impact could an open platform have on fundraising and constituent engagement efforts? Learn from Scott Crowder, Kintera’s chief technology officer (CTO), how developers and partners will be integrating directly with Kintera technology and what technology possibilities could be available to your nonprofit. This is your opportunity to get your questions answered.

This is a FREE event. No registration is required. To participate:

  • Phone: 866.740.1260 / passcode: 3979000
  • Web: / passcode: 3979000
This call will last one hour.