News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Drum Roll Please . . .

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 7:49am

It's the final day of Member Appreciation Month here at NTEN, and we've saved the most coveted prize for last: we're giving away a free registration to the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference!

We're happy to invite:

Maria Palomino, from America's Second Harvest to join us in New Orleans, March 19-21, for the biggest -- and most fun, I might add -- conference for nonprofit technology professionals!

Thank you for being a member of NTEN, Maria and America's Second Harvest. And thank you NTEN Members one and all, for your support and participation in the nonprofit technology community.

Don't forget: Registration for the 2008 NTC opens December 1st.

We Said It and We Meant It: We're Giving Away a Membership

Submitted by Annaliese on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 8:42am

We've been announcing programming, discounts, and prize giveaways for NTEN members all month here on our blog, and it's all been leading up to these last two days of Member Appreciation Month. Today, we're giving away a complimentary Individual Membership for 2008 to an NTEN member:

William H. P. Kaung, of the Organization of Chinese Americans. Thank you, William, for being a member of NTEN!

There are just two days left to take advantage of the special Member Appreciation Month offers, and only one more day of prizes. Tomorrow, we will be giving away a free registration to the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

From Google to Green

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 11:06am

The Al Gore affect on the environment continues to play itself out. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Google is going green. Or at least, greener.

Over the next several years, the tech giant and its foundation will invest tens of millions of dollars in renewable energy research and development; it will also invest in renewable energy companies. Part of the plan also includes building solar power plants.

The motive? Start with this little statistic from the article:

"Google officials decline to say just how much power its data centers use to run its vast Internet search site and its other businesses.
But by some estimates, the company spends more than $2 million per month on electricity to power its network of an estimated 450,000 computer servers."

We're sure the greater good figures somewhere in there as a motivation, too.

Thank You NTEN Members

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 7:47am

Thank You, NTEN members, for your membership support and particiaption in the nptech community. Just because we're coming to the end of Member Appreciation Month doesn't mean that our appreciation for NTEN members is drawing to a close. Speaking of drawings...

To continue our nptech giveaways, we're sending a copy of AdWords for Dummies, courtesy of Jossey-Bass/Wiley Publishers, to today's appreciated member:

Elaine Tola of the Carolina Center for Public Service. Thank you, Elaine, for being a member of NTEN and doing the work that you do every day!

And all NTEN members can get this book, and all books offered from Jossey-Bass/Wiley Publishers, for 20% off with their member discount!

Stay tuned for the final two days of Member Appreciation Month giveaways - the big ones are coming up:

  • Complimentary NTEN Membership
  • Free Registration for the 2008 NTC!

Community Buzz

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 3:59pm
News and buzz from people and organizations in the nonprofit tech sector. Read our posts on the NTEN blog.

Award Season

> Convio announced their first annual Innovator Awards, featuring 15 nonprofits. The ASPCA was honored for its MySpace site. America's Second Harvest won best Online Fundraising Campaign.

> PR News has published the list of finalists for its awards. Winners will be announced December 4th.

> Next up: the 2008 NTC Video Contest. We'll begin accepting submissions on December 1st, 2007, the same day registration for the biggest nonprofit technology conference of the year opens.

End World Hunger

> When last we blogged about it, FreeRice had donated more than 1,000,000,000 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. Just three weeks later, that total up to about 4,000,000,000. We're not sure what 4 billion grains of rice looks like, but we suspect it would fill our office. Do your part -- while building your vocabulary -- today.

How To: Put Technology to Use

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 3:14pm
Your guide to resources that will help you put technology to work for your cause.

Save Money on Hardware

> Care2 has published an excellent guide to virtualization software. Why have multiple computers when you can run multiple operating systems on a single piece of hardware?

> You might also consider repurposing older hardware. Box Populi lets you podcast from effectively ancient computers. And Debian Linux has published a series of guides on how to set up everything from a webcam server to a firewall on less than top-of-the-line systems.

> Of course, you may just need to get rid of decrepit systems. You can donate your outdated hardware, or, if you're feeling frisky, try to make it into the "Top 40 Most Creative Uses for Old Gadgets". 

Create an Online Survey

> Third Sector New England's guide offers a number of best practices for online surveys. Perhaps the best advice: "Be prepared to cut survey questions mercilessly."

> The Institute for Citizen-Centred Service has published an overview of online survey tools. Another report focused on web-only tools (PDF) has been put together by NPower New York.

> Here at NTEN, we use SurveyMonkey.com. Have you taken the IT Staffing Survey yet? It closes on November 30th. 

Hold a Virtual Meeting

> The foreign ministers of Great Britain, the Maldives, and Malta recently held a joint virtual press conference on climate change in Second Life. In fact, SL seems to be very popular as a meeting space these days. Here's a guide on how to do it yourself.

If Second Life kind of weirds you out, read how NTEN member Don Wedd is setting up a virtual meeting space for the National Community Tax Coalition.

Things We Like

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 3:10pm
A monthly roundup of our favorite nonprofit tech resources. Read more posts on our blog.
  1. The Goodman/Hershey Eye-Q Test. Test your design knowledge. Subjective, but fun!
  2. Yugma. According to NTEN Member Marc Baizman, "It's free web conferencing that just works. I use it with clients and team members all the time. No heavy client installers, and it's FREE."
  3. Seth Godin. Smart AND pithy, a valuable combination.
  4. Judi Sohn's description of how she works with the web.
  5. Miro: Open Source "internet TV". My computer downloaded Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth while I slept. Nice!
  6. Readytalk's free online tutorials. NTENer Amy Sample Ward says they're "a great resource for nonprofits to jump on board with great new media tools like podcasts!"
  7. Care2's "A Procrastinator's Guide to Year-End Fundraising".

How to Find and Hire a Website Consultant

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 12:50pm

Seth Schneider, Communications Director, Transportation and Land Use Coalition

NTEN member Seth Schneider of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition led a session about how to find and hire a company or consultant for your website project at the recent Bay Area Drupal Camp in Berkeley, CA. The participants generated a slew of helpful tips from their collective experience as both clients and consultants. Although the tips focus on hiring someone for website projects that use the the open-source Drupal content management system, many of them pertain to hiring a consultant for any website project.

Website Optimization Case Study: The Autism Society of America

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 12:37pm
Bethany Little, Director of Interactive Services, Convio, Inc.

The Autism Society of America is the oldest, largest membership organization dedicated to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With 190,000 members and supporters, ASA has 182 chapters around the USA and 29 international affiliated parent organizations.

Before 2007, ASA was consistently ranked first or second on Google searches for the keyword "autism". Its fundraising initiatives were paper driven, and it had launched a toll-free help line (1-800-3Autism). Chapters were launching their own Web sites at a rapid pace, and ASA was the only national group dedicated to ASD.

In 2007, major changes took place: The Centers for Disease Control announced that there was a 1 in 150 prevalence of ASD. Major media coverage in January, February and April 2007 quadrupled Web traffic, yet there was little conversion and ASA's rankings on Google's search engine had dropped to 3rd or 4th.

ASA's Director of Communications Marguerite Kirst-Colston took notice and determined the organization’s battle plan would be "Search – Convert – and Conquer."

NTEN Member Appreciation Month Recap

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 12:18pm

As most of you know by now, November has been NTEN Member Appreciation Month. We've had special giveaways, programming, and discounts for members all month -- and this newsletter has been generated from submissions by NTEN members.

Of course, we are grateful for our members every single day of the year: we couldn't provide the programming, resources, or this newsletter without you. But we wanted to do more than a simple 'thank you'. We wanted to show you how much we appreciate your ongoing support and participation in the NTEN community.

I'd like to take this opportunity to announce five new discounts for NTEN Members: