Developing a Cloud Migration Strategy, Part 2: Process, Costs & Things to Consider

May 10, 2012
We may have jumped the gun a little by discussing what systems to migrate in part 1 of this look at developing a cloud migration strategy, but now we're going to ask and answer the question of How to Migrate. Migrating to a cloud based application or service is different from installing some software or server in your office. It is imperative that you read and understand the legal agreement you're signing because governs the business and service relationship you are establishing. Cloud service providers are looking out for their best interests in these agreements and you should too. Here are some typical questions you should answer as part of evaluating a new solution:

Developing a Cloud Migration Strategy, Part 1: What Systems Can You Migrate?

May 9, 2012
At its core the “cloud” is a scalable architecture that allows data to be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Having that basic definition in mind, it's important to recognize that the cloud, or perhaps more accurately cloud services, is just another IT resource. There are certain obvious benefits that the cloud can provide: scalability, high availability, and low recurring pricing. On the other hand there are also some downsides to moving to the cloud: vendor lock in, complex terms of service, and unexpected additional costs.

Do It Yourself Cloud Databases

May 3, 2012
Ten years ago, if you had standard database needs (like CRM) you could use a desktop-based application like ACT or the Organizers DataBase – but if you had needs that were not served by a shrink-wrapped product, you would buy MS Access or Filemaker and someone would build a special database for you. Today, with the world moving to the cloud, the situation is similar, but the names are different. If you have standard database needs (like fundraising) you might choose Etapestry or Raiser's Edge, but if you have unique needs, you can build any kind of database application you want on cloud platforms like QuickBase, Zoho, Force.com, and others.

Mobile Apps for Development: Focus on Content BY Users, Not Just FOR Users

April 23, 2012

Most applications for development (m-whatever) are based on giving poor people access to information that the provider of that information thinks people need.  There is little interaction and no user-generation of content in many first. Does it need to be like that?

How To Build Your Mobile List: Add a Mobile Field to Your Web Forms

April 20, 2012

If you have an existing outreach campaign, you probably already have what’s called “web forms.” These are the forms on your website where you ask people to enter their name, email address, zip code, and maybe some other information. Why exactly they’re entering these details could be for any number of reasons. Maybe you’re asking them to sign up for email alerts. Maybe you want them to register to volunteer. Maybe they’re just joining your site as new members. Or maybe they’re signing up for a click-to-call campaign.

How to Build Your Mobile List: 3 Rules for a Great “Call to Action”

April 18, 2012

In the previous post in this series, we talked about how you can use your existing media to build your mobile list by adding a simple "call to action."

Not all calls to action are created equal, however. This post gives you three simple rules to make sure your message will inspire people to actually text in and join.

Activist Media from the Frontlines: Mobile, Strategic, and Much More Than Just at “The Right Place at the Right Time”

April 18, 2012

In Syria, activists and citizen journalists fill a media void and strategically inform the global conversation on the uprising by capturing and sharing their own footage. They are organized, trained, smart, strategic, and promote media - much of it mobile - with a purpose.

Mass demonstrations and continued state violence continue in Syria. Authorities are largely banning foreign reporters and have arrested Syrian journalists and bloggers. Outside of the country, news outlets report on the major events there citing "Syrian activists" as the source of information.  Day-to-day events in cities around the country come to our attention largely because of the activists and citizen journalists who are systematically providing information to news outlets worldwide.

How to Build Your Mobile List: Add a “Call to Action” to Your Existing Media

April 16, 2012

When you start a mobile campaign, the first step to success is to get people to sign up for your alerts. In this series of posts, we'll be discussing a few ways to use the resources you already have to build your mobile list.

One of the strengths of a mobile campaign is how seamlessly it can integrate into your existing outreach. You can use all of your communications – TV commercials, email newsletter, website, radio spots, and more – to get people to sign up for your mobile list. All you have to do is add a "call to action."