It starts on Sunday. The details are here.
Click to see larger photo in flickr with notes
For a client meeting, I needed to do a conference call with one person here in the US and another in Europe. Everytime I use skype conference calls, it is a pain - echoes, static, dropped lines, etc. We waste 10-15 minutes fumbling. My solution this morning - I called US person on my landline and used skype with my mic/speaker. I put the phone right up next to the microphone to create the bridge between phone and VOIP.
This makes we wonder - is there a free conference call service that has an international bridge line that people call skype into -- that does what I did in the photo above? If there isn't a free service, is there a fee-based? What to find out? What to recommend?
Today is Stop Cyberbullying Day
Here's what some nonprofit technology bloggers posted - Paul Lamb, Allison Fine, and Deborah Finn. There's a lot of resources, ideas, and discussion over at Stop Cyberbullying Site. A few blogosphere posts offering advice about online safety and what you can do help stop cyberbullying can be found here.
For Next Week's NpTech Tag Summary
NTC is just days away! Are you thinking about what sessions to attend or arranging to meetings with colleagues? For next week's summary, I'm going to be using a different aggregator called index cards. If you're at the conference, hand me an index card the URL of a web resource that you discovered in a session or informal conversation, write a brief description, and hand it to me while at the conference. I'll come with extra blank index cards. (I'm sure there will be plenty of pens at the Science Fair.)
Marnie Webb asks "Have you seen the Technology Innovation Fund projects?" If you have project that you've been holding in your back pocket, consider adding it!
The Nonprofit Blog Exchange shares Roundup #9
The Getting Attention Blog hosted a Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants on the topic of Professional Development for nonprofit marketers. Another interesting post about going from blogging for professional development to Social Networking as professional development.
Gavin Clabaugh's annual PotLatch Program (a regular giveaway of gently used hardware and gadgets) has come and gone. (You have to be an NTEN member to participate and you have to be the first one to email Gavin.) Looks like Zen and the Art of Technology scored the Sony Vaio Picturebook laptops ...
The Digital Diner has an excellent post on photo management tools and the limits of consumer projects in an enterprise setting. Or more specifically, the limitations of using tagging in managing large collections of photographs in institutions. The post goes on to describe a Digital Asset Management System.
Michael Stein (East Coast) tells us the difference between membership management software and crm.
Susie's Blog (winning hearts and minds over to FOSS) is on a jargon busting binge and has found a wiki that explains what all the alphabet soup of acronyms in the nonprofit sector in the UK means.
The Democracy in Action Blog has a wonderful post about the most common typos that people make. This queen of typos enjoyed that post quite a bit!
The sampling of some of the top rated resources this week:
Digital Storytelling, Media, and Communications
TechSoup hosted an online event about digital story telling. If you missed it, some good articles here and here.
Donorpower Blog tells us to learn how to write differently
The Bamboo Project gives up the round up of places to find great multimedia content online. There's also dogooder.tv where you vote for one of the finalists in the NTEN Video Content or watch a machinima about Nonprofits in Second Life.
David Wilcox gives a killer keynote at the UK Nonprofit Technology Conference Pathways to Success. He blogged his slides, a video, and some reflections. General conclusion: culture shift before tech adoption, keep it simple, small steps, and focused on real needs. (It may be the basics not social networking tools.) Be sure to read the Third Sector Foresight Report on how nonprofits can best use social media and social networking - which was distributed at the conference.
Katya Andresen's post titled "Dying Man Throws Himself From Plane to Raise Money" is attention grabbing way to say, "I would like to see more sessions at fundraising conferences on 'how to ask donors to ask for money."
The Giving Carnival: Edition 5 was about how to measure social impact. Hot debates follows in another post on charity evaluation and metrics over at Tactical Philanthropy blog suggested that we forget on a metric to measure "Total Good Accomplished" and focus on real measures. Others suggest that numbers alone don't tell the story. What do you think?
Where Most Needed blogs about the Combined Federal Campaign
Phillip Smith has a thoughtful post about the continuum of change ranging from entitlement to enterprise.
Web2.0 Tools and How They're Used
Ning is a platform that allows you to create your own social networking site. Next month, Gina Bianchini, the co-founder, will present at Net Tuesday in SF. We've already spotted a number of ning generated nonprofit related social network sites (Cool n Conscientious, Stop Cyberbullying, Library 2.0 and Classroom 2.0) Here's an interview Robert Scoble did with the Gina Bianchini where she demos how to set up your own social network.
Whether your thinking about getting a presence on a large social networking platform like facebook or myspace or a more focused network on ning, Green Media Toolshed tells us why your group should be on a social networking site and some tips - both posts live blogged notes from the New Organizing Institute.
Random Thoughts on Life and Work points us to an excellent resource on wiki adoption patterns. Has anyone put any of the advice into practice? What did you learn?
Check out scrapblog which lets you create a colleage of your photos online similar to a scrapbook page. Can anyone think of a good reason why a nonprofit would use it?
Slide Show from the Founder of Digg about Crowd Generated Media
New (to me) Blogs
1cent thoughts on NPTech is another anonymous nonprofit blogger and has a post "Is technology meant to be more than a set of best practices?"
Important Projects - the organization just turned three, but I've only just discovered the blog.
Mind Bloggling is blogging community designed to provide a safe space for poeple experiencing the effects of mental ill health.
Technorati Tags: stopcyberbullying
via en email from Andy Carvin. I like this call to action!
I just wanted to post a reminder that today is Stop Cyberbullying Day, and we're mobilizing a global
conversation about the various forms of online harassment and what we can do to combat them. Hundreds of bloggers have posted on the subject already, and I expect there will be many more over the course of the day.
How can you participate? Here are a few suggestions.
- Post something online. Whether you want to blog, vlog or podcast about it, we encourage you to
contribute something to the discussion today. It can be a personal story about cyberbullying, a collection of resources, advice you want to share - whatever you want. Then be sure to tag it "stopcyberbullying" so we can aggregate it.
- Have an offline conversation with someone about it. Talk with your families, your colleagues, your
students, your neighbors - we could all benefit from a frank discussion about online harassment.
- Participate in the Stop Cyberbullying social network (http://stopcyberbul
lying.ning. com) Since there's no way we can do justice to the issue in one day, we've set up this online community where people can share resources and talk. There's a growing number of videos and other resources related to cyberbullying, along with a feed of everything that's been tagged "stopcyberbullying.
- Learn more about the issue. You can learn more by participating in the social network, or you can visit
resources like www.cyberbullying.
org, www.stopcyberbullyi ng.org, www.ncsriu.org and
bullying.org, just to name a few.
- Follow the feed. As more people contribute their own content and tag it, the number of resources will grow. You can subscribe to the feed or follow it on Twitter:
st.com/digest3/ RBPBKDZEIH. rss
So please join me and countless other members of the online community as we join together and find ways to combat online harassment in all of its forms.
First off, I want to thank Andy Carvin for organizing this day and the ning site and leading by example - showing us how to take an issue and integrate the use of new social media tools! Looks other nptech bloggers and social networks are supporting this effort too! Hats off to Lisa, Jory, and Elisa (as well as to my fellow BlogHer CE editors) for posting such brilliant thoughts about this topic.
Andy's post yesterday describes how he is experimenting incorporating the use of Twitter into this campaign. He hasn't neglected the traditional tools either - yesterday he and I as well as Elisa Camahort were interviewed on the BBC about this issue.
This issue is so massive that it is going to take an ongoing effort from many different angles -- educatiing young people with help from teachers and parents as well as everyone who is using the Internet now - to model good behavior and continue to the dialogue around this. I also think that those who make the tools need to have awareness of this too.
As I think about my own children getting to the age when they will use the web, I'm trying not to get too depressed about what educators have said about this growing problem of cyberbullies over at the Stop CyberBullying site. Yet, I have only to click over to Vicky Davis and I'm inspired.
Here's her advice for educators, students, and parents on how to stop Cyberbullying Today!:
- JOIN the Stop Cyberbullying networkto create a central repository of information that is rated and reviewed by educators and to discuss what works. View it like the front lines establishing a form of communication. (If the network is blocked, I've got a template on my blog that you can mail your IT person to ask for it to be unblocked.) After joining, post hyperlinks or review and comment on the resources of others, join the conversation.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF - Read how your school can respond to and prevent it over at Stop Cyberbullying.com (and how to tell the difference between harrassment and cyberbullying from a legal standpoint.) Take some of the free lessons at Wired Safety. Listen to Wes Fryer's podcast (or read his wiki ) about Cyberbullying. You can listen to the whole podcast, or if you are short on time,read the highlights that I have annotated and listen to the clips you choose. (I did this using Innertoob -- a great way to grade podcasts, by the way.)
- SHARE -Plan to show this video to your students during the next several weeks and talk about the importance of telling someone when they are being harassed online. (You can also see a wealth of other videos collected at the Stop Cyberbullying Network)
- REPORT - Every little BIT helps. When you see someone inappropriately attacking another blogger either on comments on or a blog, say something! (Often we DON"T see it because of comment moderation.) We often don't say things because we are afraid. Afraid that some "nut case" is going to come after us. However, if we agree that we will all band together and speak up. If we are afraid to "stand up," Wired Safety has a Cyber 911 tipline that you can also use.
- SPEAK - Use a badge from Scott McLeod on your blog and hyperlink it to http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com, or just copy the link and image from the picture. Post and share the facts from the experts and tag it <a
href="http://www.technorati.com/tag/stopcyberbullying" rel="tag" >stopcyberbullying</a>. Speak up in your sphere of influence: the classroom, the PTO, the civic group, the government agency, the educators organization. Make sure this is a topic that your teachers learn about and understand. We must become a cacophony of s speaking out about how to be wise, civil, and successful online.
- BE AN ADVOCATE FOR WISDOM - When the leaders of the Dark Ages became afraid of thoughts and dissension, they burned books. We cannot afford to burn blogs (as ill-thought out DOPA would do) and the trail we have blazed into a new, more productive society through the Internet's new communication tools. The Human Genome project shows what amazing things can happen through collaboration. If we want important breakthroughs to happen faster, we must promote effective techno-personal and collaborative skills in the classroom. We cannot walk away and ignore the fundamental change in our society: Internet-enabled communications. Those who are vicious and hateful will not walk away from the Internet. It is imperative that the level headed and wise should not abdicate their responsibility to civilize the Internet and make it a safer place.
Some advice on what's needed on the Web/Blogopshere for the here and now for adults .... about civility!
Created by Scott Mcleod
David Weinberger wrote about the lack of norms of behavior on the Web. He has suggested that we create a No Bullies Pledge - that is self-regulated similar to Creative Commons licensing and that clarifies the codes (or "rules of engagement") people already have on Web. He started a list of items that people wouldn't tolerate, although admittedly it is complex because of all the shades of gray and people's different levels of tolerance.
Here's a start:
1. Threats of physical harm.
2. Violent imagery.
3. Name calling.
4. Targeting a single person.
5. Ethnic, racial or gender slurs.
6. Bad language directed at a person.
7. Violent or threatening images.
8. Arguments directed at the person rather than at the ideas.
Marianne Richmond over at Blogher, comments
Online and off, we seem to have lowered our standards of civility. Perhaps we all need a good hard look in the mirror. Can we make our points, based upon their merits without using a label or an insinuation to discredit those who disagree; can we listen to an oposing point of view without feeling the need to silence the of disagreement?
The discussion thread on civility reinforces the complexity of this topic. As noted, there are people's difference tolerances levels as well as people's difference levels of self-awareness. There is also the fact that we're using text and we loose the body language that provides more context and meaning. One person's typed remark could be taken as a slur even if the person didn't intend it in that way or lacked some self-awareness in writing and self-control in posting it.
I also really appreciate how some bloggers have posted their own code of ethics. Liz Ditz shared her blogging principles and pointed to her inspiration from Lisa Williams. I've been struggling with writing something for this blog and I'm glad I have two excellent role models.
There is also a distinction to be made between cyberbullying and online sexual harrassment as Elana points out on BlogHer. Lisa Stone has reposted a piece she wrote several months ago about ignoring words that hurt. She also provides resources for reporting threats to police, where appropriate. She asks "Now, after the events of this week, what would you add?"
Technorati Tags: stopcyberbullying,
I'm pulling a few unrelated threads together here, mostly because it is one week before NTC and as my UK friends say, "I'm mental busy."
First, and foremost, tommorrow is Stop Cyberbullying Day, an excellent idea that Andy Carvin suggested in light of the Kathy Sierra incident earlier this week. If you have not already checked out the ning site that Andy put together, it's here. It's worth reading the discussions for the ideas being suggested as well as for the excellent resources being shared. I will draw on it for my post tommorrow.
Scott McLeod created some badges and over at the site there's more discussion going on about what message should be on the badge. I like this one with the bandaid, as I think the one with the horse is a little disrespectful.
This afternoon, along with Andy Carvin and Elisa Camahort, I was invited on the BBC as part of their World Have Your Say radio program, a face-paced talk show with Paul Coletti. The segment was on cyberbullying and the need for a code of conduct. (more here). Over on the Stop Cyberbullying Social Network Site, David Weinberg suggested a no bullies pledge, a sort of creative commons licensing for acceptable conduct. It is bringing to light how complicated this issue is and the subtle differences between cyberbullying and online sexual harrassment.
Here's an interview with Kathy Sierra with the local TV station.
Paul Lamb sent me a pointer to a cool video messaging tool called Eyejot that he had just posted about on his Cool 'n Conscientious, a social networking site dedicated to leveraging emerging information tools for social change. So, I felt it was appropriate to combine the message with the tool .... and I created a video message reminder for this post, but unfortunately the service is rather buggy and it didn't work!
Eyejot was the second example of video IM that I saw today. Rupert posted on the Vlogging list posted about twittering video blog messages posted from his cell phone. It's sort of complicated, but check it out. I just didn't have time to futz with it and besides don't have a mobile phone with a video camera.
While these video messaging tools have a cool factor, I'm also a little concerned about how they might be misused by cyberbullies. Are you?
Source Creative Whack Pack
Nancy Schwartz hosted this week's Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, a roundup on professional development. Bloggers (including me) answered this question "What's your method of continual personal learning?"
.... writing (all the time, all media, all topics), nurturing a community of peers as a network (mine's a combo of offline and online, folks in the field and in related fields), getting away from the desk to face-to-face meetings (irreplaceable) and finding your nonprofit marketing muse.
One of my muses is Roger Von Oech - the creative whack pack -- I've had a deck on my desk since 1992!
I found this visual from Bradley Horowitz via Rashimi Sinha's powerpoint from the IA Summit. I've been following her work for a while. This is an illustration of the next generation of the social web. People watching objects and having conversations about the tags. It looks like the participation rates are similar for other online communities.
Digital Storytelling: Using Technology to Create and Share Powerful
What digital storytelling is, and how you can use it tell
March 28-29, TechSoup's Community forums
Open Source Cinema is the web platform for the creation of a feature documentary film about Copyright titled Basement Tapes. Through the film, I'm examining how our concepts of "intellectual property" have been radically altered by the Internet. The film will use music as a lens to examine the greater issues of gene patenting, bio-piracy, medicine, and the ownership of culture. Its also going to be a lot of fun - I'm filming with Negativland, GirlTalk, The Freelance Hellraiser, DJ Food, John Oswald, Mark Viddler, and Lawrence Lessig among many others.
This film is open source - and thats why I created. OpenSourceCinema.org to help make it. Footage I shoot during the production of the film will be released under a Creative Commons license on the site - and I'm asking for key remixes to be created by participants like yourselves. I've created several "requests" for videos to be created around key topics - using footage I've shot, your own, or footage found online.
And finally - I'm looking for videoblogs from creators like you. I want your opinions on the issue, as raw or refined as you see fit. My first challenge is in acknowledgment of March being Boycott The
RIAA Month: The RIAA theme song by the New York Times' David Pogue. I've started the first karaoke version - you're next!
They’re a lawsuit machine.
They say so what
If you’re only thirteen?
And you know what?
They were equally mean
To an 80-year-old grandma!
You’ve just been sued by the R.I.A.A.!
You’ve just been sued by the R.I.A.A.!
Their attorneys say, you committed a crime, And there’d better not be a next time!"
With videoblogging week coming up - I'm hoping some of you might use this as one of your days entries! Stealing is, after all, a deadly sin.
To see what's going on - http://www.opensourcecinema.org - there are tons of videos and clues and opportunities for collaboration.
The film is going to be released in 2008 - online, on TV, and in theatres as well. I'm blessed with a co-production with the National Film Board of Canada (www.nfb.ca), which is Canada's cultural film
agency. They're excited to see the film spread as far and wide as
Since I started video blogging, I have used the mpeg setting of a cheap digital camera - a Cannon SD800. It's a wonderful camera, don't get me wrong. I love it. But, after working around limits to production values, I've been looking at other options. I'm terrified of getting a big professional level camera - and can't afford it anyway. So, what I thought might be the next incremental step:
And, it had to be less than $750, ideally $600. I did a lot of research ... The latter wasn't possible or not until I sell my current beloved camera on ebay. I am now the proud owner of a Sanyo HD2. Yipee! I couldn't wait until ...
It arrived. I opened the box. How exciting ... but wait a second. This camera is actually a video camera and it is way different from what I'm used to ... now I figure out how to use the damn thing!
How do you go about learning a new camera ... some people just pick up and shoot and they are instant experts. I'm not like that .. I'm going to use the following strategies:
You don't have to read the rest, just crap for my learning journal:
-Used normal mode
-Used external mic - volume set too loud in camera - need to adjust or do editing.
-They were out of battery chargers, that sucks ..
I am delighted that I have an article, An Introduction To Screencasting published over at Idealware. Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not blogging to this for self-promotion. I'm screaming it from the rooftops to thank Laura Quinn for her editorial insights and for publishing it! And you know what? She didn't pay me. And you know, I just made a (small) donation to Idealware to say thank you. If you find the content on Idealware of value, go over there and make a donation.
And speaking of screencasting, my screencast about tagging just made the TechSmith "Screencast of the Week" and I just got a big box of swag too, including some free demo CD's , that we'll hand out at the NTC Screencasting Session next week.
Reprint of article Download Idealware_reprint_retooling_screencasting.pdf
Yesterday, I was digusted when I read this post from Kathy Sierra about why she had cancel a speaking engagement. Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying is a real issue, impacting many women (and men) online - not just the high profile a-list bloggers. I'd like to point you over to two good posts that aim to help educate everyone about this serious issue.
Lisa Stone at Blogher has responded to the situation here with a post called "Hating Hate Speech: Safety for Kathy Sierra and All Women Online." In that post, she points to an excellent piece she wrote back in October called "What to do when you're cyberstalked, taunted, or abused online?"
Andy Carvin has taken another approach, declaring this Friday as Stop Cyberbullying Day.
Of course, one day isn’t enough to change everything. And there are other days of the year where other people are fighting to raise awareness, like Safe Internet Day. But it’s a start. And perhaps we can use some of our energies that day to discuss what we can do to make online safety a topic that we deal with on a regular basis. So I’ve created an online social network called Stop Cyberbullying using a free tool called Ning. Anyone who joins can post resources and share ideas, including text and video. I’ll also use the site to aggregate a stream of what people are doing in support of Stop Cyberbullying Day, assuming people accept my challenge to take action on Friday.
Technorati Tags: stopcyberbullying
Stacy Surla invited me to participate remotely at the IA Summit taking place this weekend in Las Vegas on a panel about IA in Second Life and informal poster session to introduce Second Life to IA folks.
The photo above is from the poster session and shows what my screen looked like logging in remotely from in the Boston area ... I had skype with a video camera and Second Life application opened (which kept crashing my computer.) We briefly visited Boracay Island - designed by Nick Noakes and the home of communities in practice (and the Vecop group). You can see the back of my avatar in the green skirt, the male avatar is Josh Knauer, and my colleague, Susanne Nyrop from Denmark who we bumped into while wandering around Boracay Island.
That "bumping into" situation happens a lot on Second Life and is one of the good qualities ... the networking piece that happens.
The next day, the formal panel session, was a very strange experience because I wasn't able to see what was going on the room. Also, my audio was very garbled and my skype and Second Life were a bit too much for my computer and it crashed. (several times) Nonetheless, Stacy told me later in an email:
Though from your end it might have seemed like a bit of a muddle, the panel was a great success. The room was full, there were lots of questions during and after the session, and there's been a strong buzz at the conference about what's going on in Second Life ever since.
The highlight of the session was while sitting in the beautifully designed IA Summit Office (there's a Herman Miller rug there), a female avatar walked up and said hello. It was Peter Morville! Alas, no photo as my computer just couldn't handle anymore stress at that moment.
Lori Bell, from information island, gave us an overivew of her impressive work -- and growth of library activities and programming. I spoke briefly about nonprofits in second life and techsoup efforts, although I had some audio/technical problems. Josh Knauer showed some highlights of the newly opened Commonwealth Island that one of ten islands that make up the information island chain. He also spoke about the his vision of integrating data from 2d and 3d spaces (from what I could hear as my audio was garbled). I also wasn't able to see what he was actually showing the screen - a very strange user experience to say the least!
A little later, I ran into Josh in world and he took me on a little tour of Commonwealth Island. The part that I found most amazing was the the interface design of a VR space inside of Second Life that integrates google maps, RSS, and Second Life. You have to really experience it to understand it ..
So, here we are in the map room - a 3D google map space. The dots represent data - some brought in by RSS feeds pertaining to geocoded stories from that area or you can click through to a web site. Next, we entered the VR Room. Think Omni Theatre in an immersive world space. Anyway, there was a navigational interface that allowed us to project an environment and actually walk through it. There were natural environments, urban environments, and inside environments. Here we are inside a gallery, I think. (It felt like the Mary Poppins merry-go-round scene to me.) I explored several different environments, including this restaurant. I was able to get inside a painting too!
Aside from the gee whiz cool factor and not to mention the fact that it is very early adopter, this interface has some amazing potential for cutting edge educational projects, musuem exhibitions, or simulations.
Update: Read Stacy's blog post aobut the panel here.
Technorati Tags: iasummit2007
Several months ago, Alan Levine (cogdog blog) put up a video in YouTube called "I didn't Know You Could Do That With YouTube" for a K-12 technology conference. I responded with this video. The videos were part of an educator's group and there was this response from Karen Richardson and expressed frustration about how YouTube is blocked. This got me curious about the educational content on YouTube and Harry and I did some guided research for clips about earthquakes related to a school project. I was thinking at the time, wouldn't it be cool for a youtube just devoted to instructional and educational videos? Like the ones I'm interested in making and sharing.
I discovered "TeacherTube" last night:
TeacherTube is an online media property for people to watch and share Education videos worldwide through a Web experience for everyone.
I got very excited because the first thing I stumbled upon was a screencast on using the free capture tool camstudio which I just added to my screencasting primer! About ten minutes later, in an act of kismet, I got an email via YouTube from a teacher at middle school asking me to join TeacherTube and upload my videos. I went back and discovered the video from CoolCat Teacher.
Flickr photo from handsome monkey
When I saw the title of this post, "I'm Engaged,"
I thought he was talking about the report that The Network Centric
Advocacy Blog mentions as a must-read for advocacy and communication
staff called Activation Point ....
A Few NpTech Conversations .....
Social Network Fragmentation
Social network fragmentation? Social networking burnout? Will this lead to niche social networks that are more relevant to people's interests? Can such networks acquire the critical mass to provide meaningful and new connections? What are the engagement strategies - how to move from monologue to dialogue? Some recent nonprofit tech posts addressing this topic here, here, here, and here. No doubt an ongoing conversation with lots of experiments. What do you think?
Netsquared Net Tuesday next week in SF is about "How Nonprofits Can Use And Build Online Social Networks," featuring speakers from Change.org and Ning. Meanwhile, a few scholarly articles on the topic.
How and Why Nonprofits Are Using Web2.0 Tools ...
Sandra Dickinson has started an interesting discussion thread over at her Netsquared blog about adoption of blogs and wikis in an organizational context and how these tools further organizational mission. Emily, of the World Grows Wide blog in Australia, responds with a detailed account of her organization's experience. She shares some of the internal conversation her colleagues on staff and their differing views:
It took a little more work to convince my co-workers [about web 2.0 tools] - it was a very interesting exercise, because it revealed the different ways of thinking about technology that we had. For me, the web and 2.0 is very flexible and organic, able to develop and evolve and fit different shapes you can mould it into. For others, the concept of “public information” had connotations of finality, something you couldn’t withdraw, something that once out there was set in stone.
Also found in the NpTech tag stream and a good backdrop to this conversation is "When the best tool for the job ... isn't" from Kathy Sierra. Recently, there's been some research of adoption of these tools in the corporate sector (here and here) And, if you're looking for a hands-on activity to introduce blogging to staff members, check this out.
Michele Martin's recent conversation starter, "Is the Scarcity Mentality the Biggest Barrier to Social Media in Nonprofits?" prompted some discussion. Michelle Murrain responds as do others. A few comments over at Kikono too.
What does web site stickiness mean in the context of Web2.0?
Seb Chan, of the Fresh + New Blog, raises an interesting question about web site stickness in a web2.0 context:
How are museums encouraging stickiness and user investment in their proposed and in some cases, already developed, post 2.0 era websites. I expect it isn’t always going to be a ‘build it and they will come’ situation unless museums can get the ’stickiness’ factor right with their target audiences. This is where I can see great merit in Jim Spadaccini and others work with smaller museums and non-profits, choosing to harness already existing, and already ’sticky’ social media rather than try to develop their own (competing) ones. Fundamentally the question is “why does someone spend so much time in a game world customising their avatar?”. And, “how can we get them to do that on our site as well?”
Jon Stahl's link list points to an article called "The Question" - The number-one question lurking in every executive’s heart: boils down to this: Just what should I be doing with my Web site to engage with my customers? You know what? Nobody has the answer.
Finally an interesting question over at Netsquared from Cauzoo, "Bells and Whistles, Do They Help you Get Heard?" Some commenters suggest that bells and whistles are mostly for early adopters who can build a lot of buzz and help a site reach critical mass, although clever functionality is not a replacement for good content.
The Google Powered Nonprofit Office
Here's a few how-to articles about how to use google applications for your domain or how to become the on demand nonprofit. Miles Maier has been blogging about his Web Office experiment for the past month or so. He wrote up in his findings in an article here, following a link from down under! Are there other experiments going on? What are the results?
The Give and Take Blog raises a question "Are anonymous blog authors as credible as those who write under their real names? and points to a debate between two blog authors, one who uses their real name and the other who doesn't. Several commenters offer very good easons why they don't use their real names. There are other nonprofit bloggers who do not use their real names. (See below)
Building on Each Others Ideas
Heather over at the Aspiration Blog hosted this week's Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants which includes a good roundup of advice. Next week's Carnival will be hosted over at Getting Attention Blog and it's on the topic of professional development. You can submit something here.
Britt Bravo wrote a post called "Ten Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs and Bloggers" a while back. The Donor Blog condenses it into two ways! One of the ways is via strategic commenting and here's a terrific video tutorial on the topic or this terrific tips article from problogger.
The Pulling My Hair Out Blog, an anonymous nonprofit blogger, is preparing a proposal for the organization's ED about Web2.0 and asking for ideas.
Steve Anderson continues his series on donation process maps
Marshall Kirkpatrick points us a tag 'PrezConference" for YouTube users to record their questions for the candidates on YouTube. Ruby Sinreich gives a report about Hillary Clinton's Second Life Campaign Headquarters.
Democracy in Action Blog tells us how to use tagging and widgets to share jobs in their community. (One hopes that once the CyberYenta solves her blogging platform issue, she'll jump on a job posting widgets for that nonprofit job list ...)
Top Rated Resources at Kikono
Time to Nominate Projects, Vote for Videos, and Charity Badge Contest!
You have until April 6th to nominate a project to be featured at the Netsquared 2007 Conference. Details are here
Vote for the Best Nonprofit Video!
Check out the top ten charity badges over at the Six Degrees -- the contest is in the home stretch.
Searching between the cracks
There are so many different places where nptech resources are being aggregated and thanks to Yahoo pipes many variations on the meta feeds that occassionally you discover little pockets of resources that either get lost in the flow or don't make it into the main fire hoses for one reason or another. Here's a few:
Web 3.0: When Web Sites Become Web Services from the Read/Write Web
Google Social Edge Search searches 35 sites, including : omidyar.net, compumentor.org, techsoup.org, bblocks.org, idealist.org, rpcv.org, etc.
Susie's Blog, winning hearts and minds over to FOSS, points to an interesting article about how to convince management to approve free software. The Nonprofit CMS blog shares some agruments against Open Source.
Check this out - NTEN's Wikipedia entry!
Perfect Password generator.
The 5 Site Guide Web 2.0 recommends that to learn more about social networking, you need to get hands-on and provides five places to do so.
Where Most Needed blog lets us know that Google has acquired a fun statistical visualization tool from a Swedish nonprofit.
A wiki filled with information and presentations about Second Life in Higher Education.
With lots of conferences coming up in the next few weeks, head over to Techsoup and read these two articles - How To Deliver A Bad Presentation and How To Design A Bad Presentation.
New (to me) Blogs
Aidg blog is worth taking a look at - they're a number of social networking strategies.
Eric Eckl from BeaconFire Consulting has a really nice blog called Water Words That Work! I recommend reading the report "A Network of Networks: Email Lists, Nature Protection, and Pollution Control" it explores the value of email lists as well as next-generation online communities like Digg, YouTube, blogs, and Flickr.
Nancy Schwartz is hosting the next Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. The topic is professional development resources and strategy for nonprofit marketers ....
I was totally going to ignore this Carnival, but the topic is one that is near and dear to me. It has also been insanely busy the last few weeks and I definitely need to remind myself of my personal strategies for keeping inspired when your to do list is way too long!
Continuous personal learning is very important to me. It keeps me happy, healthy, and creative. I view it like exercise or brushing my teeth, a necessary daily activity. It takes a certain mindset or perhaps lack of discipline to step away from your madly insane deliverables and give yourself the permission to think and reflect in the face of deadline.
Now matter how pressured I'm feeling or whatever ugly deadline is looming over my head, I try to set aside about a half-hour a day in the morning for reflection. Sometimes this is just a morning walk in the woods or other times this just quiet time to hit the pause button and take a deep breath.
Over the past 15 or so years, I've had a little bit of an obsession with creative and visual thinking processes. I've read about, studied, and practiced many different methods. So, I like to choose one of the techniques and an idea and just play with it. I might draw or mindmap these ideas or just to write out some thoughts. These don't necessarily appear on my blog (sometimes they do).
Some people don't know this about me, but at one point was accepted into art school -- illustration. I went to music school instead, but I still find that drawing my ideas helps me reflect and think. So, sometimes my morning time is spent sketching out some ideas.
Lately, I've been revisiting some of the techniques I learned from Micheal J Gelb's How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci which is almost ten years old! Here's an example of one of the techniques - the 100 questions. You rapid fire write out 100 questions about something that you are curious about. Then you reflect on the questions by grouping them into patterns. Sometimes new insights occurs, and sometimes not. I'm also a big fan of Roger Van Ock's work, particularly his creative thinking strategies. Yes, I have a creative whack pack by my computer.
Finding the right mix of channels for professional development is a balancing act. I would like more face-to-face opportunities where you can discuss issues with colleagues in an informal way. I don't get enough of that.
I consume a lot of content via the Internet. I find lots of inspiration in reading blogs, perhaps it is like having a conversation with someone. I'm also an information addict and love browsing and organizing and aggregating resources. That sounds totally weird, I know. The face-to-face gatherings that I find most useful are the local meetups of bloggers and video bloggers. I've had incredibly conversations with people and meet all kinds of interesting people with similar interests as much. I try get to a conference at least once every other month and I'd go to conferences more often if budget and time permitted.
If I could create the perfect professional experience, I'd like a year of independent study and field trips. Okay, this is the fantasy part ... What's a field trip? You go visit an organization or place where you admire what they are doing and visit for the day or whatever. I'd create a video blog/blog journal about this and spent a few hours on-site interviewing people and then writing informative articles. These would be mostly for me, but I imagine they might be of interest to others.
Leonard Gagnon's daughters knitting from John Collier, Jr.
(used with permission)
This photograph is part of The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr. online exhibit developed by the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and Ideum. If you click through to the license, it says "all rights reserved." So, I thought I'd use a screen capture of the photo inside flickr instead, but wasn't sure whether I could.
I picked up the phone and got a hold of Jim Spadaccini, founder of Ideum, whose blog post I discovered via a discussion thread on flickr and museums on the museum technology list. Jim laughed and told me that the photo was in the public domain so I could blog it anyway I wanted and that he was going to change the default license. Here's the description of how they used flickr for the exhibition.
In designing and developing The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr. website with The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology we’ve found ourselves spending a lot of time in Flickr. The Collection of photographs found on the site are pulled in from Flickr using a Flash-base mashup. The Shooting ScriptColonizing Social Spaces, looked more broadly at the benefits and drawbacks of museums utilzing social networking sites. In this post, I’m going to look exclusively at Flickr and our experience with the American Image site. activity works in similar way: pulling out John Collier Jr’s images as well as those of other Flickr members. An earlier post, Colonizing Social Spaces, looked more broadly at the benefits and drawbacks of museums utilzing social networking sites. In this post, I’m going to look exclusively at Flickr and our experience with the American Image site.
Jim told me that initially more people had viewed the photos in flickr versus the exhibition web site. He also mentioned that the commenting on the photos was fascinating and that they even got an email from someone who knew the Gagnon's family that the name was not correct! We chatted about some patterns of Web2.0 adoption that we've both observed, but I'll save that for another post.
This discovery emerged from a question the Museum list about using flickr in a museum context. It started with a question:
I am looking into ways to share images with colleagues within my institution, as well as deliver images in various resolution / formats with scholars, publishers, etc. elsewhere in the world. I realize that ultimately we need to set up something via our website, or some type of ftp. In the meantime I am looking at Yahoo's flickr. Do you have experience with it, or can you think of any particular reason why not to use this? In a way it looks to me like a very good temporary solution, but it might be too good to be true.
Some responders suggested ways that one could "lock down" the photos -- that is make them only viewable to friends and family so that others couldn't view them. In this way, photos could be shared internally without worries.
Other responders noted the value of sharing museum photos via flickr. Nina Simon from the Museums and Web2.0 shared her blog post about "Why Museums Should Use Flickr At Work" Mike Rippy, from the Indianpolis Museum of Art, pointed to a flickr group that staff and visitors use to share photos of the grounds. Bruce Wyman from the Denver Art Museum shared this:
Okay, since we're talking about Flickr, here's a link to a protoype that we did recently.In the final version, the application pulls images from flickr.com that are tagged "denver+art+museum" and screened for certain licensing types. These images form a visual cascade with periodic images randomly coming to the foreground and an attribution appearing beneath the image. Interspersed with the random playback are additional content images (in this instance displaying a graph of the results of a quiz taken at an event a few fridays ago) which can either be static or dynamically created -- web pages, text feeds, video overlays, etc. In the final installation, which will be projected in a different location, we'll also have a small panel of text that describes the experience and that the images are coming from flickr.com. If people want to participate, all they'll need to do is start uploading their images to the site. At the event a few weeks ago where we were running the prototype, we were unknowingly using someone's images that was at the event. He saw them, was blown away, and loved it.
This brings full circle to the Nonprofits and Flickr Affinity Group and question that was posted by the thoughtful Heather Gardner-Madras:
My question here though is about the legal and other ramifications of using a photo found on Flickr. Where the photographer is unknown but willing to give permission but may no longer have access to the subject to obtain a model release. Not so much “can I use photos I take at events for my organization” but “can I use found Flickr photos on my projects legally and ethically with the photographer, but not necessarily the model’s permission”? The issue gets even stickier with photos of adorable children, of course.
The use of conference photos is an interesting problem, but I think it would be separate from my original inquiry – or maybe not? My understanding is that as long as there is no expectation of privacy (public event =public view) then there is not much legal standing for the people in the photos to complain.
However, I am sure the nonprofits I work with wouldn’t want to offend anyone or cause themselves any headaches trying to prove that to an angry parent whose child shows up on a site about AIDS for example. If the photographer has informed the organization that there is no model release it is their responsibility to justify usage. What should be their guidelines on this?
My other question was whether use as part of the imagery on a non-profit web site constitutes editorial or advertising usage. Not many nonprofits feel that they fit into the commercial category but in this instance they might be considered so instead of educational – even though they exist to say educate the public about an issue. Anyone wrangled with these types of definitions before?
I think natural photos of real people often speak to the issues and engage people far more than posed stock photography ever could. And most groups don’t have professional photographers available so quality photos by amateurs on Flickr seem like a wonderful solution. There are some great photos out there in Flickrland and I would love to use them as long as its on the up and up – oh, the whole social media access to new resources is double edged for sure. Are they just off limits or does anyone have non campaign or organization member experiences to share?
I shot this question around to a few folks and posted on the Museum list, but have not gotten any answers. Does anyone have an opinion?
I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to tell you again that the Nonprofits and Flickr Affinity Group is meeting at NTC on April 4th at 1-3 pm. Come join us!
Jason over at Democracy in Action has created a job posting widget!
I'm so weak. Back to work.
Carr reports that some hard data is coming out this week on the adoption of Web 2.0 tools by companies:
Forrester released some results from a December 2006 survey of 119 CIOs at mid-size and larger companies. It indicated that Web 2.0 is being broadly and rapidly brought into enterprises. Fully 89% of the CIOs said they had adopted at least one of six prominent Web 2.0 tools - blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, social networking, and content tagging - and a remarkable 35% said they were already using all six of the tools. Although Forrester didn't break out adoption rates by tool, it did say that CIOs saw relatively high business value in RSS, wikis, and tagging and relatively low value in social networking and blogging.
Tomorrow, McKinsey will release the results of a broader survey of Web 2.0 adoption, and the results are quite different. In January 2007, McKinsey surveyed some 2,800 executives - not just CIOs - from around the world. It found strong interest in many Web 2.0 technologies but much less widespread adoption. McKinsey also looked at six tools. While it didn't include tagging, it did include mashups; the other five were the same. It found that social networking was actually the most popular tool, with 19% of companies having invested in it, followed by podcasts (17%), blogs (16%), RSS (14%), wikis (13%), and mashups (4%). When you add in companies planning to invest in the tools, the percentages are as follows: social networking (37%), RSS (35%), podcasts (35%), wikis (33%), blogs (32%), and mashups (21%).
hat tip Seb Chan
Michele Martin has an excellent article called Is the Scarcity Mentality the Biggest Barrier to Social Media in Nonprofits? She explains what scarcity thinking is and puts it into the nonprofit context. She also lays out some excellent questions as related to nonprofit adoption of social media:
- Is it possible for an organization to operate in a culture of scarcity and still embrace social media and Web 2.0? My guess is that they can't, except in the most superficial ways. It will either be shift to abundance thinking and really harness the power of social media or stay in scarcity thinking and make ineffective use of social media. I doubt that it's possible to really get collective knowledge and information sharing going when a scarcity mentality says that there isn't enough time, resources, energy, etc. to really make it happen. And I think that there's just a fundamental mismatch there that permeates organizational culture in ways I'm only dimly perceiving right now.
- Are many of these "perceived" barriers to knowledge sharing a result of scarcity thinking? Are these really barriers? Or is it just that we're missing solutions because we're so focused on "lack-of" thinking?
- How would our ability to find new solutions to implementing social media and knowledge sharing within organizations be changed if we shifted to an abundance mentality?
- What are the larger impacts of scarcity thinking on nonprofits? How do we miss possible collective solutions to problems because we're so focused on preserving our own piece of the pie? How do we miss the larger picture of the best ways to address our organization's social cause when we are in scarcity mode? I keep thinking about Begging for Change and about how so many of the problems that Eggers points out are really rooted in scarcity thinking. What's even more bothersome is that this scarcity thinking seems to move down the food chain into how clients are treated, which in many cases further deepens client dependence on nonprofits.
- What organizational and individual changes would we have to take to move from scarcity thinking to an abundance mentality? There might be some ideas here, here, and here.
I'm feeling a vague discomfort in exploring this line of thinking because I hesitate to appear too "New Age" and so much of what's available for exploration seems to come from the self-help aisle. But the more this all rolls around in my mind, the more I feel like there's something big here that I want to further explore. (Why do my biggest questions come up when I have the least amount of time to ponder them?)
I'd be curious to hear from others about this. Are there any resources you'd suggest that I look at? Any ideas that you have on whether or not I'm on the right track in thinking that this may be a fundamental barrier to true acceptance of social media?
Interesting article over at the icommons.org site called CC Licensing Practice Reviewed Alek Tarkowski, ccPoland It mentions an experiment in a dutch town where they removed the traffic signs or the rules. As noted in the article,
Once rules are removed, people become considerate. Lacking formal guidelines, they establish order intuitively - through gestures or eye contact.
It goes to point to some alternative viewpoints on cc licensing:
A similar argument is made by Niva Elkin-Koren in “Creative Commons: A Skeptical View of a Worthy Pursuit”, in which she argues that Creative Commons licensing, even if introducing an alternative and open licensing model, nevertheless “strengthens the hold of copyright in our everyday life.” The concept and mechanisms of licensing are introduced to people who would not previously consider copyrighting their works, and thus possibly commodify their creations. Creative Commons, writes Elkin-Koren, “may actually strengthen the rights discourse and the hold of property as a conceptual framework and regulatory scheme for creative works.”
He goes on to explain how creative commons works differently in theory and in practice:
If there is an “iron cage of copyright” clamping down culture, as the criticism goes, then schemes like Creative Commons, piggy-backing on top of the copyright system, are inadvertently helping to build that cage. There is truth to this argument - but only as long as we look at the Creative Commons licensing model as an abstract design. This picture changes, in my belief, once we look at actual licensing practices.
The truth is, we know very little about this, as there have been no rigorous studies of open licensing practice. All evidence we have at the moment is anecdotal. Yet even a quick look at the way content is licenced shows that licensors approach licensing in a much looser manner than intended. Looking at some random CC licenced examples, I’ve found content licenced without referring to the particular terms of the licence, as if a simple “Creative Commons licence” existed. I’ve found copies and derivative works used without proper attribution, sites with community-built content using the CC licensing scheme, but only partially, and the use of a different licence than the one providing intended freedoms and limitations, and so on.
To some extent these are mistakes, probably due to insignificant knowledge, and these errors that can be corrected with a bit of effort. But this is also a sign that licensors use CC licences in their own fuzzy ways - almost everything on the internet becomes appropriated by the users and it would be surprising if things were different with CC licences. What this ‘sloppiness’ suggests is that people using the licences are not the rational, calculating licensors that the above-mentioned critics assume they are, and the licences are used only to some extent, as the legal tools that they are designed to be.
The alternative licensing scheme in the form of Creative Commons licences is confusing even to many lawyers who specialise in intellectual property law. No wonder that it is an arcane matter for the average content creator – even though six CC licences doesn’t seem like a big number. People still get confused by licensing choices and often the decisions they make might not be rational. What’s left is the Creative Commons logo and name - and these are treated as symbols of certain values, such as openness and sharing. For many people the phrase “CC licenced” is more of a badge of affiliation to a social and cultural movement, than a label for a legal licensing scheme.