More Flickr Photos here.
Conference Tag: CU08
Warning: I am live blogging these notes as the conference unfolds. There will be typos and I'll clean up later
Morning Opening Session
Malcom Downes, Deputy Chairperson, CISA Inc. welcomed everyone
"The people on the end of your web site will be informed than the CEO. It is a challenging and exciting at the same time."
Doug Jacquier, CEO, CISA, Inc welcomed everyone and gave some context about CISA's growth and services over the past few years. This year's program is heavily weighted to the "social web" and nonprofits. Doug mentioned attending the NTC/NTEN conference in New Orleans and had RSS and Tagging ringing in his ears. He came back an evangelist for social media. He summarized some learnings from NTC sessions he attended and the keynote by David Pogue. He mentioned that "digital natives" get their information from their peers. They won't be reading your emails. He urged everyone to pay attention to this closely. He mentioned that I would be talking about Twitter and quipped ..."If you see me twittering, take me to the back and shoot me."
I did manage to get Internet access on my nokia N95 and couldn't resist Twittering his quip. Mike Seyfang responded.
Doug concluded his welcoming remarks with posing some important questions for the future for participants to reflect over the next few days:
- How do we keep a balance between the emerging and traditional technology so we keep in touch with digital natives and those who have limited connectivity?
- How would you organization cope with a natural disaster?
- With so much information coming out, how we can get our message out and heard?
- How do we effectively use and not abuse privacy?
- What if we demanded if everyone politician had a social web presence so we could poke them?
- What if we demanded that a basic low cost connection and computer and training were available to every Aussie who wanted it like the telephone?
- What if networked better and created stronger communities of practice?
- What if we were to audio and video record interviews with politicians and put them on the web?
- What if we faced up to really measuring the results of our work?
- What would ngos look like if they were completely virtual?
- What if organizations did not have government funding or pursue it? Good or bad thing?
- What if we demanded that if our equipment suppliers took environmental responsibility for their equipment?
- What is my responsibility to my organization - money, unique knowledge, ?
- What if you committed to leave this conference with a tangible commitment to changing one thing about the way your organization's operates.
Opened with his personal story about he got started with Networked For Good. He talked about his first personal fundraising campaign - for cancer research in his mother's memory. He introduced Networked For Good and the features. His presentation focused on the dollar side of the equation of online fundraising.
He believes that: "Inspiration + Know how + tools = you can change the world"
- The tools are just tools, but you need to add your network
- You need to get past the information overload and information clutter
- Nonprofits lag behind the corporate sector
- Introduced the concept of the Long Tail and the 80/20 rule. The corporate sector have adopted it. The nonprofit sector is the long snail - helping the 99% of nonprofits that are providing 50% of the services to obtain the resources.
- Networked For Good - Have shifted from just providing services. Told story about doing a workshop and someone said the product didn't work. No one clicks on the button. It isn't the technology, it is how you marry the technology with marketing know-how.
- CRAM = Connect, Reward, Action, Memorable - mentions Technorati as a tool to find your potential audience who have interest in your cause or programs.
- It's not about the nonprofit, it's about what they do for our stakeholders.
- Gave an example of Feet First: Bought a chicken suit and you had to help the chicken cross the road. Every local news station showed up. He got a donate now button and raised $10,000
- Six Degrees of Separatio: Cult of celebrity, user-generated content, online giving, and social networking.
- Seth Godin - Flip the Funnel concept -- get our supporters to leverage their networks. 1-5% are uber activists who raise the money.
- How to make it work: Popular, Easy, Rewarding, Fun, Cultivate, Tangible
- Why it works: conversation, authentic, story, translates into action -- how do I let go and let my supporters take hole of my messaging. Your supporters are better at it - let your supporters do it.
- Disaster Relief: Described their efforts for Tsunami and Katrina and mentioned efforts for Burma and China. News coverage is a major driver of giving. Impulse giving, slightly higher giving amounts.
What skill sets do smaller nonprofits need to have? What is the first step?
All of us engage our supporters in different ways. The very step is to get a piece of a paper and get their email addresses. There are offline ways to do it. Two basic skill sets: a.) Go to the places on the social web where you can find people who are passionate about your cause. b) marketing piece is not rocket science - get Katya's book. You don't need to hire a specialist.
What is the balance of government, private, and earned income?
Each of these sources are fickle. What they're doing at Networked for Good - trying to move away from reliance on foundation/corporate and moving to earned revenue. Think about your audiences and what revenue opportunities.
Do you think you have responsibility that money is donated through your network is well spent?
Yes, we screen organizations, but it isn't easy for us. We view this as a utility - it's a dial tone. We have definitions of legit nonprofit. It's a simplistic vetting process. What happens with the money - that's tough one to nail. Part of donor base is retail donor base - you give with your heart or your head. We're trying to help give with their head. We provide basic financial information. It is very difficult to measure impact. We're looking at we can look at impact on a customized basis. Looking at Ebay process - can measure the transaction and get user reviews. How did the transaction go - not the final service or product. There are some organizations that are filling the void. You can do something to help donor give with their head - for example Donors Choose.
Breakout Session 1
Jenny Kapp, Community Connections Australia - Get ConnectED: Weaving A New Social Web for People with Disabilities.
Jenny had us do some speed networking at the beginning session. She then asked us to talk in pairs about our experience with online networking and asked people to share.
- At the stage of staring at it from a distance
- Personal experience, to connect to younger groups
- Using Facebook and Linked but in the basic stages
Benefits for people with disabilities:
Improve health outcomes
Improved relationships with family
Availability of assisted technologies
Reactive design of the assistive technologies - behind what's actually happpening
Inaccessible hardware or software configuration
Lack of awareness of opportunities
Different needs of different people with different disabilities
"Inexperience in managing the complexities of social life has left may people with disabilities to engage with new technologies." from a study by two Australian researchers. Access is only the first part of the equation.
Web 1.0 was about access and Web 2.0 is about effective use and connect with other people.
Their project will have a way to facilitate online communication between people with disabilities and able-bodied peers using existing social networking utilities - ChiPs and MentorNet.
Jenny is about to pilot a 12 Week Training Program. The program introduces how to use the technology, but also social skills. They will be using Skype, Second Life, Facebook, and MySpace.
Blogging in Nonprofits: Two perspectives
Emily Turner and Priscilla Brice-Weller gave a point-by-point presentation of how their respective nonprofits have implemented blogs. The presentation covered the background, planning, organizational culture, tool selection, blogging, building an audience, and results.
-Valued open-source software that is cheap, flexible, easy and multi-featured. Free software, but expensive in terms of your time
-Set out with minimal (achievable) goals and guidelines (policy)
They differed in the audience building strategy and definition.
Emily Turner's organization used the blog to:
-Allowed existing audiences to discover enhanced services
-To better serve existing audiences
Priscilla Brice-Weller's organization:
-Made use of social networks to find new audiences for the blog (e.g. cross post blog posts on Facebook page, etc)
-Used blog to seek out new people who might be interested in their organization's cause
-Left comments on other people's blog so they will come back and take a look at the organization's blog
Live since January 2007
Achieving and expanding initial aims
Lots of subscribers most by email
Live since January 2008
Not yet achieving initial aims - thought they'd get a huge audience. Need time and patience.
Lots of visitors - 600 new visitors per month - but look at for trending.
* More work is required to assess how to engage both audiences and authors
* Success leads to internal organizational changes and more comfortable in ICT - start small project and build
* Understanding that change doesn't happen overnight
Are the blogs there because you can do it or does it help increase traffic? How do you track your subscribers?
You shouldn't have a blog for the sake of having a blog because you'll have content. The blog needs to address a need. If you think your organization needs a more personal voice, or if you need more people to provide content - both of these reasons are good ones for having an organizational blog.
If you don't have a blog, but want to engage. What kinds of comments do you make on other blogs?
You can leave your email address and url. Generally I wrote an honest comment and respond to what the blogger wrote. I don't promote our organization, but I do leave an authentic comment.
Do you moderate comments or not?
We moderate comments because of spam and word press has a good tool for spam, but you need to moderate. People use the comment fields to ask for grants -- try to filter out comments that are not on topic. It depends on whether the comment is relevant. Priscilla has to moderate comment because they don't want racist comments. They will accept all comments no matter of their view - pros or cons. They have a comment policy on their blog.
Does your organization give you any guidelines to your writers?
Priscilla has a set of simple guidelines for the bloggers. Does the post relate to the blog's goal, voice, and conversational voice.
Do you see yourself moving into video blogging?
It depends on whether it can really enhance the content about your organization.