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May 2010

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John Powers

You're one of the smartest bloggers out there with some of the smartest commenters, so I saw "open thread" and was eager to see what people had written. I guess we're not used to open thread yet:-)

Perhaps the lack of comments also has to do with Twitter. I've avoided Twitter because I'm already too distracted. My imagination of it is rather like a continuous open thread.

I am interested in the ways that your interest in Cambodia is shaped by knowing Cambodians and your thoughts about cross-boundary collaborations.

Beth Kanter

Thanks for being first at the buffet. I should have twittered this thread ... and I was being really dumb posting it when I'm in a location with really crappy Internet access.

The trip to Cambodia over the summer was one of the highlights of my life. First, I got a chance to spend time with Sharing Foundation projects and met Leng Sopharath. That was amazing. I was also so inspired by meeting the Cambodian bloggers that I have been in conversation with for so long ..

What is really cool about cross boundary collaboration or information sharing -- is that you get out of your own assumptions. You get real insights that you're situation is different from other people.

I love the conversation around differences - while it is great to have virtual conversation .. that face-to-face is really important.

What do you think?


Here's an idea I'd like to think more about: social networking has support as a way of working, managing organizations, building non-profit base, fund raising etc. It's even entering classroom settings in many institutions.

I'm curious about how it can be used as a curriculum element in experiential learning programs outside the classroom. For example, would blogging from a backpacking program be bad or good for the student experience?

Thanks for the post - great idea!

Chrstine Martell

I would love to hear more about how you approach the rivers of information that you wrestle down into manageable streams for the rest of us. I know you have said you scan, but what types of things are you looking for? What do you do when you find something? How can you put your finger on the links to all the resources you use in a post? How can you search out all those perfect photos you chose? Do you have a photographic memory, or a perfect integration of tools assembled to help you?

I'd love to see you talk through your workflow, a screencast perhaps? Actually that might be a really interesting series across blogs.... Not the cleaned up perfect this is what I think I should be doing, but the unedited this is what I really do.

Beth Kanter

@hans you said, "It's even entering classroom settings in many institutions." Do you have some specific examples? Would you consider writing a blog post and tracking back or linking to this one?

Beth Kanter


I think I used to have a photographic memory .. when i was younger :-) I can remember stuff pretty well if I key a visual to it. But I can't alway verbalize in public. When I look at NpTech tagged items each week, I remember what I saw before and what is new. So, the stuff that I know is old stuff, I don't click through. If it is new, based on my memory I click through. Then, I have to do pattern analysis.

I wrote about pattern analysis here;

I also wrote about workflow about three years ago . need to revisit

Will definitely do a screencast .. but it might take a few weeks.

Also, my process is totally "artistic" not a GTD. Efficiency is sacrifed on the alter of inspiration/

Christine Martell

Thanks Beth, those posts are a great start of inspiration. I'm so glad you aren't GTD, then I really have hope of learning something really useful from you :)


As an avid follower, thanks for the open thread! One of my biggest challenges within our organization is teaching people to use technology, faced with our other priorities and time management challenges running an organization. While we have a lot of volunteers, not so many of them are tech-savvy. I've begun using screencast to try and teach our volunteers how to use our technology, but I just don't have time to keep all of our various presences up to date (youtube, flickr, our blog, our website, myspace, facebook, etc). We've managed to raise nearly 20,000.00 to support sending our youth bagpipe band to Scotland in August through various fundraising activities, and approximately 1,000 of that has come through online sources...but one thing that might be useful is a collection of "how to facebook", "how to youtube", "how to myspace", how to fundraise online, how to ...etc resources that I could point people at. I'm actually teaching people how to use email in some cases, so "real beginners" would be my need.

Thanks for your frequent opportunities to learn and for always sharing your thoughts and ideas in the non-profit tech world!

Northwest Junior Pipe Band

Beth Kanter


Thanks for commenting! I am thinking about Tim Davie's one pager guides - some of these might do the trick

Also, I have a lot of great resources on my wiki organized by tools

scroll down to the left to find the tip sheets organized by tool. There you'll find link lists.


Tim Davies

Hey Todd, Beth

Hopefully the one page guides can help. They've certainly been designed for that 'only just getting to grips with e-mail' audience.

I'll hopefully have some coming on social networking (Facebook, MySpace) and more video (YouTube) early next month - but always keen for others to play with the format and put their own together.

In terms of keeping different spaces up-to-date - I've found it useful to draw up quite a clear strategy on how information can flow from one space to another (Can your MySpace have embedded photos from Flickr that are auto-updating. Your facebook profile / page use an rss feed from your MySpace blog to pull in latest news etc.) It can often be tricky to work out given the different limitations of different platforms (outgoing RSS feed from MySpace blog but no incoming, finding the right facebook apps, finding feeds from YouTube etc.) - but can save time in the long run.

For open thread suggestions - it would be fascinating to see how different bloggers respond to the same 'brief'. Perhaps a real/fictional example of a brief for social media use - with a challenge to readers to propose/blog a strategy for taking it forward - listing both the tools they would use, and, importantly, how they would train the organisations and individuals to use them... Could generate some interesting discussion.


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