Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:communication“

Salsa Weekly Highlight: Empower your supporters with mySalsa

by Leslie Hall

(From this week's Weekly Highlight email. Click here to sign up to receive it in your inbox every week!)

Greetings!

It's the "Salsa Weekly Highlight," your quick hit on what's new in Salsa to help get the most out of your online program. As always, you can find plenty more news, updates, and conversation throughout the week on SalsaCommons.org.

This week, online organizing got a little bit easier. Now, you can put the power of the Salsa organizing platform directly in the hands of your supporters.

mySalsa icon

mySalsa is a cutting-edge platform that wraps all Salsa's core features into an easy-to-use community portal empowering your people to connect with others and to:

  • host events
  • start groups
  • post updates
  • fundraise
  • ... and more!

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Salsa Weekly Highlight: Avoid Composing in Microsoft Word

by Leslie Hall

(From this week's Weekly Highlight email. Click here to sign up to receive it in your inbox every week!)

It's the "Salsa Weekly Highlight," your quick hit on what's what in Salsa to help get the most out of your online program. As always, you can find plenty more news, updates, and conversation throughout the week on SalsaCommons.org.

This week, I just wanted to remind you to avoid copying and pasting from Microsoft Word into Salsa (and probably into most any other online design tool you might use).

I know, I know. It looks like it should work. Lay out page in familiar Word interface, copy, paste it into web page or email blast. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, appearances are deceiving in this case.

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The Email Gnome: Shrink Your Images

by The Email Gnome

Welcome everyone, to the first installment of The Email Gnome. I’ll be giving you tips and tricks to make your email blasts faster, better, and more reliable.
 
Being a gnome, I’m a fan of all things small, and email blasts are no exception.

Small is beautiful.

The larger an email blast is, the longer it takes to send, and the longer it takes for your recipients to download. Large emails also increase the suspicion of spam blockers and filters, and increase complaint rates because of downloads timing out.

The optimum size for an email blast is under about 25 Kilobytes (KB), and the maximum size of an email blast is about 250 KB. As an example, a recent Friday Fiesta email was about 8 KB.

In terms of size restrictions, don't worry much about text: type away until your heart’s content, and you won't have to worry about your e-blast being too big. (I'd keep it brief, as your supporters are unlikely to want to read a novel in their inbox. But if they did want to, you could send an entire text version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and it would top out at only 177 KB!)

Where you really get into trouble is with pictures and images, especially the high-resolution ones that you or someone else took with a fancy digital camera. While these look awesome on your computer screen, they can slow email to a crawl.
 
Which brings us to today’s topic: image resizing.

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UCSD reminds you to target your e-mail blasts with care

by Jason Z.

Yikes.

UC San Diego -- a school for the smart ones, supposedly -- mistakenly congratulated nearly 29,000 applicants on their acceptance, according to university officials.

Earlier this month, about 17,000 student were offered admission for the fall, leaving nearly 29,000 hopefuls out in the cold.

But on Tuesday, the school's communications office said an e-mail was sent Monday afternoon to all 46,377 students who applied for admission -- including the 29,000 rejects -- welcoming them to the campus.

A half-hour later, school officials said, they realized their mistake. Almost two hours after the first note went out, a second e-mail was sent, apologizing to 28,889 freshmen applicants for the mistake.

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Small Accommodations for Technology

It's a tiny thing, after all. A little callus on the thumb, a little path worn through the garden ... the visible tokens of the concessions we make every day to plug a malleable soul into the life its fleshy prison shambles through. Most of the time, one only notices the smallness of one's niche within the range of human experience in the face of some jarring contrast. I caught myself in a bit of that the other day, and when I stepped back to examine it, it struck me kind of funny. We use a Jabber installation for internal IM, to which I connect along with various other services with Pidgin. My normal m.o., to keep my screen uncluttered, had been to shut down chat windows awaiting a pending response, counting on my correspondent to pop it open when and if they answer and I need to pay attention to it again. Jabber, as one can see, gives one's correspondent a rather brusque message that sort of thing is done. "Left the conversation"! Just imagine excusing yourself from a tiresome party encounter with a line like that. (Don't think I haven't imagined.)

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Projecting Credibility on a Website

What makes someone hitting your web page stick around, join an e-mail list, forward to a friend? This Slideshare presentation makes clear that design and content both play crucial roles in creating (or undermining) an appearance of credibility on a website. The research here is much deeper and could be of particular interest for anyone involved in a redesign ("Websites lose credibility whenever they make it hard for users to accomplish their task at hand"), but here are a handful of top-level takeaways of use for any nonprofit whatever their web presence or expertise:
  • Show your physical address -- proving the existence of a real organization that stands behind the site.
  • Don't link to non-credible outside sites ... but do link to source material for your claims, showing confidence in your positions.
  • Update often.
  • "Small errors like misspellings and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine."

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Tuesday Tips: A Dozen Tips for Sprucing up Your Website

(Susan Finkelpearl of former DIA roommates Free Range Graphics has this week's Tuesday Tips entry on a little spring cleaning for the web site. This post is also available as a .pdf, and will be one of her handouts at the Nonprofit Tech Conference this week. We could probably stand to take note of a few of these tips ourselves ... thanks, Susan! -jrz)
Have you given your website some design love lately? Here are some fast tips for taking your site to the next level. 1. Don’t forget the fold. Just as old-fashioned newspapers have a fold line, if a web page gets too long, people will have to scroll to see all of the content on the page. When designing your home and interior pages, make sure to put important items such as news features, donate buttons, and e-newsletter sign-ups above the fold, where they can be seen easily. 2. Be a creative conformist. The web works because key site elements appear in consistent locations across all well-designed web sites. While you want your website to have a look and feel that is unique to your organization, make sure you also follow design conventions. For example, people have come to expect that search bars be placed in the top right of a webpage while logos are most often in the top left position. Nine times out of ten you should stick with these conventions. Groups like Amazon play with these conventions, but again it’s generally wisest to plunk key navigational elements where people expect to see them. 3. Make your asks contextual. Don’t let isolated "donate buttons" do all the fundraising legwork on your site. Work donation asks into areas where you are telling the most compelling stories about your accomplishments. 4. Let thy people donate! When someone does click a donate button, reward them immediately with a donate form. Don’t make them click more or wade through a lot of copy before letting them help you. In fact, it’s highly recommended that the form be the default first page of your donate section.

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Get $15,000 in Communications Services from Free Range's Gratitude Grant

Our friends (and former landladies and -lords) down the way at Free Range Graphics are offering Gratitude Grant(s) for compelling progressive causes. Free Range -- the brains behind such design/marketing brilliance as The Meatrix -- tantalizes with the prospect of:
up to $15,000 worth of our communications services from our menu of core offerings: strategic communications consulting, organizational identity, print design, web design and Flash animation. Need to rally activists around an issue or capture critical media attention? Modernize your logo? Chart out an online fundraising strategy? As long as you have a concrete goal and a mission that makes a positive difference for our planet and its people, we encourage you to apply!

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