Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:management“

Tuesday Tips, Tardily: Wikis in Plain English

Another charming creation of Common Craft: Wikis in Plain English. A worthy successor to last month's RSS in Plain English screencast.

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Cultures of Learning

Michele Martin parses the differences between an organizational "culture of training" ("something that's done TO staff") and a "culture of learning ("something that's done WITH staff"), a follow-up to an earlier musing about the short-term cost an organization bears for investing in learning in which I spoke rather out of school (so to speak) by appearing in the comments section. Michele's content-rich, dialogue-inviting space is really one of the more enjoyable nptech hangouts around, and I like the way she's positioned some of the questions. Though I can't pretend to any particular expertise on the subject of learning as such, the issue speaks to me inasmuch as every important step in my life has come about from exceeding my brief -- and it's ironic to be scribbling this as I shuttle back and forth between a conceptual presentation on some of the more arcane and potentially powerful features in Salsa, our new toolset. It's like learning the platform all over again, and a striking juxtaposition since learning DIA -- and anything at all about online communication -- was itself a venture afield from my former day job of fundraising. At the time we pushed that boat into the water with a few dozen people on the e-mail list, there was no conceivable short-term justification from the organization's standpoint for the time involved, though from my own personal standpoint and that of the organization's long-term interests, it was more defensible. I don't have the slightest answer to Michele's probing, I'm afraid. But I think it's worth the read and the mulling.

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Tuesday Tips: RSS in Plain English Screencast

This isn't an original creation -- it's courtesy of Common Craft by way of Michele Martin -- but it's so good ...
There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start.

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The Persistence of Time

"For everything there is a season, And a time for every matter under heaven." -Ecclesiastes Seemingly that pitilessly neutral arbiter of our days, time -- or rather, the human relationship with it -- repeatedly reveals itself a contested terrain. The latest (albeit lesser) crater to pockmark that Sea of Tranquility is coming down the pike in the form of a U.S. Daylight Saving Time -- a controversial topic in its own day, and still a hot one in Indiana -- has been pushed up several weeks in 2007, to March 11 (and given a post-Halloween end date, to the delight of candy manufacturers).

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Tuesday Tips: Why Nonprofit Managers Must Use RSS ... And How to Start

It's come to the point where nonprofit staff who aren't using RSS aren't really doing all of their job. I know. I know. You don't believe me, and you don't care. You already use the Internet, so why take time you don't have to learn some new way to get the information you already get? Especially when the first thing an evangelist says about RSS is that it's actually like 11 different data formats and nobody can even agree what the acronym means? I know because I've been there. It was about 1995, and the .sig files people used on Usenet started saying "Visit my page on the World Wide Web!" I ignored it for months, because who needs some crummy new platform when I've got all the text-based newsgroups goodness my heart could ever desire? The answer, then as now, is that it will totally change the way you relate to information. It's like being myopic, and then putting on glasses. If you're resisting RSS, that's understandable. Only a minority of web users have adopted it, and that'll probably be true for some time. But it's the thought leaders, the proverbial creative class (dreadful term) that are using it ... and if that's the kind of organization you have or the kind of career you're building, it's time to get over that resistance.

If you're a nonprofit manager right now and you're not using RSS, you're falling behind.

You're not getting information -- about your cause, about your people, about your profession -- efficiently enough, which means you're not getting enough information, period. And someone else is getting that information, or will be soon.
  • Someone eyeballing your job.
  • Or your press release.
  • Or your grant application.
  • Someone competing with you for your constituents.
  • Or someone competing with your constituency for influence.
They'll know when someone writes about your issue or blogs about your cause or has something to say about your organization, and know it without refreshing dozens of links and scouring dozens of mailing lists so their hands are free for the other hundred things they have to do. If they know it, you'd better know it too. Luckily, it's easy as pie.

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"There's a Force in the Universe that Makes Things Happen ..."

"And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball your donor." In the mood for a bit of dress-up, Katya Andresen declares today "Be Your Donor" Day.
-Call your switchboard and see what happens when you ask for help or information -Call your 800 number, if you have one, and ask some average questions and make a donation -Send an email to your nonprofit’s donor services department (if you have one) and see if you get a cordial response

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