Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:nten“

NTEN on Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission

by Jason Z.

NTEN wrote a book, zippily titled Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders, with chapters by some of our favorite nonprofit consultants on strategic IT planning and implementation for nonprofits.

Many of those authors will be on a virtual release party-slash-free webinar this afternoon at 2 p.m. Eastern.  Rumor has it prizes are involved.

While we're on the subject of NTEN, its signature event, the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference, is just four weeks away in San Francisco.  The best and brightest in nonprofit technology from around the world will be there, so it's well worth the trek -- and always highly recommended as great value for anyone in the region who's never been to one before.  NTEN's blog has more to get you in the spirit, including interviews with presenters like Farra Trompeter.

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Missoula 501 Club Represents

Tags: 501 tech club  |  Missoula  |  nten

and so can your small town. I'm not writing to brag about the 20 folks who came out to our

501 Tech Club
at the 501 Lounge (yep, there's a swanky bar called the 501 Lounge). Or the 35 folks who came to our meet up last month. Or the 60 organizations who have expressed interest in the club.

Laugh it up big city dwellers. I know, these numbers seems small, but for towns with less than 100K (Mlsa is about 70K), these are great metrics.

I'm writing to encourage folks to in smaller towns to consider starting your own 501 Tech Club through NTEN as a way to create a supportive technology network. I've found NTEN to be a great umbrella organization that's worked for me to get techies and non-profits to mash and mingle. If Missoula, Montana can do it, I'm sure your town can do it too.

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Mission Over Membership in Online Advocacy

This is from an article posted by NTEN. It's a distillation of the panel I led at the NTC this year. Attending the NTC was loads of fun and well worth it - see you there next year, I hope! See full version here: Online advocacy at its best is about giving more citizens more power to act together in creating social change. At its worst, online advocacy is a fundraising technique and promotional strategy that can work, while generating some very negative inadvertent outcomes. Organizers working for the common good should do a better job of articulating good online advocacy strategies and resisting demands that our work be measured in dollars raised or a higher public profile. What we have at stake is not (just) the integrity of our cause or organization, but the effectiveness of our mission. Good organizing is like voting: it always has power, even after the 20th time. Bad organizing is like spam: today’s Viagra message is far less likely to get you to buy some, even though there is more of it out there than ever before. The conflict between the different ends of the online advocacy spectrum can be captured in a phrase: Mission over Membership.

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We'll Give You a Foot Massage If You Say Nice Things About Us

Tags: blog:crm  |  blog:nptech  |  blog:nten
It's your chance to talk about us -- or any other CRM tool -- behind our backs. NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network, is rolling out a CRM satisfaction survey. In a year of industry shakeout -- Convio gobbling up GetActive, and announcing plans to go public; Salesforce establishing an influential position; Kintera stabilizing but seemingly washing its hands of the market's lower end; humble DemocracyInAction revamping our software tool -- it'd be interesting to watch the results roll in. How are any of these (or the many other) CRM tools affecting and afflicting your work?

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In the Market for Web Conference Tools

DemocracyInAction is back to hunting inexpensive webinar/online conferencing tools. A few weeks ago, our our existing provider sent us an e-mail announcing:
We have decided to significantly change our company's focus, thereby exiting the web conferencing business completely. Because of this business decision, we have stopped renewing existing subscriptions and have ceased selling new subscriptions for our ASAP products.
Since "Convoq is an innovative provider of SaaS integrated online meeting and live chat systems", that must have been one heck of a business decision. All the same, in our two-plus years using Convoq's ASAP tool, we've had great results, so we bid our erstwhile collaborators fair tidings on their journey which we hope does not necessitate harbor in a capitalized and numbered Chapter. What it certainly does is thrust DIA back into the market for online meeting tools.

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Digital Story Telling Tips

Below are some handy suggestions I pulled from the presentation Age of YouTube: Using Video Online to Reach the Masses which was presented at NTEN’s Technology 2007 Conference. The Serial Approach - Consider offering a series of short videos (2-3 minutes) that explain your issue, instead of making an expensive project video (or in addition to). See how I Love Mountains features short videos about the destructive practice of mountaintop removal on their homepage.

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After NTC

There's nowhere like the nation's capital for turning out nonprofiteers in record numbers, and NTC had the scale of, like, Battlestar Galactica or something: a minor metropolis afloat in the stars. The number 1,200 was murmured, which would be enough bodies to outvote Vatican City. People talked about going the whole 2-3 days without the serendipitous run-in with someone they were hoping to meet. Almost any thematic takeaway for the NTC would be a plausible one, simply because there were just so many different ways to look into the kaleidoscope. My personal version of the theme -- having hit sessions on screencasting, mobile, and radio both online and off -- was multi-channel engagement. It feels to me that the sector is straining against this membrane, looking for the next ah-ha moment, the next breakout into open country. Can we get Internet everywhere? Can we mate it with television, telephones, voice, thought, shoe leather? Can the multiplying tools and gizmos combine and connect? Can it get from niftiness and even effectiveness to really game-changing? We catch glimmers. A citizen video flips control of the Senate -- hybridized data sets present the occasional but isolated dazzling perspective -- rumors circulate of flash mobs on distant shores. The Twitter froth, I suspect, emerges fundamentally from its hint of gathering blogging, texting and social networking into a bridge tenuously connecting meatspace and cyberspace identities. It -- whatever it is -- just isn't quite there yet, and some days it seems it's on the next train after Godot. But the hope for the Next Big Thing might be one of those cases of generals fighting the last war.

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An NTC Kaleidoscope

With apologies that fatigue and connectivity issues (I think every tech conference I've been to this year has had wireless problems ...), a few random snippets from the Nonprofit Tech Conference.
Wednesday, April 4 Vendor fair. No iPods won (note: for a Nano, I'll link to Satan himself), but an adequate haul of swag -- GoLightly has the stroke of genius with shot glasses for which their moniker is singularly apt. (But why do they come containing jelly beans?) DIA and PICnet collaborate on a good way to use them: the unofficial NTC drinking game (.pdf), readily adaptable to all manner of similar events. Our table gives away Salsa. With a smile.

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NTEN Seeking Online Success Stories for ABC News Piece

Copied verbatim from a message NTEN E.D. Katrin Verclas posted to a listserv, and which has as I've been typing this become a blog entry of its own ... a very short-notice opportunity to share your online success story with the world.
I am seeking some very good stories from YOU for a piece on ABC News/vcast that will feature "technology for good' or how nonprofits are using tech to make the world a better place. Here is what I am looking for: Nonprofits are getting more and more savvy in using tech - and deploying techies who are doing good in the world. In April, more than 1,000 of these "Techies for Good" are coming to Washington DC.

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Where's Kintera?

There's a conspicuous absence from the sponsorship credits at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference home page I stumbled upon in preparing yesterday's low-key upcoming events post. A dependable occupant of the conference's logo rolls the past few years, it's nowhere to be found in 2007. It's a fact of no special importance on its own (except perhaps to NTEN!), but easily read as another milepost in the struggling firm's departure from the data management and CRM universe of rank-and-file nonprofits. Naturally said reading is utter speculation; we have no special insight into this from either side of the [non-]transaction.

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