Net Tuesday Organizer Spotlight: Judy Hallman from Triange, NC

Amy Sample Ward
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Every month, the NetSquared Community comes together offline at Net Tuesday events around the world to mix, swap stories and ideas, build new relationships, and collaborate to help the local community. Our local organizers are volunteers dedicated to helping create local opportunities for learning, sharing and using technology to make a difference.   In this Organizer Spotlight series we bring you interviews with organizers from around the world.

We're happy to introduce: Judy Hallman!

judy hallman net tuesday ncJudy is a co-organizer of the Net Tuesday group in Triange, NC.   You can check out her profile and ways to connect on the Net Tuesday Organizer Team page.   Are you in the Triange?   Connect to the Net Tuesday group here!

Tell us who you are in 140 characters or less:

I'm interested in how technology can improve people's lives.

 How do you spend your time when you're not organizing Net Tuesdays?

I'm an active volunteer with Public Information Network, Inc. (aka RTPnet). RTPnet provides hosting services for nonprofits. I'd like to see RTPnet's services expanded to include Drupal and CiviCRM, so I'm learning to use them (three years now). NCCommunities.org is a Drupal-based learning space we are developing for nonprofit organizations. We'll be using CiviCRM to develop a database based on information collected at our local Meetups.

What inspired you to organize local Net Tuesday events in your community?

I was moderator of Triangle 501 Tech Club when Chris Limerick started Triangle Net Tuesday. We got together and joined the groups.

What's the hardest part of the job?

Until May 2009, finding a meeting place, free, central to Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Thanks to one of our organizers, we will now be meeting at Triangle United Way. A perfect spot for our group.

How do you measure the success of your events?

The amount of participation in discussion. People obviously learning from each other. And the number of people who attend, though I don't really think that's a good measure.

Tell us about the best Net Tuesday event.   What did you learn from that experience?

We've had lots of good ones. Google services for nonprofits (http://nccommunities.org/meeting08nov11) was one of the biggest, Nonprofit website redesign (http://nccommunities.org/meeting09jan13) got good reviews, the December social at Carolina Brewery was great (http://www.meetup.com/TriangleNetTuesday/calendar/8964240/), and Ruby Sinreich got our resurrected group off to a great start in May 2008 with a program on Web 2.0 (http://www.meetup.com/TriangleNetTuesday/calendar/7860170/).

What is the local social-web-tech scene like in the Triangle?

Our group has grown from 0 to 135 in a year.

What's your change-the-world philosophy?

I started working with computers in the vacuum tube days (1960) and started helping people learn to use computers in 1967. Over the years, I think the education gap has widened. There are so many people who do not have access to computers and do not have skills to use them. And now, there is so much information on the Internet and so many people who can't get to it.

I taught basic computer skills from 1996 to 2006, but mostly to people who had at least graduated from high school. The materials I taught from were gathered from the Web and are available at  http://www.ibiblio.org/rtpnet/archives/rtpnet2006/collections/comp.shtml, top left section.

While I was working on developing an information system for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I became involved with RTPnet (1989) to develop something similar for public information (our real name is Public Information Network, Inc.).

RTPnet bought a few computers and put them in public access facilities (a library and community technology centers). Which got us interested in CTCNet, and then in support for nonprofits in general.

What music are you listening to now-a-days?

WCPE, aka  theclassicalstation.org, streamed audio over the Internet 24 hours a day in MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Real Audio, Windows Media & QuickTime! Only I hear it on my radio.

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