Through just one cup of coffee, we are inextricably connected to the livelihoods of millions of people around the world who are struggling to survive.--from the Director's Statement, Black Gold
Oxfam America has joined the movement to give Ethiopian coffee growers a greater percentage of coffee profits:
Oxfam is calling on coffee industry leaders to sign agreements that recognize Ethiopia’s right to control the use of its coffee ’brand names.’ With these agreements in place, Ethiopians could occupy a stronger negotiating position with foreign buyers, capture a larger share of the value associated with their names, and better protect their brands – regardless of whether the trademarks were granted.
On of the hats I wear now for my chief client is new-media editor of OnEarth Magazine. For the last six months, OnEarth has been putting out a podcast — 28 episodes so far, with everything from free-flowing interviews to radio-worthy feature stories to poetry readings. It’s really good content — the people who’re making the episodes are doing great work, and they deserve a big, healthy pool of listeners.
I admit it. I get excited about widgets. I think they are beginning to show their potential as one of the most dynamic ingredients in the emerging Web 2.0 toolbox.
Widgets - or badges, gadgets, whichever you prefer - can prove a winner for not-for-profits. Two reasons. Actually, there are probably many more, but two is a good start:
You move beyond the single website model and turn the entire web into a distribution system for your content / stories
Smart widgets will (hopefully soon) allow you to report back on how you are making a difference
Over on nfp 2.0 I've written a long (to long?) piece about 18seconds.org, Justgiving, Carebadges, smart widgets, the potential of networks for extending the reach of your widget and for communicating success. Quite a lot really.
I have to confess right here and now my feelings about balloon launches are quite strong. I can go one or maybe two months without being reminded of them but then along comes another charity website with news of yet another latex launch to 'celebrate' or mark some totally worthwhile cause. Now I have nothing against balloons as such. Indeed you could well find one or two examples knocking around the house at this very moment and, even though the smell of them is rather unpleasant, they are left unpopped and usually come to a deflated but honourable end. Like alot of people I used to give very little thought to balloon launches and, dare I say it, thought they looked rather wonderful. Not any more.
A lot of nonprofit blogs have come on the scene in the year between these events and I feel like it is time to revise and update my "10 Ways" post to include not only ways that nonprofits can use blogs, but also engage bloggers to support their cause. Blogs fall under the category of "social media" because they are, well, social. They are a tool that allows for a conversation between the reader and the writer, and for information to reach people quickly all over the world. It only makes sense that if your nonprofit is going to include a blog in its communications strategy that it includes other bloggers too.
So here it goes . . .10 Ways Nonprofit Can Use Blogs and Bloggers to Support Their Cause
1. Include bloggers on your press list.
There are a lot of people out there reading and writing blogs.
Last week, I wrote about a request I got from Idealist.org to help them prepare a "How to Wiki" guide - to help hosts who are organizing groups around the world, in support of their "Imagine a Better World" initiative (see Britt's interview with Ami Dar about this campaign here).
If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance that you are an idealist, and perhaps you would like to meet other idealists to work together to make the world a better place. I talked with Ami Dar, the Founder and Executive Director of Action Without Borders, the organization that maintains Idealist.org, about their Imagine a Better World campaign that is working to connect idealists all over the world. Ami shares his reflections a week or so after the first Imagine a Better meetings that happened all over the world February 5-11, 2007.
How much is that virtual doggy in the window? I had to control myself with the doggy and Internet puns. But Cogdogblog didn't. Allen Levine is writing about his experience using virtual worlds as an instructional platform with In Second Life, Everyone Knows You are a dog.
Here's a good primer on podcasting from mediashift. Speaking of podcasts, Britt Bravo marks the one-year birthday of her podcasting efforts with a post listing all of the interviews she has done! My favorite is the interview with Reem Rahim of Numi Tea. Britt also has a post recommending podcasting tools here.
Nonprofit Communications blog invites everyone into the blogtipping fun! Designing for Civil Society and the Bamboo Project invite you to a wiki carinval. I might not be able to resist if there is cotton candy!