Recent Blog Posts


Web 2.0 internship with the Genocide Intervention Network!

Are you interested in changing the world by supporting the first-ever permanent anti-genocide constituency? Do you spend a lot of time online and know what an effective advocacy campaign looks like? Can you build a website from the ground up? READ MORE


Observations from the Net Tuesday Event : Second Life for Nonprofits, a Mixed Reality Event

I just wanted to share my observations from the Net Tuesday/Second Life Mixed Reality Event

What worked:

  • TechSoup’s name and word of mouth made this a large event.  The sim was packed and I heard that we maxed at just under 60 participants.  There is already a great deal of interest in hosting a second event (and many other affinity group meetings) in the TS space.
  • There was a lot of media coverage via blog and reporters and photographers.  Volunteers liveblogged and recorded in world (meno rich is avatar who recorded).  They also posted their pix to flickr.  The tags used are: net2,techsoup,npsl, secondlife, mixedreality.  The metaverse messenger (SL’s main newspaper) will write an article about the event next week (Tuesday).  One person even recorded the after-party mingling  Video of the event can be seen here:  The photos from the event can be seen at Flickr at the tags mentioned above and here:  Also a member shared this a bit on the Omidyar Network discussion boards for nonprofits in SL:
  • Via the transcript, I saw a lot of networking between nonprofits that was occurring. 
  • This was a great way to connect the NetSquared audience and the TechSoup audience.  There were people there that we would never had access to in the regular TechSoup Community events that showed up, because the topic and platform interested them.
  • Volunteers were amazing!  Beth Kafka (Kanter) took over role of project producer, Frank Foley (Tom Maroney) was in world technical lead and procured many technical volunteers, Dore Junot (Salvador Luna) was the RL tech lead and set up all the elements we needed to make this whole event happen, Dolly (Gina Cardazone) helped make the logistics of the entire Net Tuesday fall into place, Lorelei Junot (Lori Bell) the Library Island owner made sure that everything was set up in the island and therefore the event didn’t crash the sim, Jeska Linden (Jeska Dzwigalski) brought the credibility, experience and knowledge of being a Linden (working for Linden Lab) and b/c she was there, people who are notable in SL wanted to check out our event.
  • This has revitalized TechSoup and provided us with an emerging technology focus.  We have had a reputation of being too 1.0, so this is a way to engage the more Web 2.0 audience and make the 2.0 technologies fun.
  • Volume and word of mouth in such a short amount of time.  There are an average of 1000 visits to the TechSoup space a day, 20 or so NPOs are a part of our directory (only 7-8 have ully filled out their information cards), we have an average of 20 people at our weekly meetings, we have 45 people on our Google group about 75 members of the TechSoup group.  After last night’s events, I expect all these numbers to grow.



Reflections on Mixed Reality Events in Second Life

The photo above was taken at last night's TechSoup Mixed Reality Event.  The live video feed was being streamed from the Netsquared gathering in San Francisco happening at the same time as the virtual gatherng in Second Life.  Jeska Linden, Community Manager for Linden Labs, has the mike in her hand, while her avatar is behind the podium in Second Life.

In-world speakers from nonprofits who spoke about their work included Evonne Heyning from Camp Darfur,  Barry Joseph from Global Kids, Lori Bell from the Library Alliance, and Marc Sirkin from LLS. READ MORE


Open Source Computing for People Up on Net2 Podcast

Wahoo!  We were finally able to upload an audio file from the conference to the Net2 podcast.  Hopefully more will follow soon.  If anyone has a direct contact at Odeo, I'd love to be able to speak to someone voice to voice to work out some of the challenges we've been having.

The files are big, so we've divided the Open Source Computing for People: Can the Dream Become a Reality session into a part one and a part two.  You can read more about the session here. The panel included Allen Gunn, Michael Mach, Jonathan Peizer and Rob Cottingham as the moderator. READ MORE


Double the Net Tuesday fun in DC and SF and Online Tonight

We've got three NetSquared Meetups happening tonight. One on each coast and one in the comfort of your own home.

The Washington DC NetSquared Meetup group will be getting together tonight at 7 PM at the Science Club (1136 19th St NW).  Ryan Ozimek, CEO of, will be speaking,  Picnet will be releasing Soapbox soon, an open source software to help campaigns manage online communities and messaging. READ MORE


Envision Hawai‘i, ChipIn and Social eCommerce

Just got back from vacation in Hawai'i and am still feeling the Aloha spirit, so I thought I'd write a post about Hawaiian nonprofits using the social web for social change.  Let me know if you know of any 'cause I didn't find any examples, but I did come across Beth Kanter's interview with Carnet Williams from last summer.  Carnet started Community Networking Technologies (which later became NetCorps) and went on to help start NTEN as a board member, and co-founded  He and his wife moved to Hawai'i a few years ago.  You can check out his blog at Darkstar.

Coincidentally, he is also involved with a Hawaiian startup called ChipIn, which I found through a June 28th  interview from the Honolulu Times about Song Choi, who in addition to co-founding ChipIn, is involved with Envision Hawai‘i, a network of young people, "working to make careers out of making a difference in Hawai‘i." READ MORE


New CollectiveX group: Hacking Society: Discuss ways of leveraging technology to assist and support a better world

I am a undergraduate computer science student, who is passionate about software. I've always had a desire to see the great potential of technology unleashed to improve the world, and maybe even move us closer to some sort of utopia. I dont know if this is possible, and sometimes its hard to even define the utopia perfectly. So I have opened a group on We will utilize the great technology that makes up CollectiveX to discuss, brainstorm, and plan how we can grow this plan further.

Invite yourself to the group with this link: READ MORE


Mixed reality for nonprofits in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Image by Beth Kanter

As an adjunct to the Second Life / Real Life mixed reality event that TechSoup will be producing on July 18th, the Ethos Roundtable will be holding a mixed reality gathering based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Ethos Roundtable is an informal group of people who are interested in using technology tools to support positive social change.  We meet once a month, usually in the same location as (and just prior to) the Boston 501 Tech Club.

But next Tuesday's meeting will be special:



Getting in the game on OpenID standards: A conversation with Kaliya Hamlin, Identity Woman

From Kaliya's Flickr accountLate last month the MIT Media Lab hosted a party for the launch of the Global iNames Registry. The system is one of several aiming to create a long-term way of identifying individuals and organizations across different contexts.

Curious about what it all meant, I knew of no one better to ask than Identity Woman, Kaliya Hamlin. She told me that the identity standards landscape is forming quickly, with the participation of organizations large and small, and that it's important for nonprofits to engage in the process now instead of struggling to change policies and technologies later. READ MORE


EasyJournal makes blogging accessible


We saw a bunch of cool new tools at the conference.  It seemed like blogging was a very big deal for attendees thinking in new ways about communicating their mission-based work.  I was inspired to become hyper-alert to identifying accessible, equivalent tools and communication methods.  In that spirit, I offer EasyJournal as a tool that meets accessibility standards, but more importantly that opens up the blogging experience for millions.  The most well-known blogging tools may create accessible pages - usually mostly text, after all. The problem comes when someone - the student at the school for the blind, perhaps or the personnel administrator with quadriplegia - who can't use a mouse tries to post a blog.  It doesn’t work well.  It is difficult, perhaps impossible for the person with a disability to have the blogging experience using well-known tools because thecontent creation interface is not accessible.  The interface for EasyJournal was designed with accessibility in mind, however and you might consider trying it.  It’s free, it’s accessible, and it requires no additional software. READ MORE