Blogs

An Apology to Our Blog Commenters

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Hey Net2 readers,

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment on the Net2 blog in 2007, and I am so sorry that many of your comments didn't show up until today.  The wonderful web person who moderates our comments for us (you would not believe how much SPAM we get) has been out of the office for a family emergency and we forgot to check in on the comment moderation queue.

Please keep commenting! 

Britt

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Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age: An Interview with Allison Fine of Momentum

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"Rather than worry about what the next widget is going to be, I really hope as a community we can focus on how to become more open and connected in order to use any new widget for success."--Allison Fine

Below is a transcript of my interview for the with Allison Fine, author of .   Enjoy!

NpTech Tag Summary: Cross-Blog Discussion Summary, A Few Good Reports, and Powerpoint Karaoke

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A screen capture of licensed with

Last week, we in holding an online conversation about tagging, taxonomies, and folksonomies that danced across blogosphere, stitched together by the NpTech tag.   Nonprofit techies and even a few from people other fields left comments on blog posts, posted to their blogs, tracked backed, tagged other blog posts not tagged with the NpTech tag, and so forth.  

Calling All Geeks: What You Can Do to Support PLoS

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Richard Cave and Barbara Cohen from the gave an awesome presentation at Net Tuesday San Francisco about open access publishing of scientific literature, and the launch of . PLoS ONE is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication that features reports of primary research from all disciplines within science and medicine, and allows readers to create annotations and discussions. You can download the .
For more info on PLoS ONE's technical background, click .  I'll let you know when the podcast of their presentation and interview is posted on the .

Cave ended the presentation with a call to action:
• Express support for the
• Learn about and contribute your ideas to their work in progress on the .
• Read about and share new research, sign up for eTOC alerts .
• Spread the word.
• Surprise them by using their content in ways they could not have imagined

iPhone!

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I have watched CEO's keynote speach.
I guess many people write about new gadget.
gadget but it will change world..?
I really surprised MacOSX works on it, and maybe the first phone which *BSD works.

TransFair USA Gives a Look Behind the Label, with a Blog

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The nonprofit, , is one of twenty members of , the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, and a three-time winner of .  Last week they started a blog, .  It looks like their main blogger will be Dave Rochlin, COO of TransFair USA.

5 Tips to Start a Nonprofit Blog

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I am often asked for advice from nonprofits that want to start a blog.  Here are five of the tips I most frequently give:

1. Read blogs.

I can’t tell you how many amazing, visionary nonprofit leaders I talk to who when I ask them if they read blogs say, “I read email.”

There are lots of theories about what is the best social media tool to first introduce to nonprofits.  Newsreaders are my top choice.  When I set up a newsreader for an Executive Director full of blog, news and search feeds related to their organization’s issues and show them how they can skim through it for the most updated information about their cause, their eyes widen.Before your organization starts to blog, set up a newsreader, whether it is or or something else, and see what is being written about your organization and the issues that it represents.  Not only will this give you a feel for the different styles of blogs, but it will also provide content for some of your first blog posts.

2. The best person to write an organization's blog is the person who is the most excited to write it.

In other words, what is the point of telling the Development Director that they are in charge of writing a blog, if it feels like just "one more thing" to them.  Being an organization's blogger involves not only writing for the blog, but also building relationships with other bloggers by reading them, linking to them, commenting on their blogs and inviting them to comment on your blog.  You need a staff person who is not only excited to write on a regular basis, but also wants to immerse themselves in the "blogosphere."

A natural person to be the staff blogger is whoever writes the organization's newsletter or e-newsletter.  If they write for the blog on a regular basis, when it comes time to send out the monthly e-newsletter, or quarterly newsletter, they will have a lot of content to pull from.

One thing I don't recommend is having an intern be the sole writer of your blog. Too many nonprofit blogs are set up by an excited intern, posted in diligently for a few months and then abandoned. Writing for a blog is like writing a column.  Wouldn't you think it was strange if all of a sudden your favorite newspaper columnist just stopped writing without warning?  It is also ok to have more than one blogger for your organization's blog, so have your summer intern contribute along with your regular blogger.

3. Post consistently.

There are all kinds of theories about how often to post on your blog.  The most important thing is to be consistent.  You don't have to write every day, but once a week is good. The rule of "quality not quantity" still stands.  If you post often, but your content is not interesting, you will have less readers than if you post less frequently, but have higher quality content.

Quality not quantity doesn’t mean that each post reads like a press release, or a page from your annual report.  Blogging is part of social media. It is interactive media made by regular people for regular people.  Think of it as a conversation that you're having with your supporters, and with people who stumble upon your blog because they are interested in the issues that you represent.  The best nonprofit blogs are a mix of true stories about their organization's work and its constituents, invitations for readers to check out other bloggers' post or news stories about related issues, organizational news, and editorials on the daily news as it relates to the organization.  Two nonprofits that I think do a nice job of creating a variety of engaging content are ,  and .  Check out for other examples.

4. Have an RSS feed and comments.

The number one mistake I see nonprofits make is to set up a blog that doesn't have an RSS feed or comments.  In my opinion, a blog without an RSS feed or comments is not a blog, it is simply someone writing regularly on a web site.  A blog allows interaction through comments, and an RSS feed allows readers to subscribe.  For your less tech savvy readers, you should also allow your supporters to subscribe to your blog via email with a service like .

5. Just start.

My final piece of advice to nonprofits is to just start.  If you feel that some of your supporters would like to receive news from your organization via a blog, or more importantly, that your organization has ideas to share with the world that might move more quickly through the blogosphere than through traditional media, set one up. Try it for a year and see what happens.

Geeks for Good

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Surrounded by so many good geeks at last month’s SF Tech Center party, it occurred to me that we ought to dedicate an edition of our experimental wikimag to techies who help nonprofits help their communities. We’re calling it .

Jason RicciStanding apart from the crowd (“I’m not much of schmoozer”, he explained) made an easy target. So our first story is on Jason. If you know Jason, you can improve the story by editing the wiki or by commenting upon it on the . My next targets are and (Gunner's been a huge help and inspiration to me, so Tech Center denizens are at the top of my list). If you know Zac or Gunner, you can help me tell their stories by posting questions, comments, pics, references etc , and . If you don't know them, you can tell the stories of people you do know. It's a wiki, so it's your show.

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