Recent Blog Posts


Video Profile: Josh Kinberg

I chatted with Josh Kinberg, founder of FireAnt, a multiple format video player and directory. He talks a bit about how videoblogging can be helpful to nonprofit organizations.

Video Profile: Josh Kinberg

This video is part of NetSquared's video profile series. You can subscribe to this RSS feed with your favorite video catcher, such as iTunes, FireAnt or Democracy. READ MORE


Making knowledge sharing easy: an interview with Squidoo's Heath Row

Heath Row is the Senior Director of Community Development at, a web service that enables users to create a centralized, dynamic depository of information resources concerning any topic of their choice. Beyond offering a good service for nonprofits to use, the company has a number of initiatives underway to support organizations working for social change.

Heath and I talked about how Squidoo works, how organizations can use it and his perspective on some of the underlying technologies the service uses. READ MORE


Advocacy's future...

Ethan Zuckerman blogs about the future of advocacy.  He demonstrates a shift from programmatic "representation" to the "pointing and contextualizing" of the blog world.  This amplifies an important lesson regarding "tolerance."  Just as it is embarassingly presumptuous to emphasize "tolerance" as a value (who am I to presume to tolerate you!?), so also is the tendency idealistically to adopt-a-cause and represent the less fortunate who come along with the ideal. READ MORE


On appropriate communication for promotion: an interview with Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of 7 best-selling books on marketing, web design, communications and more.  Called "the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age" by Business Week, Godin also writes a blog that's one of the most widely read online.

One of Godin's projects is Squidoo, a highly usable and dyanmic service for sharing knowledge on any topic. READ MORE


Museum Podcast Marketing and Contest



SFMOMA produces a podcast called, Artcasts.  If you show your MP3 player loaded with the current SFMOMA podcast at the Museum box office, you get $2 off admission.


They are also inviting the public to create their own Artcasts for SFMOMA as part of the Artscasts invitational: READ MORE


Simple concept, how flyers can help

While I was in the shower a couple of minutes ago, I figured out this simple concept to help some homeless people:

If you own a bar, you want publicity, it has to reach out and make a positive connection to your bar. So you'd probably make some flyers and spread them. My simple concept adds to that, as follows:

1) Make flyers (postcard size)

  • On the front side, 'One free beer for this good person'
  • On the backside, '......... is a good person'
  • Perhaps a little bit of design work to make it look 'official' (you'll understand if you read the rest)

2) Make contact with a homeless person who is willing to do some simple work READ MORE


NetSquared Strategic Partner: Reuters Digital Vision Program (RDVP) Accepting Applications

As as NetSquared Strategic Partner and we anticipate seeing the Reuters Digital Vision Program fellows in the mix and learning all about the good work they are doing globally. The Digital Vision Program supports social entrepreneurs who seek to leverage technology-based solutions in the interest of humanitarian, educational, and sustainable development goals. The Program fosters interdisciplinary projects and prototyping efforts that address real needs in underserved communities.

An RDVP Announcement: READ MORE


7 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Podcasts

I've been talking to some nonprofit pals about how they can use podcasts, so I thought I'd share this list, as well as the blogging one.

According to a study by the PEW Internet & American Life Project in released in April 2005:

More than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3 players and 29% of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web so that they could listen to audio files at a time of their choosing. That amounts to more than 6 million adults who have tried this new feature that allows internet 'broadcasts' to be downloaded onto their portable listening device.

After the initial investment in recording equipment, the only cost to your organization is staff time.  Podcasts aren't for everyone, but they are worth considering because you can't get more intimate with potential supporters than talking in their ear (literally). READ MORE


10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs

As I was getting ready for this blogging panel I'm going to be on tomorrow, I started to think about the different ways that nonprofits can use blogs. Many of these blogs have been mentioned on NetSquared before.

10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs

1. To report back from an event or conference
Example: Patricia Jones, manager of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's Environmental Justice Program, is blogging from the Fourth World Water Forum on the UUSC blog, Hotwire

2. To involve staff and take advantage of their knowledge
Example: The Walker Art Center's blog contains postings from art center staff and others describing recent and future community programs and educational information about exhibits at The Walker.

3. To involve volunteers and document their work
Example: The surgical volunteer staff who do reconstructive surgery all over the world for Interplast, upload posts to the blog from their worksite.

Example: The Urban Sprouts blog is written by one staff member and one volunteer.

4. To provide resources and information to constituents
Example: AARP's blog is an online resource for a variety of aging issues such as retirement security, health and volunteering.

5. To provide resources and information from constituents
Example: The Best Friend Network allows its supporters to create blogs around animal and animal adoption issues that they care about.

Example: NetSquared's blog is a community blog that anyone can post to about resources, events and information related to how nonprofits and NGOs can use the social web for social change.

6. To give constituents a place to voice their opinion
Example: Ann Arbor District Library System Uses a blog for the front page of their site. Library users can ask questions and make suggestions about library news, announcements and events in the comments of each post.

7. To give constituents support
Example: March of Dimes' Share Your Story blog allows families with children in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to share their experiences with one another.

8. To create the media coverage constituents want

Example: When the men accused of murdering Gwen Araujo, a woman they beat, bound and strangled after they discovered that she was biologically male, went to trial, the Community United Against Violence decided to use a blog to document the trial.

Because many of CUAV's volunteer bloggers were more knowledgeable about issues such as the trans-phobic tactics that were being used by the lawyers, they were able to address many issues that the mainstream media missed. The blog also kept people informed during the second trial, when media coverage had diminished, and eventually drew attention to the trial when the blog got news coverage.

9. To give constituents the power and tools to create change
Example: Human Rights Watch doesn’t have a blog, but specifically offers RSS feeds of human rights news to supporters so that they will blog about human rights issues.

10. To reach potential donors
Blogs are not replacements for paper newsletters or e-newsletters, they are an additional way to reach a certain audience. Check out these stats from an article entitled, "Blog Readers Spend More Time and Money Online." I added the bold.

Fifty million Americans, or 30 percent of all American Internet users, visited a blog in the first quarter of 2005, according to a new report from Comscore, and sponsored in part by SixApart and Gawker Media. Traffic increased by 45 percent from the first quarter of 2004.

The average blog reader viewed 77 percent more pages than the average Internet user who doesn't read blogs (16,000 versus 9,000 for the quarter), the report found. Blog readers average 23 hours online per week, compared with the overall Web user's average of 13 hours.

Blog readers are 11 percent more likely than the average Internet user to have incomes of or greater than $75,000. Similarly, blog readers are 11 percent more likely to visit the Web over broadband either at home or the office.

Blog readers tend to make more online purchases. In the first quarter of 2005, less than 40 percent of the total Internet population made online purchases. By contrast, 51 percent of blog readers shopped online. Blog readers also spent six percent more than the average Internet user.

According to an NTEN survey of nonprofit techies, 20% said that they published a blog and 20% said that they didn't (but they want to). Don't you want to get yours up, before they get around to it?


Nonprofit Virtual Land

To add to Britt's earlier post about Joi Ito joining the board of WITNESS, he's also embarking on a cool project to loan out plots of land (on his island) to nonprofits and their related events in Secondlife, a 3-D online world with more than 160,000 "residents" from all over the globe. To get involved, you'll likely need a Secondlife account, which is free (it's the virtual real estate that costs). READ MORE