The good news is that last year I attended a terrific workshop on this topic at the Boston regional N-TEN conference. It was organized by fellow TechnobabeTheresa Ellis, so I went to her and requested permission to replicate her idea. She very graciously agreed, coaching me about how to proceed, and encouraging me to recruit as many panelists as possible from the session that she designed.
Here's the plan. Four of our panelists will be from the philanthropic world, folks with plenty of practical experience:
Over at TechCrunch I've been reviewing more web 2.0 startups than you can shake a stick at; while the crowd over there is generally not focused on social change, an awful lot of interesting things come our way that could prove helpful in a nonprofit context. Here are some of my favorites from last week, in order of usefulness.
Peter Caputa IV is the founder of WizSpark, an events organizing and promotion company based in Westborough, MA. He also writes a savvy blog about Web 2.0 style promotion called PC4Media. In the following interview Peter and I discussed the use of blogs, MySpace, tracking technology and incentives to promote events. WizSpark does some work with nonprofits, helping with a recent walk to raise money for cancer research, for example.
My principles get a little rankled by some of Peter's ideas, but maybe I'm just uptight. In a world desperate for drastic change - agents of change should consider all possible options. At the very least, I hope you will find this interview to be an interesting look inside the mind of an intelligent specimen, a trail blazer, of a type of vendor ready to burst upon the scene: the social media fueled organizer/promoter. I appreciate Peter taking the time to answer my questions.
Want to know more about how TechSoup is working in Second Life, and how they produced the "mixed-reality" Net Tuesday that took place in Second Life and in San Francisco? Check out David Collin'sinterview on the NetSquared podcast with Tech Soup's Online Community Manager, Susan Tenby, and Salvador Luna, Desktop Support at CompuMentor. Photo by Beth Kanter
Teck Chia gave a short presentation about Gabbly. I'm live blogging so please forgive errors.
Gabbly's developers wanted to create a way for people to connect in an easy way who have shared interests when they visit a web page. Their criteria was to build something that didn't need to be downloaded, that the user didn't need to register for, and that was interactive. They came up the idea of having a chat that could be used through the URL, without going to the chat program homepage. Gabbly launched in March.
I just embedded a chat window into the Net Tuesday page, and it took me all of 20 seconds. Serously, that was so easy I still can't believe it!
The makers of Gabbly, that oh-so-easy chat maker that powered the NetSquared remote conference, will be participating in an on- and off-line chat for tonight's Net Tuesday. If you can't join us in person at the Hotel Utah, join us online at 7pm PST by just going to the Net Tuesday page (it may take a few seconds for the chat to load).
In other chat news, there's a new service from an old friend of NetSquared, Meebo (Seth presented at our 2nd Net Tuesday). It's called MeeboMe, and it's the talk of the town. Like Gabbly, MeeboMe is easily embedded into your website. While Meebo is a personal 1-1 chat service and works with a variety of Instant Messengers like AIM, Gabbly creates chat rooms and doesn't require a login. They're very complementary tools, and both free and easy ways to bring a new dimension to your website. Yay free and easy!