Wufoo makes online forms easy

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Some readers here may know that I've started writing over at the Web 2.0 review site . One new service that I wrote about this week stood out as something that could be very useful for nonprofits. It's called and it's an easy way to make online forms that can be inserted into your web page or used as separate pages. It is very flexible and honestly takes very little technical knowledge.

Integrated workflow management for nonprofit organizations: If you build it, will they use it?

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I just love the idea of a , especially one that's integrated  with filing, calendar, email, and all the other systems that keep my worklife in order.

It so happens that one of my esteemed clients is looking for a way to integrate , , , and workflow management into a system - so I spend a lot of time thinking about the human and requirements that might be involved.

For my client's purposes, there are basically two kinds of workflow management - a generic kind that helps any group of people, and workflow management that is tailored to tasks such as .  These further sub-divided into those applications that come with and those that don't.  And of course, one can drill down to distinguish between and .

The ones that I really like allow the user to log in and see a workflow management dashboard, such as the one that provides for accountants, with status reports and task lists laid out in a very clear and appealing manner.  Furthermore, the really good tools make it easy to set up a for passing along the work in progress - so that everyone who needs to contribute to, revise, review, or approve a project can do so - in an order that can be edited to reflect a change in plans.  I also like the idea of automatic routines, which alert you if a project has been parked on one person's desk for too long.

The only question is...if you build it, will they use it?

I recently had an experience that shed a little light on this question.  An esteemed colleague who has access to my electronic calendar printed out my in preparation for a .  I hadn't added (or checked off) much of anything in months. 

I love setting up systems.  I love playing with systems.  But the shows that when it comes to maintaining a simple online (never mind one that's part of a sophisticated workflow management system), I'm not necessarily showing up for it on a day-to-day basis.  And if the systems geeks don't do it, how can we expect to be enthusiastic users?  We have to think really carefully about building in incentives to participate, and measuring the positive effects that such an implementation .

the future has bensonhurst

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i used to come home to visit family in brooklyn and feel like i was stepping into the past.  sure, this is new york, it's hardly the middle of nowhere, but still...a year ago i couldn't even really get people to understand the concept of a "technology nonprofit".  now i'm using the free wireless that's spilling over from the neighbor's house while watching coverage of last week's on ny1, and my sister, who teaches history to 7th graders at a local Goes Mobile

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I have an update from the people at to add to the I wrote about them last month.  Now you can find places to donate stuff using from your cell phone.  According to the site, all you have to do is to enter into your phone-based web browser, enter your zip code, press Find and voilá, you'll see a list of charity drives within 15 miles of your zip code.

You no longer have an excuse for having a random bag of clothes/books/CDs, in your trunk for 6 months Smile

Houston Net Tuesday June recap - local technology review discussion

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Houston NetSquared June 2006A late recap on June's Houston NetSquared meetup (sorry guys!):

We enjoyed a laidback evening, sans speaker or formal presentation, that included a meet and greet session of local technology and non profit advocates, as well as a review of recent technology events.

Some topics discussed:


  • - what happened, who attended, next steps, how similar non-conferences benefit non profit technology interests
  • Consolidated Houston technology calendar and Web site plans
  • Various content management systems
  • Accessibility for not only the disabled, but non-English speakers and the elderly 


Whether and how to use MySpace: an interview with Pete Cashmore of Mashable

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Pete Cashmore writes a popular blog about new Web 2.0 services at . He's a consultant for organizations looking to leverage the new social web paradigm. Pete frequently covers web services that he says are designed to "feed the MySpace beast".

Along with (subject of an upcoming interview) is a topic that many nonprofit organizations are giving some amount of thought to engaging with. The has been added to the friends list of almost 70,000 MySpace users. That profile page uses multimedia extensively and if your organization seeks to get into MySpace, you may want to consider moving beyond a simple default page as well.

Other organizations participating in MySpace include , Philadelphia's , the and many, many more.  When MySpace users  add one of these groups as a friend, they are notified whenever new items, events or writings are added to the organization's page.


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