Google Labs explores accessibility

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Disabled computer users often regard their browsers as a lifeline to the world.  But during last year's natural disasters, it became very clear that the lifeline was tenuous - perhaps broken entirely - as so many relief sites were not accessible to those who need them most.  To help people with disabilities find what they need more easily, Google Labs released a new product yesterday.  Called , it optimizes pages based on some key accessibility features, including alt text, keyboard navigation, simple language and so forth.  The idea is to save blind users the wasted time and frustration of trying to get information from inaccessible sites. To see how your standard search stacks up against the accessible searc, try out this

Sex Workers at Nonprofit Bootcamp?

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I'm considering attending the in Berkeley this August, to bring back some skills to . We offer free, confidential, nonjudgmental medical and social services for female, transgendered, and male sex workers. We are also the first occupational safety and health clinic for sex workers anywhere run by and for sex workers.  , seems like an obvious fit, and one Mr. Newmark himself is often asked about in the press. The good things I've heard about the Foundation also make me curious to check it out.

Register for BrainJams: Talking about Technology and Social Change

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The (NCDD) is hosting the 2006 National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation on August 4-5, 2006 in downtown San Francisco, CA, with 6 pre-conference trainings, including a on August 3rd!  I'm co-leading the session along with 's founder and visionary Chris Heuer and the fabulous blog queen and guru , founder of worksmarts.     The day will include a World Cafe in the afternoon and I've just learned that will be there!

Relay for Life in Second Life is This Weekend!

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The American Cancer Society's in Second Life will take place this weekend and I will be watching it closely to see what the results?

I'm sure that Randall Moss will write a after the event answering some questions such as "How money raised ()?  What was the investment in terms of resources to pull it off?  How many people volunteered?  How much awareness was raised for the cause?"   And, of course, share some lessons learned on running charity events in Second Life.   Here's a promotional created by one the and describes the event.

Some more background links:
by a SL volunteer
(I heard Deborah Finn say it looked like a Souped Up Barbie Car)
at Netsquared

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

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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

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The above was taken at last night's .  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.  , 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 from Camp Darfur,  Barry Joseph from , Lori Bell from the , and from LLS.

Open Source Computing for People Up on Net2 Podcast

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Wahoo!  We were finally able to upload an audio file from the conference to the .  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 session into a and a .  You can read more about the session . The panel included , , and as the moderator.


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