Blogs

International Web2.0 News

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For all the border-busting placelessness the internet enables, there are still very interesting and diverse implementations of web tools new and old that are tied to specific geographic locations.  How are blogs being used in Japan?  How do people in Iran using tagging?  What sorts of ways has RSS enabled new work to be done in Brazil or Argentina?  Unfortunately, those questions are far easier to ask than they are to answer - as far as I can tell.

For political news delivered by blog, the group Global Voices (see profile in case studies) is a great source of aggregated content from all around the world.  But what about news about the tools themselves and how they are used?

Social Bookmarking

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I can't believe del.icio.us is down. I was in the process of using some of those links to write blog posts and share with other people.  I guess that means I am taking a break from blogging and social bookmarking.

However, even though del.icio.us is down. I have an account on suprglu and I am able to access the links I saved on del.icio.us from the time I started using suprglu. At least I am able to access some of my bookmarks.

I need to start saving my bookmarks in another place in case this happens again.

How is everyone else surviving without del.icio.us? 

By the way, for those of you who use Bloglines, it will be down for a day. Yes, another website will be down. At least this one has a schedule for when it will be up again.

Web 2.0 - Where Will It All End?

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This morning's Seattle Times has a story titled Web 2.0 mania revives dot-com investing, which explores

...a growing movement online that's not only reviving investment in dot-coms, but, some say, is changing the very nature of the Web itself. The phenomenon has been called by different names. One has stuck: Web 2.0.

Like everyone who has struggled with precisely what this phenomenon entails and where its boundaries lie, author Aman Batheja grapples with definitions -- but also offers as concise a synopsis as we've seen anywhere:

At its core, Web 2.0 is about two things: The first is a new era of Web development where many of the basic building blocks to creating new online tools have already been designed and are freely available....

The other major component of Web 2.0 is a new breed of social software that encourages users to create a site's content and use it in different ways.

The article mentions a British blog called Web 2.0 Central, which, in its own words "profiles companies and startups building web based applications using technologies like Ajax, Ruby on Rails, Flash, RSS, Open API's and assorted web based application development tools." Definitely worth a look.

Managing Technology Across Multiple Locations

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This started out as a NetSquared Case Study - but I wrote too darn much and decided to blog it instead! Thanks for bearing with me-- I've also posted this same item on my own blog.    

In all the talk about emerging technologies I rarely hear discussed solutions for the problems faced by organizations with more than one location. But for many of the not-for-profits I work with, building and maintaining an IT infrastructure across numerous locations raises issues every day.

Thin-client computing.

One technology we've seen quite a few organizations use effectively in this situation is thin-client computing, where applications are hosted on a central application server, and published - either privately or over the public internet - to user's workstations. Since all that is being sent to the desktops are keystrokes and screen images - not data or applications - bandwidth requirements between locations are kept to a minimum and speed and performance maximized. As we will see, there are some other compelling advatages as well. The two most common thin-client solutions in the Windows world are Microsoft Terminal Server, and Citrix Metaframe.

Fundraising: Connecting Pledgebank and the Committee to Protect Bloggers

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Today I was asked by the Committee to Protect Bloggers (where I'm a technical adviser) if I knew anyone who was a good source of fundraising support.  The Committee raises awareness and support for people around the world facing government repression because of the contents of their blogs.  (See their profile in the case studies section.) The group just secured its 501c3 status and currently has an operating budget close to zero.  That makes it hard to sustain the kind of support work that the bloggers in danger world wide deserve.

What happens when you assume........

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I'm in the process of digesting some survey results from a group of users who just went through an online course and once again I am being made aware of the fact that folks who use technology may not understand nearly as much about what they are doing as we assume when we set things up for them. (Kind of a run-on sentence there, sorry...)

Technology is not intutive for most people. I think those of us who work with computers, the web, etc... forget that often. (And, as another aside, I realize this is hardly the first time these things have been said....) And if we step back and really objectively look at what we assume our users can do, we assume way too much.  

Food Bloggers Unite for UNICEF

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A fundraising effort by Chez Pim for UNICEF is zooming around the blogosphere this week.  Led by Chez Pim, food bloggers have donated a delicious array of raffle prizes for the second annual Menu for Hope.

Here's how it works.  Each $5 donation that a reader makes qualifies them for one virtual raffle ticket to win a prize of their own choosing from the prize list.  The more $5 donations they make, the more chances they have to win.  In the last six days, they have raised $6,473 for the survivors of the of the earthquake in Northern India and Pakistan.

The project is run through Firstgiving which allows individuals to create personal fundraising pages for any registered non-profit organization.  Nonprofits can set up pages too.

What a great alternative to the annual holiday appeal letter and an awesome way for nonprofits to empower their supporters.  What if instead of sending out annual appeals, nonprofits encouraged their supporters to set up Firstgiving pages instead?

For example, I used to work for an arts education nonprofit called Streetside Stories, that uses oral, written and digital storyteling to inspire young people in the San Francisco public middle schools to write and share autobiographical stories.  I could imagine them asking their supporters  to set up pages  to support one class of students.

Obviously though, part of the success of Menu for Hope is that it is being put on by a blogger with donations by bloggers, so the word moves quickly through all of the different blogs' readerships.  So, for a nonprofit like Streetside Stories to have the same rapid success, they would need their supporters to be bloggers . . .hmmm.

Any thoughts on how to replicate this model for other nonprofits?

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