Nonprofit Podcasting Discussion

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Tonight I posted the following entry on the podcastpickle forum, and I feel like it's important enough to cross-post here.  The podcastpickle is an active community of podcast producers and listeners.  There's been a recent discussion about the role of nonprofits in podcasting and this was my response:

 I’m excited to hear more people chime in about the importance of giving nonprofits a voice in the podcasting world.  I’ve talked to a lot of you before and I think we all see eye-to-eye on what podcasting has to offer in the way that nonprofit organizations communicate with (and recruit new) constituents.

Net2 News Aggregator Gem: Why Nonprofits Should Blog

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I was browsing through the NetSquared news aggregator today (a great source of blog post material-hint, hint)  and came across a post from The Voce Nation blog tagged "net2" in, Why Nonprofits Should Blog.  The post was written by Whitney Smith of the nonprofit, Girls for a Change, a client of Voce Communications.  You can check out their blog, InHer City here.

Here are some of the things she feels that having a blog has done for Girls for a Change:

Moving Ideas will soon be no longer

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I just heard that Moving Ideas will be ceasing operations soon.

My first case study on Netsquared was about Moving Ideas. The organization was a great example of a nonprofit using rss and blogs for social change. Moving ideas was also mentioned in Techsoup's Web 2.0 article in the rss section.

Even though this organization will be no longer, should they still be listed in the case studies? I think it should since nonprofits can still look at the case study to see how that orgnaization used new technology.

John Smith on Learning and Communities of Practice

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John Smith is the community steward for CPsquare, a community of practice about communities of practice. The group brings people together from around the world through online, telephone and face to face meetings to share their knowledge and learn together about how communities of practice can best function and learn in any field.

The following is a summary with key excerpts from a recent interview we did together. Discussion included John's thoughts on group learning and new technologies and those are what I've focused on here. You can click the "excerpt" link next to any of the summary points to hear John in his own words.

conference brainstorm at CM headquarters

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some of the ideas generated during an informal lunch discussion at CompuMentor

  • everyone from Net2 should go to BrainJams for inspiration
  • no matter what, be really clear in describing the sessions as techie or non-techie friendly so the audiences are appropriate.
  • you'll get different audiences and different intentions. 
  • techie track?
  • Conference inspiration/people to talk to: Brainjams, ruckus, Planetworks, Bioneeers
  • go down specific nonprofit tracks, e.g. fundraising, volunteer management, and how emerging technology.  what projects effectively use blogs to do fundraising, for instance
  • where do i start managing change in my organization
  • at what point do you jump to web 2.0? what are the risk factors and how do you get prepared?  what is it that mainstream adopters are not prepared to do?  among early adopters, what lessons were learned, what worked & did not?
  • how do you enable early adopters to spin out these concepts within your organization.  how do you talk to your boss (or a non-adopter) about web 2.0?
  • how do you talk about technology to non-techies?
  • check out web2event on techsoup for some possible topics
  • maybe we can try that again, casting a wider net
  • value from a development perspective. how is this going to help your development director fulfill his/her goals? long run ROI. 
  • good fundraising conference in oakland, very interested in technology
  • it'd be really interesting to see a white paper on e-philanthropy.  tides runs these kinds of reports. 
  • make sure session topics don't conflict with ntc.
  • to ensure lasting impact, you could have affinity groups at the end, rather than beginning, so people can identify next actions
  • presentation at end from people showing what comes next, what are people going to do as a result of this conference. 
  • sign up sheets at front giving a selection of topics.  have people choose topics and base some sessions on that
  • specific sessions set aside - what are the things you want to talk about today?  check ins throughout the day asking if people are getting what they want  
  • breaks in-between each event are where things really happen. people are happy to get out of the building. 
  • there's an awesome pub by the hotel nikko
  • have people belong to different types of users, have people identified as super-users.  i'm the representative of the geeks, i'm the representative of development, i'm the rep of amateurs
  • set up computers around the conference. people can work on a collaborative blog during the conference, during speakers even, and the speaker can read the blogs during speaker session and make the conversation answer people's questions.  this would also make it more accessible to people who can't attend. 
  • we can do inexpensive webcasting/audiocasting with a shared whiteboard 
  • combine live audio casting during presentations/discussions with live blogging from conference attendees, people at other locations and people at home, then read by speakers/attendees, for a truly interactive global discussion
  • there are tons of people in techfinder who could facilitate/sponsor an event like this
  • could also skype it. people can IM in questions.  you can invite some great attendees and include larger audience. 


opensource sources

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I'm working with a new company that's about to announce its plans at DEMO in the next couple weeks. I've included a pile of pointers to opensource orgs the right sidebar of the Krugle blog ("links we like"). If you're interested in where open source software is at and where it's headed, do take a look. If you can recommend additional sites or blogs, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

First Net2Builders Poll Open!

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Join NetSquared's Net2Builders group and add your vote into the mix:

This week we're asking,

What emerging tech. tool do you think has the most potential to help nonprofits and NGOs create social change?

Here are your choices, (the tool list is taken from our NetSquared in Action "Submit Case Study" form):

• Aggregation (republishing content from RSS feeds)
• Blogging
• Cell phones/SMS
• Content Management (web publishing platform)
• Podcasting
• RSS (publishing information to an RSS/XML feed)
• Social bookmarking (e.g., Furl)
• Social Networking
• Tagging
• Wikis
• Other (you can email it to me at

Social Software and Social Change: An Interview with Barb Dybwad

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Barb Dybwad is the Associate Editor of Weblogs Inc.(WINC), one of the largest and most succesful blog-networks online.   Recently purchased by AOL, Weblogs Inc. includes blogs on a wide array of topics - from consumer electronics and video games to parenting, cancer and diabetes.  Barb writes primarily on the network's Social Software Weblog where she covers new web tools and the issues that surround them. 

more on RSS (and other sorts of) feeds

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A couple posts down from this, Emily Weinberg notes that not everybody is born with the gene that enables inherent understanding of how to subscribe to RSS, RDF, Atom and other arcane forms of web page syndication.

The solution I've discovered is FeedBurner. It's free -- unless you opt for the Pro version -- and very well worth checking out. For example, compare the subscription page for one of my blogs to this sort of monstrostity. It's actually possible to subscribe to the latter -- I tried it and it worked -- but it's sure uninviting to any but the most geekified visitors.

On a happier note, I set this up today, just to dig a little deeper into how it works. If you dig around like I did, you can roll your own nonprofit search engine in a New York minute (or ten).


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