New web technologies made plain and simple.

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TechSoup has a simple and palatable guide that can help your nonprofit utilize web technologies! Check it out:

We're also launching a new feature called Net2Ask. If you or your organization faces challenges in understanding or implementing new web tools, drop us a line and let us know here: We'll take your responses and build toolkits that will help make these tools more accessible and transparent for your nonprofit's work.

Tagging for Nonprofits

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I am so thrilled that NetSquared includes a community blog. I've been wondering where I might take my inquiry about nonprofit-related tagging. I became interested in this topic when I started tagging my own blog (

While the nptech tag ( has taken off quite nicely, what about other tags for nonprofit-related activities? My own work with nonprofits (as a consultant) is at the intersection of various fields or practices, only one of which is "nptech."

These other fields and practices, however, do not appear to have their own tagging scheme, or have not yet appeared (consistently if at all) in the tagging "folksonomy."  Yet as I enter this world of tagging, I find myself in need of at least three overlapping categories of tags (I've included the tags I'm using underneath them--many of which I've created):

Food Force- the game

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A major crisis has developed in the Indian Ocean, on the island of Sheylan. We’re sending in a new team to step up the World Food Programme’s presence there and help feed millions of hungry people.

This is the premise of  Food Force, a suprisingly popular  game developed by the UN World Food Program.  I have often wondered why there weren't more games out there that address socially relevant issues in an engaging way...most of the previous educational games I've tinkered with have been less than captivating, but the World Food Program seems to have gotten it right, with millions of downloads to prove the point that.....if you make it engaging they will play.

the mainstreaming of open source

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Business Week runs a pretty decent story titled A Watershed for Open Source. Here's the lead-in...

In 2005, the software movement finally gained traction in Corporate America and saw a new influx of VC cash. How will 2006 shape up?

Open-source software isn't a new phenomenon. It has been winding its way through the tech world for decades, starting with Richard Stallman's Free Software movement in 1980s. But only in recent years have businesses warmed to the promise of low-cost, openly available software. In fact, open-source programs have become so popular, they now pose a legitimate threat to the established software giants.

Using Community Walk to Visualize Our Case Studies

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The Net Squared in Action section of this site is an inspiring set of profiles written about non-profit inovators and their work with new web tools.  One of those case studies is a mapping tool called Community Walk, a tool that uses Google Maps to alow users to create their own maps of any community of interest or other set of geographic locations.  I thought it would only make sense to use Community Walk in some way regarding the list of groups profiled in the Net Squared case studies.


Who's blogging on NetSquared?

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Sure, clicking on the Community Blogs from the front page takes you to a recent posts (reverse chronological order) from the folks blogging here at NetSquared.  But what if you want to see a list of all bloggers?  Or find and follow just a single person? 

You can now view all Net2 bloggers.  Those folks with the most posts are listed at the top.  Just click on a name and you can go to that person's own blog.  And (of course) you can also subscribe to their RSS feed.

Blogging in Bangladesh:

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I received this email before the holidays and thought it was an opportunity for the NetSquared Community to share its knowledge.

(I have changed some of the spelling and order of words to make it a little easier to read):

Dear Bravo,

Hi! this is Shahid Mallick from Bangladesh. I have had my graduation and MSS in Anthropology from Bangladesh and now I am working with a small NGO in Bangladesh. Our ongoing projects are ICT and women empowerment in this project.  We are trying to disseminate information for women and children and provide very preliminary training on computing and use ICT. I am very much interest to use ICT for total social development. As you know Bangladesh one of the poor country in the world where literacy rate is 30 percent, though the government claims 60 percent, who only can draw their name, but don't know which one is what alphabet. And only 2.4 people read newspaper. However, we want to ensure access to information to poor and marginalized people and to create employment for economic and social uplift.

Please assist us how we can use ICT for social and you say blogging and other.

Thanking you
Truly yours
Shahid Mallick

Spam vs Email Introductions

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I've been thinking about beginning to more aggressively email people and organizations that I find on the web who I think might be interested in my podcast.  The conceived email would just include a short introduction and invitation to check out the show.

I'm sensitive about the unsolicited emails that I receive and this has me thinking, what is spam?  If I take the time to find people that I think might be interested in something that I am doing, and send an email to the person, should that exclude me from junk mail category?  What if I personalize each email?  What if I don't and just bcc every address?   If  the email is readily available on the web, does that mean that the person is open to receive  solicitations?

I Net2 . . .Because I Want Change

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Yup, that's me and my I Want Change sign at NetSquared's last Net Tuesday event. Start the New Year out by posting a photo of yourself with your sign or another photo that represents what you want to change for our world in NetSquared's Flickr group.

Here's how:

1. Log in to your Flickr account at If you don't have one already, it's free to set one up.
2. Upload your photo and tag it with “net2”.
3. On the top of the page, click on, "Groups".
4. In the, "Search for Groups" box write, "I Want Change!"
5. Click on the "I Want Change!" group with the Net2 icon.
6. Click on, "Join this group".  Now you are part of the, "I Want Change" group.
7. To add a photo to the group, go to your photos (on the top of the page click, "Yours")
8. Click on the photo you want to add.
9. Click on the "Send to Group" button on the top of the photo (light grey icon).
10. Click that, then choose the group you want to send it to, and you're done!


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