Gaining traction

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I've been working head down for so long that I've forgotten to pull up and look around.  My aggregator's groaning with the weight of items I want to share via the net2 tag. I'll tell the truth: I've been head down because I've been suffering from a little doubt.

We started this with, well, if you've been around for a while you remember the first version of this site. And in the labs here, we've been working hard to make our vision real -- a community coming together to share knowledge, build solutions and connect with one another.  As I look around, it feels like it's starting to happen.

UNICEF on "invisible children"

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UNICEF has just released The State of the World's Children 2006: Excluded and Invisible (Flash overview; text report is here). Radio Netherlands has a related story today. The following is from the executive summary of the UNICEF report...


To meet the Millennium agenda for children, including the excluded and the invisible, the following is required:

  • A massive push is needed to boost access to essential services for those children and their families currently missing out. This includes immediate interventions - dubbed 'quick impact initiatives' - that can provide a vital kick-start to human development and poverty reduction.
  • Longer term initiatives that are rooted in a human rights-based approach to development - many of which are already underway - must be stepped up or launched at the same time as the immediate interventions, helping to ensure that the latter are as effective as possible. Building up national capacities, through strategies led by national governments and local communities, is the best way to ensure the sustainability of these initiatives over the longer term.
  • Deeper approaches must be taken that give special attention to the most vulnerable. This requires the participation of governments - through legislation, budgets, research and programmes - along with donors, international agencies, civil society, the media and the private sector to reach the children who are most at risk of missing out on the Millennium agenda.

Lots of fun at Net Tuesday in San Francisco last night

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Net Tuesday in San Francisco was lots of fun last night at the funky Balazo 18 Art Gallery in SF's Mission District with great presentations by Ed Batista, of Attention Trust and Seth Sternberg from Meebo. We'll have photos and podcasts from the night up soon.

Mark your calendars for the next Net Tuesday, January 10th (location TBA) and if you aren't in SF, but would like to host a Net Tuesday in your own city, contact our Net Tuesday coordinator, Gina Cardazone at gcardazone (AT)

Free Web Hosting and More for Small 501c3 Groups

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If you are looking for some good, free (!) web hosting for an environmental, social justice or human rights organization - here's a resource that could be right up your alley.  I just found out that the wonderful folks over at ThinkHost offer free web site hosting to small US based 501c3 organizations.  Organizations with an operating budget below $20K can apply for free hosting, larger organizations can apply for discounted hosting.  It's part of their central commitment to being a progressive, socially responsible company.  You can also view a showcase of some of the organizations they host sites for.

create your own low-cost search engine

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Wired News reports on a new program that could be very attractive to some nonprofit orgs.

In a move with potentially far-reaching implications for the search market, Alexa Internet is opening up its huge web crawler to any programmer who wants paid access to its rich trove of internet data.

Alexa, a subsidiary of that is best known for its traffic rankings, on Monday unveiled Alexa Web Search Platform, a set of online tools for searching, indexing, computing, storing and publishing vast quantities of net data.

Cheap and Easy Communication Tools

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I manage a couple of projects in Europe. I work in San Francisco. The organizations in Europe don’t have much money. My organization doesn’t have much money. I had to find a way to communicate with everyone cheaply and easily, so of course I looked to open source solutions. Let me tell you about two I found and how they helped me overcome my communication challenges.


You’ve heard about it quite a bit recently. EBay bought the company (it’s based in Luxembourg) so buyers and sellers on the EBay site could talk to one another.

I didn’t have to buy the company, though, I just showed up at and downloaded their (then) Beta version, and I was ready to go. Here are the features that sold me on Skype.

New Technologies in Support of Old-School Transportation

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I just sent an email introducing two organizations that I think ought to know about each other.

GhostCycle gathers information about bike accidents in the Seattle area, makes that info available to site visitors (including a very interesting GoogleMap) and uses public art to draw attention to particularly unsafe intersections. GhostCycle is profiled in the Net Squared in Action section of this site.

BikeTalk Radio is a radio show and podcast about bicycling that's recorded in Davis, CA.  The podcast can be listened to anywhere in the world online or by download.  Listeners can subscribe to receive new episodes automatically by RSS.  Recent topics include mountain biking, winter riding tips and California legislation concerning bikes.

Nonprofit Innovator Profile Wish List

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First, I want to say thanks to Paul Treadwell for posting the most recent nonprofit innovator profiles: the Food Museum Blog and the Circle of Life/Julia Butterfly Hill's blog.  Wahoo!

I have had so many folks send in great ideas for other organizations and projects to profile, and here at NetSquared we have some orgs we are interested in seeing up on NetSquared in Action too, so  I am including an expanded list from my "OK, 1,000 Case Studies" post of organizations and projects we'd love to have profiled for NetSquared in Action

Give 'em a click.  And if one (or more!) speaks to you, shoot me an email (so I can make note of who you're profiling and your efforts won't be duplicated) and write 'em up. It only takes 15-20 minutes.  Just register on the site, log in, go to the "Put Your Voice in the Mix" page, click on "submit your case study" and fill out the form.

How many blogs must a (wo)man maintain before......

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One of the issues I am encountering lately is how do I interact with some of the sites which offer me personal blog space? Over at the Digital Divide network I can pull from the blog I maintain with most frequency and not have to craft seperate entries into that system. That seem like a winning approach because, as it is, time is somewhat precious and it's hard enough to create the content I need to create as part of my work life.


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