May 8/9 - New date for Conference

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I'm really happy to tell you that we've finally nailed down a location, Hotel Nikko San Francisco, and new date, May 8 and 9, 2006 for the TechSoup NetSquared Conference. For those of you who had already saved our old dates (April 26/27), I apologize for the change - we couldn't find a good venue on those dates.

 So, please save the new date, May 8 and 9, and please plan to come! It'll be a great conference.

For more information, see our Conference section.

Getting those lists onto a website

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A while back I wrote about Remember the Milk and Ta-da lists and lamented the fact that there wasn't an easy way to get the content onto a website.  Of course, because they don't offer it, it doesn't mean that it can't be done.

Stowe Boyd points out  that you both products produce RSS feeds.  Those feeds can be run through a service, like FeedDigest. The result?  A bit of javascript that you can place onto your website.  Why is that nice?  It means you can track a list and use the functionality of the services (easy to add items, sharing and -- in the case of Remember the Milk -- an ability to add a due date and other levels of information to the item and the list) but have that list appear on a website.  An easy way to show what you are working on in your organization.  It seems like this could be especially nice when working on a project with volunteers.

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.


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