A fun night at Common Grounds

Had a great time at the Common Grounds tonight, dancing and networking with other NPSL tenants. The theme was “Stripes”; and everyone showed up looking their stripingly best!

Zinnia brought up a great question: how can we best share our successes in SL with each other? Of course parties like Common Grounds are always good, but we need to think of more ways to include our peers in other countries and vastly different time zones. Some ideas thrown out there were more community events at various times to accommodate the different times zones, weekly meditation, yoga or tai chi gatherings. We can also use the written word to share our news – post it on the NPSL facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/nonprofitcommons) or write about it on this blog. And how about a Linked In group? All great ideas! If you can think of anything else, bring it up during open mic at a Friday meeting.

We also learned about Ronnie Rhode’s fantastic article on the closing of Teen SL. You can read it here: http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/09/01/the-end-of-the-virtual-world.aspx. Congrats Ronnie…great article!

Next month’s Common Grounds theme is Halloween…hope to see you all there again!

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Written by: emellsmere

Webinar: Online Collaboration Tools

I just attended TechSoup’s latest free Webinar: Online Collaboration Tools, steamed live at the Plush amphitheater. Speakers were Jon Warnow from 350.org, Jay Boren & Ronald Ho from Google.

First, 350.org: Jon talked about some of the tools his org relied upon to pull off large scale offline events. Last year they held 352 events in a sing day of action. Main points:

  • Event organization must be done “in the cloud” to allow collaboration & productivity when traveling.
  • Skype for communication, planning.
  • Dropbox filesharing. Stores files in the cloud and on your computer…all team members can access from any location. Also uses democracy.org, Salsa platform (browser-based organizing/constituent tools), and Flickr, of course, to organize their thousands of photos.

Next up – Google Apps: free communication, collaboration and publishing tools. (Free for orgs with up to 50 staff). Their goal is to make collaboration easy and run “in the clouds” so anyone can access. (Wow, ‘in the clouds’ is certainly the phrase du jour!)

Note: Jay Boren authors monthly newsletter for nonprofits on Google resources; sign up info is here: http://www.google.com/nonprofits/

  • Google Docs: free, secure file creation and storage! Can edit files anywhere there is internet access. Can select who can access/edit. Can bulk upload to your computer/server.
  • Google Calendars: share calendars, access remotely
  • Google Mail (Gmail): can have custom .org email for all staff
  • Google Sites: Can use for secure company Intranets and easily create rich websites. Easy form creation. Ideas for form use: Silent Auction, Constituent registration, question/feedback

All apps are mobile as well, so you can access your stuff while on the go. Comprehensive tutorials and training are provided for all google apps.

Links to webinar recording and presentation will be posted here: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/schedule/display.do?udc=6lm4z63b0iwm

Written by: emellsmere

Candlelight Vigil for Lou Gehrig’s Disease

The ALS Association’s SL Candlelight Vigil, held Sunday night in the Plush Amphitheater, was a success! I had approximately 35 visitors throughout the night, and raised 10,000L for ALS. Considering this was my 1st ever Second Life event, I am very pleased with the outcome. During the vigil I displayed a slide show of photos from The Association’s RL vigil held in Washington, DC. The slide show, along with all the virtual candles lit, gave the amphitheater a very peaceful, serene feeling. The highlight of my night was meeting a couple who is currently dealing with ALS. The husband was diagnosed a year ago and they joined SL so they can dance and ride motorcycles…all the types of things they can’t do in RL anymore because of ALS. I am grateful to NPC and SL in general for giving The ALS Association the opportunity to reach out to more people living with ALS. I look forward to working with them on future SL events which will help raise awareness and funds for ALS so we may continue our efforts to develop better treatments while searching for a cure. Thanks to all those who helped me plan the event and/or designed items for auction.

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Written by: emellsmere