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