Transcript of the December 7th NPC Meeting Featuring: Ginny Mies of TechSoup

[08:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Welcome everyone to this week’s Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting!

[08:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: The Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is sponsored by TechSoup Global and is a program of the TechSoup Global Community & Social Media team.


[08:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Today’s Agenda:

 – 8:30 am Introductions

 – 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements

 – 8:50 am Featured Presenter: Ginny Mies: “Technology’s Impact on Disaster Relief”

 – 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


[08:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir: First a few links to start off the meeting.

[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:


 – Nonprofit Commons Blog:

 – Wiki:

 – Twitter:

 – Facebook:

 – Google Group:

 – Google Calendar:



About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:








[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Morning everyone, let’s start off with Introductions!

[08:35] Sarvana Jonstone: Sally S. Cherry aka SarVana Haalan, Baltimore, MD, (SarVana Haalan’s backup :-))

[08:36] Zinnia Zauber: Renne Emiko Brock-Richmond, Sequim Humanities and Arts Alliance, Sequim, Olympic Peninsula, Washington. @renneemiko

[08:36] Andy Evans: Andy Mallon, First Opinions Panel in SL…

Chief Bottle-Washer, Social Research Foundation, New York, NY

[08:36] Par (parhelion.palou): Peter Tolliver, north of Baltimore, MD, generic volunteer, no org, no twitter, no website

[08:36] Dancers Yao: Kara Bennett Elder Voices Los Angeles, Ca Health Care and Human Rights

[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir is Joyce Bettencourt, Boston MA area, Online Community Manager of NonProfit Commons in Second Life,,

[08:36] Buffy Beale: Buffy Bye, Bridges for Women, Victoria BC Canada, @bridges4women

[08:36] Chayenn: Monique Richert, Protect Yourself 1, Inc., Baltimore MD,,, @PY1US

[08:36] Gentle Heron: Virtual Ability, Inc.

[08:36] Orange Planer: Orange Planer, network administrator for Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders, at a website I’m embarrassed to post because it’s so out of date:

[08:37] Sarvana Jonstone: sorry for being a bit forward… Sally S. Cherry aka SarVana Haalan, Baltimore, MD, (SarVana Haalan’s backup :-))

[08:37] bulaklak: Michael DeLong, TechSoup Global,, @mmdelong @TechSoup, San Francisco, CA, USA

[08:37] Orange Planer: And I’m sorta becoming it’s CIO as well. :-O

[08:37] Ronnie Rhode: Denise Harrison, The Garden for the Missing, and SLURL Remora (203,148,21), Project Jason, assistance for families of the missing,

[08:37] Brena Benoir: Brenda Bryan, Preferred Family Healthcare, Kirksville, MO, @brenabenoir

[08:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: if you just joined us – please introduce yourself 🙂

[08:37] alebez: Ale Bezdikian, Online Community Coordinator, TechSoup Global, SF, CA, @TechSoup. @alebez

[08:38] Ozma Malibu: Sandra Sutton Andrews, Floaters Org (tech outreach to have-nots), locations in Arizona, Mexico & On the Road, @ozma

[08:38] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Ginny Mies, Content Curator at TechSoup 🙂




[08:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s move on to TechSoup Announcements!

[08:39] bulaklak: Hi, all! Happy Friday.

[08:39] Zinnia Zauber: Welcome Penelope!

[08:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: we won’t be having a Mentor’s Central today – so you have a bit of extra time 🙂

[08:39] Buffy Beale: yay for Friday and welcome Penelope too 🙂

[08:40] Orange Planer: Oooh, more food shows up!

[08:40] bulaklak: Thanks, Rihannon!

[08:40] bulaklak: So first we have a webinar coming up on Tuesday 12/11 where tech trainers will share their experiences.

[08:40] bulaklak: Here’s the copy:

[08:40] bulaklak: Our tech-training pros will highlight resources that allow libraries and nonprofits to share expertise with one another on how to train patrons on technology. From ABLE to WebJunction, hosts Brenda Hough and Stephanie Gerding will take you on a tour of a web places and virtual spaces that exist to make training better. Guests will be invited to share their favorite resources, too.

[08:40] Tori Landau: Hurriedly flaps up out of Orange’s way

[08:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and.. a few more are coming in – so feel free to slip your introductions in during 🙂

[08:41] bulaklak: Aaand, here is the link where you can register:

[08:41] Orange Planer: What if your CEO is a luddite who considers email to be an interruption and would rather stand in front of a fax machine for 2 hours?

[08:41] bulaklak: As always, this webinar is free. It will be recorded and available as an archive. AND if you would like it to be live captioned, just let us know 72 hours in advance and we are more than happy to do that for you.

[08:41] bulaklak: I think that is a whole other webinar, Orange

[08:41] bulaklak: But a good one!

[08:42] Orange Planer: I’m looking forward to that announcement.

[08:42] bulaklak: I also want to share the results of the latest ReStart Romania challenge. There are some really terrific projects coming out of the challenge to use tech to make Romanian government more transparent and accountable.

[08:44] bulaklak: For example, in Romania, the fact that half of Romanian buildings are not accessible has contributed to a 97% unemployment rate for the disabled

[08:44] bulaklak: One of the winning projects is an interactive map to highlight all the accessible buildings and push for more

[08:44] Orange Planer: Who is running that initiative?

[08:44] bulaklak: Here is the link with all the winners and a cool inititiative where Romanian activists share the things that piss them off

[08:44] bulaklak:

[08:45] bulaklak: This was a joint effort of TechSoup Romania and a number of partners including Microsoft and the US ambassador to Romania

[08:45] bulaklak: Lots more at the link!

[08:45] bulaklak:

[08:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great

[08:45] Orange Planer: OK, but not the Romanian government itself.

[08:45] Orange Planer: :-/

[08:46] Orange Planer: Gotta start somewhere.

[08:46] bulaklak: We’re excited to have Ginny Mies with us today. So in light of that — one of the awesome things she does as a content curator at TechSoup is help put together our weekly newsletter By the Cup

[08:47] bulaklak: It’s a great way to keep up with everything we are doing, which is always a lot!

[08:47] bulaklak: You can sign up for that newsletter if you already haven’t here:

[08:47] bulaklak: And while you are at it, sign up for our New Product Alert, too!

[08:47] bulaklak: Since I have a few extra minutes (thanks, Rhiannion) I will just mention a few last things!

[08:48] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂

[08:48] bulaklak: As you are all super smart and helpful people, I want to remind you that you can help our community out any time by sharing your smarts in our TEchSoup discussion forums

[08:48] bulaklak: And one of the ways we make that easy is by posting open questions on Twitter with the hashtag #TechSoupDYB

[08:49] Orange Planer: Ooh, more phishing vic… I mean people to help!

[08:49] bulaklak: Or, if you go to our forums, you can search by that tag and find open questions

[08:49] bulaklak: Lol Orange.

[08:49] Zazoom Zimminy whispers Kyle Reis, Grants Managers Network, NYC

[08:49] Orange Planer: Never whisper, people might not hear you.

[08:49] bulaklak: Answering questions on our forums *is* actually a great way for consultants to establish visibility and credibility

[08:49] bulaklak: (As long as you don’t self-promote too much!)

[08:50] bulaklak: And lastly!

[08:50] bulaklak: Just another quick reminder about the ongoing Microsoft Windows 8 Apps for Social Good contest

[08:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: nod – would love to see some synergy between the forums and here at NPC

[08:50] bulaklak: Remember there are two $15k cash prizes at stake, and one $10k prize, as well!

[08:51] Orange Planer: That’s USD, not lindens.

[08:51] bulaklak: Yes, thanks, Orange.

[08:51] bulaklak: Here is the link again with all the juicy details

[08:51] bulaklak:

[08:51] bulaklak: Thanks, all!

[08:51] bulaklak: Have a great meeting and a great weekend!

[08:51] Sarvana Jonstone: Do consultants have to be members of TechSoup to answer questions?

[08:51] Glitteractica Cookie: Great update, Bulaklak!

[08:52] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you bulaklak!

[08:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: on the forums Sarvana? no

[08:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: or comments via the twitter channel.. no.. so feel free to jump in

[08:52] Sarvana Jonstone: Great info… Bulaklak, thanks

[08:52] bulaklak: Oh, sorry Sarvana

[08:53] Rhiannon Chatnoir: though you need a forum account.. so sign up then contribute!

[08:53] bulaklak: Yes, to post in the forums you do have to register to be a forum member . . . but you don’t need to register your org

[08:53] bulaklak: You don’t need to be a 501c3

[08:53] bulaklak: It only takes a few minutes to fill out a profile

[08:53] bulaklak: and get started!

[08:53] bulaklak: 🙂

[08:53] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and a cross conversation would be wonderful – to see the expertise here help out there

[08:54] Sarvana Jonstone: excellent

[08:54] bulaklak: In fact, here is a handy link with more info on how to register and get started:

[08:54] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks bulaklak!

[08:54] Orange Planer: I have only one question.

[08:54] Rhiannon Chatnoir: on the forums?

[08:55] Orange Planer: Nah, never mind, I’ll just cause trouble asking it.

[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ok




[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Time for today’s main speaker!

[08:55] bulaklak: Yay, Ginny!

[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s welcome Ginny Mies, who will speaking to us about how mobile technology, web apps, and mapping software have become enormously helpful in sharing news and spreading information about disaster relief efforts such as after Hurricane Sandy.

[08:55] alebez: woooooot, ginny!

[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: if you want to come up here Ginny and grab a seat

[08:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks!

[08:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: a bit about Ginny:

[08:56] Gentle Heron: Welcome Ginny.

[08:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Bio: Ginny Mies is a content curator at TechSoup. Before coming to TechSoup, Ginny was a Senior Editor for PCWorld. She covered mobile phones as well as consumer advocacy issues for both the website and print magazine. She’s currently in home stretch of the Master of Library and Information Science program at San Jose State University.

[08:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ready whenever you are to start, your slides are behind you and let me know if you need them advanced

[08:56] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Thanks Rhiannon!

[08:56] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Hi everyone, I’m Ginny and I want to thank you all for having me here. I’m new to Second Life so bear with me 🙂

[08:56] Orange Planer: Congrats, Ginny. Here’s hoping you pass the orals for your masters.

[08:56] Buffy Beale: Yay Ginny!

[08:57] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Mobile technology, web apps, and mapping software have become enormously helpful in the sharing news and spreading information about relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy and other disasters or emergency situations.

[08:57] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): For a article (, I researched the ways in which people used technology and social media to share important information and later connect with their community to help with rescue and clean-up after the hurricane.

[08:57] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I wanted to share some of the interesting info I found with you all.

[08:58] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Thanks 🙂

[08:58] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Texting campaigns have played a huge part in disaster relief for a few years now.

[08:59] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Residents affected by Sandy looking for shelters could text SHELTER and their zip code to 43352 (4FEMA).

[08:59] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): A few disaster relief agencies and organizations also have apps for the iPhone, Android phones, Windows phones, etc.

[08:59] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The Red Cross hurricane app uses GPS to find the nearest shelters.

[09:00] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): FEMA’s apps for Apple, Android, and Blackberry provided weather information as well as tips for what to do during and after a hurricane.

[09:00] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): TechSoup partner Esri had an interactive map (which is no longer up) that showed the flooding and weather information post-Sandy.

[09:01] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): You could access up-to-date information on flood warnings, storm surge, shelters, and more.

[09:01] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The Google Crisis Response project ( has a slew of resources for both responders and those affected by disasters.

[09:02] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Google’s Hurricane Sandy map showed areas with power outages.

[09:02] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Communities could also create their own custom Google Maps for identifying where help is needed.

[09:03] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Tweak the Tweet ( is a layered map that shows the locations of disaster-related Twitter hashtags.

[09:03] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): This is one of the most interesting uses of mapping technology I found.

[09:03] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): For example, you can see where people have tweeted about flooding by clicking blue dots, which correspond to #flood, #water, and #surge hashtags.

[09:04] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): You can also find out where volunteers are needed via the #need hashtag layer.

[09:05] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I think I accidentally skipped my second slide so I’m going to go back 🙂

[09:05] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Here we go

[09:05] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Twitter has proven itself time and again as an excellent method of communication in times of crisis.

[09:06] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): During the hurricane, communities kept each other updated by using hashtags like #Sandy on what was happening in their neighborhood.

[09:06] Rhiannon Chatnoir: nod

[09:06] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Community members are now using hashtags like #SandyVolunteer to find out where they can help out.

[09:06] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Government agencies, such as FEMA, also used Twitter to get the word out about the storm starting a week before it hit.

[09:06] Sarvana Jonstone: aewsome

[09:07] Sarvana Jonstone: *awesome!

[09:07] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): But I think the rest of the world really saw Sandy’s impact through Instagram.

[09:07] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): According to mobile app’s founder Kevin Systrom, more than 344,000 images have been posted with the hashtag #sandy.

[09:08] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Instacane ( is an independent site that is tracking all photos with Sandy-related hashtags.

[09:08] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I’m going to now skip over to my last slide

[09:09] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): is a simple tool that helps affected communities create websites to organize disaster recovery efforts.

[09:09] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The Lower East Side Recovers ( is an example of this tool in action.

[09:10] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The site is a resource for both those affected as well as volunteers who want to find ways to help out.

[09:10] Glitteractica Cookie: does this presentation live ont he techsoup slideshare page

[09:10] Rhiannon Chatnoir: not sure – but can be put up there if not

[09:10] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Not yet 🙂

[09:11] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The nice thing about Recovers is that you can build web pages fairly quickly–which is essential during a time of emergency.

[09:11] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Occupy Sandy ( is an offshoot of Occupy New York.

[09:11] Orange Planer: What?

[09:11] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): err Occupy Wall Street

[09:12] Orange Planer: Again

[09:12] Orange Planer: Wait?

[09:12] Orange Planer: “Occupy” a hurricane?

[09:12] Orange Planer: What does THAT mean?

[09:12] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The group coordinates recovery to neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy via special neighborhood hubs where community members can exchange information and volunteer goods or services.

[09:13] Rhiannon Chatnoir: the social movement started at Occupy has been often directing itself at relevant community inatiatives.. in NY they have been helping with post hurricane Sandy

[09:13] Orange Planer: Relevant to finance?

[09:13] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): One of my friends, who has been very active with recovery relief in the Rockaways, has been making soup and sandwiches in her kitchen in Brooklyn and then driving to the Rockaways and delivering the food door-to-door to those in need.

[09:13] Andy Evans: I read a lot of the Occupy Wall Street people were helping out in Staten Island

[09:14] Orange Planer: That sounds to me more like an organization that doesn’t have a focus.

[09:14] CarynTopia Silvercloud: The occupy sandy site was the one I found to be most relevant to informing me about relief efforts immediately after the hurricane

[09:14] Rhiannon Chatnoir: no they just happen to have started in the Wall St area, but the social/activism structure has proven useful for organizing other efforts too

[09:14] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): The idea is that the government agencies aren’t doing enough for relief efforts so Occupy Sandy/Wall Street are stepping in to take action

[09:14] Ozma Malibu: I liked how easy it was to donate funds to grassroots efforts. Also loved the “wedding registries” (Sandy and Sandy) with lists of needed items you could buy.

[09:14] Orange Planer: How transparent are the grassroots organizations?

[09:15] Zazoom Zimminy raises hand

[09:15] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): TechSoup has a variety of technology-related disaster planning and recovery resources for nonprofits and libraries.

[09:16] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Check out our Disaster Planning Resources Page (, which includes a link to our Disaster Planning Guide

[09:16] Rhiannon Chatnoir: did you have a question for Ginny.. Zazoom?

[09:16] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I’m currently working on an updates to it that include information on creating a backup strategy for your mobile devices.

[09:16] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Sure, does anybody have any questions or comments?

[09:17] Buffy Beale: fantasic information thanks!

[09:17] Zazoom Zimminy: yes, thanks. I was wondering how you go about curating the information available as the problem with disasters seems to be too much noise and not enough signal

[09:17] Zazoom Zimminy: Did you have a process for verifying the quality of resources around things like volunteering, the veracity of information coming in, etc.

[09:17] Gentle Heron agrees with Zazoom. The thing I think about social media is, it divides the information by multiplying the information providers. There’s too much out there with too little specifics, and nothing coordinated

[09:17] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Great question!

[09:18] Zazoom Zimminy: if anything, this is where curation is so critical

[09:18] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I have a few friends who are active in disaster relief/recovery efforts in the Jersey Shore and Rockaways

[09:18] Zazoom Zimminy: and it needs to be timely

[09:18] Ozma Malibu: Grassroots groups & transparency: lots of images posted of the work they were doing and we could follow on FB etc.Also, donate where you trust. I donated to the U-Hungry Cafe people cos they had a good track record e.g. with Katrina.

[09:18] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): So I asked them what resources they found useful, timely, etc.

[09:18] Orange Planer: Are these people audited?

[09:18] Rhiannon Chatnoir: what was their response back

[09:19] Zazoom Zimminy: so really the best way, finding local people you trust, trying to have your ear as close to the ground as possible

[09:19] Zazoom Zimminy: tapping networks

[09:19] Orange Planer: I’d rather buy the goods myself and drive them over.

[09:19] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): They said that following Twitter hashtags and other location-based sources were the best way to find out where help was needed

[09:19] Rhiannon Chatnoir: there is something to be said of trust networks…via either the info coming from an org or a person you know / trust

[09:19] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): InterOccupy and the sites were also fast and easy way to obtain information

[09:19] Ozma Malibu: yes, Zazoon, find locals you trust, tap networks. Or yes, Orange, drive out yourself.

[09:20] Orange Planer: Until you’ve got one person who runs a group by the power of personality.

[09:20] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): BUT, I’m not sure if you guys read about this, there was a guy on Twitter spreading false information. Saying that hospitals were on fire and certain streets were flooded

[09:20] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): So you can’t always trust what you read

[09:20] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): on social media

[09:20] Gentle Heron: I think that was Zazoom’s point.

[09:20] Ethelred Weatherwax: David Dexter, Manchester UK, arriving late and leacing early

[09:21] Rhiannon Chatnoir: One of the most interesting/amazing relief efforts was one that began as initially some SMS phone postings on Facebook, that bled to related interest/disability groups of a couple that due to the ‘no power’ were in essence stranded without resources and in need of supplies, aid and a way to use a ventilator

[09:21] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Right, so I think and sites stepping in to organize and verify some of this information was important

[09:21] Rhiannon Chatnoir: that evolved quickly in to someone creating a google doc that was collaborated on and shared

[09:21] Rhiannon Chatnoir:…

[09:21] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): That’s really interesting, Rhiannon

[09:21] Rhiannon Chatnoir: that is the doc if you want to see how that worked

[09:22] Ozma Malibu: wow

[09:22] Orange Planer: Yes, I saw that site.

[09:22] Rhiannon Chatnoir: a great example of your network rising up to aid you.. or friends of friends of friends… etc

[09:22] Gentle Heron: That person in the news was a member of Virtual Ability. We’ve used Google docs before to help them out. In fact, that’s how Nick got to New York City.

[09:22] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes and one of the co-organizers of the disability group GimpGirls

[09:22] Ozma Malibu: wow, again

[09:23] Rhiannon Chatnoir: all started from an SMS post to facebook to friends

[09:23] Gentle Heron: Yes Aleja is the head of GimpGirls in SL.

[09:23] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): A few of you messaged me to let me know that my link to TechSoup’s Disaster Planning site wasn’t working. Here’s the fixed link

[09:23] Zazoom Zimminy: awesome, thanks

[09:23] Gentle Heron: But this is an example of where even the government info sites were not helpful. They gave out information that was inaccurate as far as help for people with disabilities was concerned.

[09:24] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I’m curious — do you organizations have disaster plans in place?

[09:24] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): *your

[09:24] Orange Planer: Or just use this:

[09:24] Rhiannon Chatnoir: good question

[09:25] Gentle Heron: The public shelters in Philadelphia were supposed to “take anyone” but they were not capable of taking in people with severe disabilities (one was told “We’ll take your parrot, but not you. You use a ventilator.”) and there was NO source of information for these people who needed more help than most of us.

[09:26] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes – the elderly were also severely impacted.. once power went out and they were essence trapped in high rises unable to walk down stairs

[09:26] Gentle Heron: I think that’s a good question Ginny. Since my organization is mainly SL based, with no RL activities, our disaster planning may be a bit different than those orgs who are location based. But yes, we have some planning in place.

[09:26] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Yes, a few of my friends’ grandparents live in the Rockaways and had trouble evacuating and finding shelter.

[09:26] Rhiannon Chatnoir: this can fuel a lot of discussion on how to make cities smarter and better prepared to handle disasters…hopefully

[09:27] Rhiannon Chatnoir: on that note Gentle, just loss of power is huge for any org that relies heavily on online technology

[09:27] Gentle Heron: Indeed it is, Rhiannon.

[09:27] Gentle Heron: as is back up for record keeping

[09:28] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): DeYes, backing up is crucial — a disaster can be spilling water all over your laptop 🙂

[09:28] CarynTopia Silvercloud: In my neighborhood in the West Village there was already an org that had been organizing around getting a hospitIn my neighborhood in the West Village, NY I was already in contact with an org that had been organizing around getting a closed hospital opened and that org was able to send out email to its members to organize help for seniors trapped in high rises

[09:29] Zazoom Zimminy: And don’t park your trains in Hoboken next time, NJ Transit

[09:29] CarynTopia Silvercloud: I could trust the info becuase I knew the people and the org

[09:29] Gentle Heron: HAHAHA

[09:29] CarynTopia Silvercloud: then I was able to send that info to my community in the Berkshires so they had a trusted source

[09:29] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Wow, that’s really interesting, Caryn.

[09:29] Rhiannon Chatnoir: at least not all of them Zazoom 😉

[09:30] Rhiannon Chatnoir: How many of you here were either effected directly or indirectly from Sandy?

[09:31] Gentle Heron: Some of our community members were, but not the organization’s offices.

[09:31] Zazoom Zimminy: me raises hand

[09:31] Andy Evans: Indirectly – I live in NYC…. wife had to get a rise to her job at the NYC DEPT OF Environmental Protection

[09:31] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I know Caryn, Zazoom.. some of us were more on one end of the storm or another or effected by colleagues we work/interact

[09:32] Zazoom Zimminy: more than half of our town was without power more than a week after the storm, though we only lost for two days

[09:32] Dancers Yao: collleagues affected

[09:32] Zazoom Zimminy: Had lots of neighbors over warming up and watching X Factor

[09:32] Zazoom Zimminy smiles

[09:32] Zazoom Zimminy: go Carly!

[09:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I had a good friend in Hoboken who they shared power charging in their hallways while they had it and shared info via cell on where to find resources/food

[09:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: SMS usage becomes huge in an effected area would think

[09:36] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): SMS is a great way to stay in touch, but you have to watch the battery life on your phone 🙂

[09:36] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): in case there’s no power

[09:36] Andy Evans: Is it true SMS may work when the phone lines are clogged?

[09:36] Orange Planer: Yes, Andy.

[09:36] Buffy Beale: Sorry everyone have to leave early, great presentation thanks Ginny!

[09:36] Orange Planer: SMS depends more on IP through the phone network than on internet-IP.

[09:37] Zinnia Zauber: Take care, Buffy!

[09:37] Sarvana Jonstone: Local teams from “Somebody Cares Baltimore” and my church, Mountain Christian Church are going back and forth helping in the recovery. Twitter and text messages have been our communication for updates

[09:37] Buffy Beale: waves byee

[09:37] Sarvana Jonstone: Take care Buffy

[09:37] Orange Planer: Multiplexing that way is more robust.

[09:37] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Sarvana, do you use Twitter lists/groups to share info with one another?

[09:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: you can use tools that help message many at once, like in those efforts Sarvana

[09:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and thanks Buffy for coming

[09:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and yes, twitter lists!

[09:38] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): is awesome

[09:38] Sarvana Jonstone: we are using Twitter which bounces to Facebook… especially if request for expertise or items are submitted

[09:38] Andy Evans: What is GroupMe?

[09:38] Glitteractica Cookie: what is (jinx)

[09:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: it is a way to set up SMS groups Andy

[09:39] Andy Evans: Wow

[09:39] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): It is an app that lets you text a designated group of people

[09:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so you could add people’s cell numbers and then have your own SMS chat between all members of that group

[09:39] Sarvana Jonstone: will check it out… the teams are scattered between NYC and NJ…

[09:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: there is an app you can use. but you can also use the SMS number for your group and just send a text message to that as well

[09:40] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): I relied on it when I was a journalist to coordinate coverage of an event. I’d imagine it would be really helpful for coordinating volunteer efforts

[09:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: if you werent able or didnt have a smart phone

[09:40] Sarvana Jonstone: sounds like a much needed tool… Thank you… will share with the team leaders

[09:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great for use during events/conventions as well.. to plan things collectively and share info quickly to all

[09:41] Rhiannon Chatnoir:

[09:41] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other questions for Ginny

[09:41] Sarvana Jonstone: so much work to be done… TV does not tell the story

[09:42] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Agreed!

[09:42] Sarvana Jonstone: Thank you Ginny… Awesome presentation!!!

[09:42] Andy Evans: Fantastic presentation

[09:42] Gentle Heron: Thanks Ginny. Very interesting presentation.

[09:42] Zinnia Zauber: thank you Ginny!

[09:42] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Thank you all for having me!

[09:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes, mainstream media is often hardpressed to keep up with the speed of infosharing online

[09:42] Zazoom Zimminy: thanks!

[09:42] Tori Landau: Many thanks Ginny!

[09:42] Dancers Yao: thanks great info

[09:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes great to have you here – thanks Ginny!

[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Ginny also writes a lot of posts to the forum.. so another good reason to visit there

[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I have a link to her forum profile on the NPC blog entry about today’s presentation

[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and you can find her other content there

[09:44] bulaklak: Thanks, Ginny!

[09:44] bulaklak: Great presentation.




[09:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s move on to Open Mic!

[09:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Does anyone have any announcements today?

[09:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: if not we can end earlier… but if you have any events/info to share

[09:45] Orange Planer: Nothing here.

[09:46] Toxic Templates New Releases: MESH VIOLETTA BOOTS-SEMI EXCLUSIVE-10 SETS AVAILABLE ONLY-Realistically Textured,Mesh Over Ankle Boots, Laced Front, Strapped Sides, Metal Accents  /pngs/psds/mesh-Want removed?IM Alexxis Decuir-MP: or Direct Trans Only

[09:46] Zinnia Zauber: CommonGround is next Thursday

[09:46] Zinnia Zauber: Our color theme is GOLD!

[09:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes!

[09:46] Glitteractica Cookie: excellent presentation

[09:46] Glitteractica Cookie: i hope we recap it and point to it on the site

[09:46] Tori Landau: What is commonground please Zinnia?

[09:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and will add her slides

[09:47] Zinnia Zauber: CommonGround is a fun and informative networking party here at the Nonprofit Commons to promote about what nonprofits, educators, humanitarians, scientists, and artists accomplish in Second Life.

[09:47] Zinnia Zauber: It is from 5 to 7 PM SLT on Aloft.

[09:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: usually there is a theme.. this time being Gold

[09:47] Zinnia Zauber: We aim for the Third Thursday of each month.

[09:47] Tori Landau: oh shame, sounds great, u fortunately I’ll be in bed, have a great time everyone °͜°

[09:47] Zinnia Zauber: New color themes each month, this time GOLD.

[09:48] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great if you want to informally meet up with other NPC community members, network and chat

[09:48] Zinnia Zauber: An effective way to connect with a new audience and promote your organization’s mission is to attend our two networking parties at the Nonprofit Commons – Wharf Ratz Tuesday Night Extraordinary Dance Extravaganza and CommonGround.

[09:48] Rhiannon Chatnoir: will there be a Mentor’s meeting after this Zinnia?

[09:48] Sarvana Jonstone: According to my twin, SarVana Haalan… “CommonGround rocks!!” LOL, LOL

[09:49] Zinnia Zauber: A very brief Mentor Meeting.

[09:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ha

[09:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: anyone else with announcements?

[09:49] Tori Landau: is wharf ratz also 5 to 7pm slt?

[09:49] Zinnia Zauber: So, let’s start that in 5 minutes.

[09:49] Zinnia Zauber: Wharf Ratz Tuesday Night Extraordinary Dance Extravaganza is 7 to 9 PM SLT.

[09:49] Zinnia Zauber: Every Tuesday!

[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Lets close this week’s meeting – please feel free to stick around for the Mentor’s meeting afterwards

[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: And again, here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:

[09:50] Orange Planer: So, some weeks there’s wharf ratz (2 hours), CommonGround (2 hours), and the NPC meeting (2 hours).

[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Nonprofit Commons Blog:


 – Wiki:

 – Twitter:

 – Facebook:

 – Google Group:

 – Google Calendar:



About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:





Thanks everyone and see you next week!


[09:50] Sarvana Jonstone: Excellent meeting!!!

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes – and again much thanks to Ginny and a great discussion too 🙂

[09:51] Penelope Lowtide (ginny.lowtide): Thanks everyone! I must go now and put together next week’s By The Cup newsletter. Take care all!

[09:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: take care and bye Ginny

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Pooky Amsterdam: “The Future of Machinima” for the November 16th NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, November 16th, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Pooky Amsterdam. Moving beyond live production of shows and professional videos Pooky is heading up a major International Film Festival’s busy 3 Day schedule, this weekend – She will be talking to us about the 5th Annual Machinima-Expo 2012 and what it will hold, and also what it possibly means for the future of machinima as a medium. 

Bio: Pooky Amsterdam, CEO of has been working in the field of  Virtual World Entertainment and TV for the past decade. The producer and writer of thousands of shows over this period, she is a leader in this field.  Since 2008 she has been a driving force for using Second Life as a media platform. With a portfolio of work credited to the PookyMedia team, the films she produces portray a full range of genre from Music and fashion to educational films. Recently PookyMedia has been working on more Public Service Announcements for the State of California, that are helping children and adults eradicate the threat of airborne pests. Yes, they are starring a mosquito, named Pesky.


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, November 16th, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater



  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Centra
  • l8:55 am Main Speaker: Pooky Amsterdam
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements

The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Nonprofit Commons Recap: To Invent the Future, We Must Build Dreams

article by Alexandra Bezdikian, Online Community Coordinator, TechSoup Global

On October 26th, 2012, the Nonprofit Commons welcomed back John (Pathfinder) Lester, a man whose unparalleled work in virtual worlds and 3D environments has allowed the development of new systems for immersive learning using next-generation virtual world platforms that integrate with the web and mobile devices. Work he’s currently pursuing as Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid Inc. (

Although his presentation addressed key features of next generation virtual worlds and best practices on how to build truly engaging simulations within them, he began with a dream.

“I was looking at the sphinx, then suddenly the jet car from Buckaroo Banzai drove up to me,” Pathfinder dreamed out loud. “A classic mix of dream reality and surreality,” he said as he came back to the crowd. “I think as designers, as people thinking about how to deeply engage visitors in virtual worlds, dreams are a good template to explore because next generation virtual worlds must focus on deep engagement and capturing people’s imaginations, and there’s no better place for that then dreams.

Too often what we end up creating in virtual worlds,” Pathfinder Lester confessed, “or any new medium, to be honest, is most of the time a recreation of the familiar, recognizable because familiar makes us feel safe. But the deepest engagement does not happen when we feel completely safe. It happens when we see something bizarre and when we are ‘challenged’ by our environment. That’s just how we our brains are wired. Our brains kick into high gear when we’re challenged.

I think the BEST place to look for inspiration, for finding that balance between familiar and truly fascinating, is in human dreams. Our dreams are often a perfect mix of the mundane and fantastical. Virtual environments are as malleable as dreams. So i think it’s important to explore the full range of emotional states in them.”

As Pathfinder put it, “to invent the future, we must build dreams.”

He wrapped up his presentation by projecting the road ahead for next generation virtual worlds. 

“I think the real future of virtual worlds in general will lie at the intersection of virtual spaces and physical places. The intersection of Augmented Reality and Virtual worlds. There’s a lot happening right now with Augmented Reality, but I think there’s a single serious roadblock. I think the roadblock is the fact that our mobile device are tiny screens we have to pull out of our pockets to see. For things to really take off, I think we need something like Google’s Glass hardware. Something we wear. Something that gives us a seamless malleable view of the world. And all of the work everyone here has done with virtual worlds will be critical in building that broader future of malleable reality.”

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Transcript of Novemeber 2nd Meeting Featuring: Anna Jaeger

[08:32] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Welcome everyone to this week’s Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting!

[08:32] Rhiannon Chatnoir: The Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is sponsored by TechSoup Global and is a program of the TechSoup Global Community & Social Media team.


[08:32] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Today’s Agenda:

 – 8:30 am Introductions

 – 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements

 – 8:45 am Mentor’s Central – featuring Ozma Malibu on the NPC wiki

 – 8:55 am Featured Presenter: Anna Jaeger, “Cloud Technology and the NGO Community” 

 – 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


[08:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: First a few links to start off the meeting. 


Here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:


 – Nonprofit Commons Blog:

 – Wiki:

 – Twitter:

 – Facebook:

 – Google Group:

 – Google Calendar:



About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:







[08:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Morning everyone, let’s start off with Introductions!


Please state your real name, location, org, and the ways we can find you online.


[08:33] Buffy Beale: Buffy Bye, Bridges for Women, Victoria BC Canada, @bridges4women

[08:33] HB Eternal: Harold W Becker, The Love Foundation, Florida, @lovefoundation

[08:33] CarynTopia Silvercloud: Caryn Heilman, Topia Arts Center in the Berkshires of NW, MA,, @TopiaArtsCenter

[08:33] Buffy Beale: heh heh HB 🙂

[08:33] HB Eternal: Go Buffy!

[08:33] Zinnia Zauber: Renne Emiko Brock-Richmond, Sequim Humanities and Arts Alliance, Sequim, Olympic Peninsula, Washington. @renneemiko

[08:33] Ronnie Rhode: Denise Harrison, The Garden for the Missing, and SLURL Remora (203,148,21), Project Jason, assistance for families of the missing,

[08:33] Jen (jenelle.levenque): Bruce Hestley, Transgender American Veterans Association, Akron, OH,,!/TAVAUS

[08:33] alebez: ale bezdikian, Online Community Coordinator, TechSoup, SF, Ca. @TechSoup, @alebez

[08:34] Diantha Petrov: Lori Wahl

[08:34] Dancers Yao: Kara Bennett , ElderVoices, Los Angeles, CA, Health Care and Human Rights

[08:34] Chayenn: Monique Richert, Protect Yourself 1, Inc., Baltimore, MD ,, , @PY1US

[08:34] Gentle Heron: Virtual Ability, Inc.

[08:34] Par (parhelion.palou): Phred Phlintstone, generic volunteer (no org), north of Baltimore, MD, no twitter or website

[08:34] Hour Destiny: Morris Cox, Nevada, @morriscox

[08:34] Atalanta Visage: Jennifer Siegel, National Service Inclusion Project, Boston, MA

[08:34] Ozma Malibu: Sandy Andrews, Floaters Org tech outreach, active in Arizona, Mexico and On the Road, @ozma

[08:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir is Joyce Bettencourt, Community Manager of the NonProfit Commons in Second Life,, @RhiannonSL …located in the Boston, MA area….which is a bit squishier post Sandy

[08:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir: If you joined us late, feel free to introduce yourself

[08:36] Carl Solutionary (carlicann): Professor Carl Icann, Rockcliffe University, — I am hosting another Poetic Drum Circle at Burning Life on Sunday 9am SLT. This week’s theme is Election & Democracy Poetry. Location: Teleport to Burning Man- Black Rock (55,199,25) (DO NOT CLICK THIS!!!)

[08:36] Andy Evans: Andy Mallon, First Opinions Panel in SL

Social Research Foundation, NYC in RL

[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂

[08:37] Sister (sister.abeyante): Sister Patrice Colletti, SDS Milwaukee, WI *** @SisterAbeyante *** @TechTips4Usds *** as well as a volunteer with Virtual Ability, Inc.




[08:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s move on to TechSoup Announcements – today Alebez will be speaking

[08:38] alebez: Hello everyone, alebez here to give you the TechSoup updates for the week! Bulaklak sends his love, and also me. 🙂

[08:38] alebez: It was an exciting week at TechSoup and in the community!

[08:38] alebez: Windows 8 launched, we have announced a winner to our Technology in Action social media campaign, our goal was to generate stories to include on the local impact map – we got 28 entries!

[08:39] alebez: And if you’ve watched the news recently, hurricane Sandy is making headlines left and right. Not in a good way.

[08:39] alebez: Our content team thought it was important to address our community affected by hurricane Sandy, so our team came together worked hard to create hurricane Sandy disaster relief resources.

[08:39] alebez: But disaster preparedness doesn’t start or stop with just natural disasters. We also included a whole lot of content on technology’s impact on disaster relief.

[08:40] alebez: You can check out the roundup of those resources here in this bundle:

[08:40] alebez: The winner of our Technology in Action campaign was Get set, Go – a non profit based out of Wisconsin, but whose main arm is its Women’s Learning Center in Cambodia.

[08:40] Buffy Beale: that’s so innovative alebez for using the map, well done to TechSoup!

[08:40] alebez: 28 orgs submitted really amazing photographs showing how technology activates their organization and helps fulfill their mission.

[08:41] alebez: You can view some of the great photos, and the winning submission here:

[08:41] CarynTopia Silvercloud: thanks for the disaster relief efforts- much appreciated

[08:41] alebez: And finally, I wanted to announce the coming launch of the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest. The contest goes live on Monday.

[08:41] alebez: Whether you are a hacker at heart, a social do-gooder, a youth activist, or a developer with an innovative mind and skills to implement, this contest seeks to bring together innovation with the means to create. Now’s the time to pow wow with your developer friends to make that great app idea you had one time happen.

[08:42] alebez: The prizes are great.


There are 3 categories of prizes: Best Overall Windows 8 App: $15,000; Best Overall Windows 8 Phone App: $15,000; People’s Choice App: $10,000


[08:42] alebez: Important Dates

  • Project submissions: November 5 – February 28
  • Public voting: March 1 – March 15
  • Winners Announced: March 25


[08:43] alebez: Ready to get started? Here’s how to proceed.

[08:43] alebez: Create a Windows 8 app focused on social good (collaborations encouraged!)

Publish the app in the Windows Store –

Register the application project on the contest website (will be when the contest goes live on Monday)

Check out the other apps, then vote on your favorites in March!

[08:43] Hour Destiny: I’m going to a code camp next Friday. Why doesn’t TechSoup have a Code Camp sometime?

[08:43] alebez: That’s a great idea, hour. and one we are currently exploring 🙂

[08:44] alebez: please let us know about your experience!

[08:44] alebez: that’s all folks!

[08:44] Frans Charming applauds

[08:44] Hour Destiny: It’s my 3rd year and counting.

[08:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Thanks Alebez!

[08:44] alebez: thank you all




[08:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: on to Mentor’s Central!

[08:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Today for Mentor Central we have Ozma Malibu speaking to us about the NPC wiki. Let’s welcome her up and please start whenever your ready.

[08:45] Ozma Malibu: OK!

[08:45] Buffy Beale: yay Oz!

[08:45] Gentle Heron: YAY Ozma!

[08:45] Zinnia Zauber: Rah Ozma!

[08:45] Ozma Malibu: haha. thanks.

[08:45] Par (parhelion.palou): Yay, Oz … even if you were responsible for the hurricane

[08:45] Ozma Malibu: Well. The Mentors Corner today will emphasize a useful TechSoup resource that is especially for us in the NPC.

[08:45] Ozma Malibu: I know, alas, the hurricane. (I am a Sandy too.)

[08:46] Ozma Malibu: Anyway.

[08:46] Ozma Malibu: Please don’t click the display btw. It may advance if you do.

[08:46] Ozma Malibu: The resource is the Nonprofits in Second Life Wiki, at

[08:47] Ozma Malibu: Seriously. Don’t click it.

[08:47] Ozma Malibu: …thank you… 🙂

[08:47] Ozma Malibu: Anyone can access the wiki for information

[08:47] Ozma Malibu: (here it is)

[08:48] Ozma Malibu: BUT if you want to be an editor, you must first create an account, and then ask Rhiannon for editing permission.

[08:48] Ozma Malibu: (up there at the top is where you create an account)

[08:49] Ozma Malibu: The NPSL wiki is full of useful information, all in one place. You can send new members here

[08:49] Ozma Malibu: (saves time and is fun for them)

[08:50] Ozma Malibu: But,, you’ll also find much that’s new and interesting no matter how long you’ve been a resident here.

[08:50] Ozma Malibu: (so check it out)

[08:51] Ozma Malibu: Here for instance are the Upcoming Events.

[08:51] Ozma Malibu: Transcripts of meetings. Blog posts.

[08:51] Ozma Malibu: There is an #npsl twitter feed that you may want to contribute to.

[08:51] Glitteractica Cookie: (sorry I’m late… Susan Tenby, Online Community and Social Media Director, TechSoup, SF CA USA logging in from Maui, Hawaii @suzboop @techsoup

[08:52] Ozma Malibu: At the top, you’ll find buttons to the NPSL presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

[08:52] Ozma Malibu: so useful.

[08:52] Ozma Malibu: Over on the left, in the Navigation section, you’ll see the Mentoring link. Click on it!

[08:53] Ozma Malibu: well, wait til you get to the actual wiki please.

[08:53] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂

[08:53] Ozma Malibu: A bit of history: this was originally the Docent section, and that title lives on in the page tA bit of history: this was originally the Docent section, and that title lives on in the page title.

[08:54] Ozma Malibu: ah didn’t think that went through.

[08:54] Ozma Malibu: Now, some parts of the Wiki need to be periodically updated, and so the Mentors are currently updating the list of available Mentors, which is on the siki.

[08:54] Ozma Malibu: We’d like to invite all of you to volunteer. There are three levels of Mentors, so any amount of expertise and any amount of time you can give are just fine.

[08:55] Ozma Malibu: If you think it sounds like fun but have cold feet, you can also just attend Mentor meetings and sign up later.

[08:55] Ozma Malibu: To serve as a welcome wagon mentor, all you have to do is to take new members under your wing and be friendly. If you have building skills, etc., that is wonderful, but it is not necessary.

[08:55] Ozma Malibu: Instructors have skills of one kind and another, and when a newbie is stuck on a Second Life question, an Instructor can help the necessary skills. You don’t need to possess many skills to volunteer for this position – sign up for what you know!

[08:55] Ozma Malibu: Mentors’ Mentors are people with great skills, and little time. When the Mentors are working with someone who needs help, and don’t have sufficient skills yet for a particular problem, they can call on one of the Mentors’ Mentors for advice. Again, you can just sign up for the specific skills that you want to offer.

[08:56] Ozma Malibu: So, Mentoring is a great way to fulfill your volunteer obligation to the NPC, have fun, learn a lot, dream a lot, and it’s a further opportunity for networking. Remember, Mentor meetings happen every Friday. right after this one.

[08:56] Ozma Malibu: And please do check out the the wiki – often!

[08:56] Ozma Malibu: thank you!

[08:56] Frans Charming applauds

[08:56] Ozma Malibu: that’s all!

[08:56] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you very much, Ozma! This was great!

[08:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Ozma – Thanks for leading Mentors Central today!

[08:56] Hour Destiny: If only there were an app for that. 🙂

[08:56] Brena Benoir: Brenda Bryan, Preferred Family Healthcare, Kirksville, Missouri,, @brenabenoir

[08:56] Sister (sister.abeyante): Thanks, helkpful info

[08:57] Buffy Beale: yay Oz that was great!




[08:57] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Time for today’s main presenter

[08:57] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Welcome Anna Jaeger of TechSoup (Sage Ovetcher in SL), who will speak to us today on TechSoup’s recent Cloud Technology Survey and the primary advantages, barriers and motivations that nonprofits, libraries, and NGOs from around the world reported for moving their IT to the cloud.

[08:57] Glitteractica Cookie: Le W00t!

[08:57] Glitteractica Cookie: go anna!

[08:57] alebez: anna!

[08:57] Sage Qvetcher: Thanks, Susan

[08:57] Rhiannon Chatnoir: a brief bio:

[08:57] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Anna Jaeger, the Director of Microsoft Program and Special Projects, was also the co-founder of the GreenTech Initiative at TechSoup Global. GreenTech’s mission is to help nonprofits and libraries reduce their environmental impact through the effective use of technology, including cloud technologies. Prior to her work on the Global Cloud Survey, Ms. Jaeger lead TechSoup Global’s IT Engineering Department, which implemented and maintained all enterprise software and websites.

[08:58] Sage Qvetcher: Hello all and thank you for the chance to share the results of our survey with all of you.

[08:58] Glitteractica Cookie: Hey Sage!

[08:58] Glitteractica Cookie: I love yr last name

[08:58] Buffy Beale: cheering!

[08:58] Glitteractica Cookie: Qvetcher… Second Life/Jewish spelling

[08:58] Sage Qvetcher: Thanks! Me too.

[08:58] Glitteractica Cookie: 🙂

[08:58] Sage Qvetcher: It fits me so well.

[08:58] Glitteractica Cookie: ha ha

[08:58] Ozma Malibu: love it

[08:58] Gentle Heron: It’s a great name, however it’s spelled.

[08:59] Sage Qvetcher: My name is Anna Jaeger and I am a director at TechSoup Global in San Francisco.

[08:59] Jen (jenelle.levenque): Love Yiddish

[08:59] Sage Qvetcher: Well, make sure to kibbitz during the presentation then.

[09:00] Sage Qvetcher: This will be a brief presentation of a tiny sliver of our data. 

If you have questions, comments or want to delve deeper, please feel free to reach out to me afterwards at

[09:00] Rhiannon Chatnoir: presentation slides are up behind you – let me know if you need any help advancing

[09:00] Sage Qvetcher: thanks

[09:00] Sage Qvetcher: Trying to pan

[09:00] Sage Qvetcher: but it is slow

[09:00] Sage Qvetcher: Next Slide (2):

My goals for this presentation are:

Understanding what organizations from around the world have said about the advantages to, barriers of and motivators for using cloud computing.

[09:00] Rhiannon Chatnoir: lots of avatars present….makes things slower

[09:01] Sage Qvetcher: Familiarize you with the types of applications and the specific applications nonprofits are already adopting.

[09:01] Sage Qvetcher: Let you know how to find more information.


Given the mountain of data we collected, this final bullet is most critical.

[09:02] Sage Qvetcher: Why did we do a global cloud survey?

[09:02] Sage Qvetcher: We wanted to gauge how NGOs worldwide are currently using cloud products and services

[09:03] Sage Qvetcher: Measure how NGOs perceive barriers to and advantages of cloud computing adoption 


Understand these organizations’ future plans for cloud computing adoption

[09:03] Sage Qvetcher: Help capacity-building organizations, consultants, donors, and foundations better support the social benefit sector in making informed decisions about whether cloud-based solutions are right for them.


I also think the final bullet on this slide is the most important.

[09:03] Sage Qvetcher: I promise the slides will get more visually interesting in a moment. 🙂

[09:04] Sage Qvetcher: but not yet

[09:04] Sage Qvetcher: We needed to pick a definition that was short, easy to understand and easy to translate. We couldn’t be all inclusive without greatly expanding the length of the survey

[09:04] Sage Qvetcher: So, we focused mostly on software as a service (SaaS).

[09:05] Sage Qvetcher: The survey was conducted in the 1st half of 2012

We published the survey in 21 languages and received 10,593 usable responses from respondents in 88 countries.

[09:05] Sage Qvetcher: We released the report in September 2012

The full report is available online, free of charge

Our executive summary is published in 19 languages

And in addition, we have 25 individual country-level reports

[09:06] Glitteractica Cookie: That is so impressive, it bears repeating! nearly 10,600 answered surveys!

[09:06] Sage Qvetcher: Here is the breakout of responses by region:

  • Europe: 37%
  • US/Can: 33%
  • Asia: 13%
  • S. Africa/Egypt: 4%
  • Aus/NZ: 4%
  • Undefined: 6%

[09:06] Sage Qvetcher: 74% from the highest GDP category (>$20K per capita)

[09:07] Sage Qvetcher: How is my speed? Am I going too fast or too slow?

[09:07] Rhiannon Chatnoir: doing fine

[09:07] Sage Qvetcher: Everything I am presenting here today is available in the report

[09:07] Glitteractica Cookie: doing great, Sage!

[09:07] Sage Qvetcher: I will give you the URL to the full reportand the translations at the end of the presentation

[09:07] Sage Qvetcher: Thanks.

[09:08] Sage Qvetcher: As you can see, our data is heavily focused on Western countries and rich countries

[09:09] Sage Qvetcher: However, in the report, we did break out some of the data by country and by region and by country GDP

[09:09] Sage Qvetcher: We did that so that you could see how individual countries differed from the average data set

[09:10] Sage Qvetcher: Given the nature of the outreach, the questions asked, and the fact that the survey was taken online, the survey sample skews toward those working in organizations that have access to the Internet and are engaged with cloud computing.

[09:11] Sage Qvetcher: uh-ohConsequently, cloud usage levels reported here may be higher than actual levels among all NGOs.

[09:11] Sister (sister.abeyante): Sage- I’m wondering- how did NGOs select themselves to participate? How did you connect with them?

[09:11] Sage Qvetcher: Ah! Good question

[09:12] Sage Qvetcher: They did self-select and self-identify

[09:12] Sage Qvetcher: However, we did outreach in our normal means, which means that we were targeting NGOs, libraries and other social benefit orgs. 

  • 90% of respondents worldwide are using cloud computing.
  • 79% say the greatest advantage is easier software/ hardware administration.
  • 60% say lack of knowledge is the greatest barrier.
  • 53% report plans to move a “significant portion” of their IT to the cloud within three years.
  • 47% say cost-related changes and ease of setup would be the greatest motivators for moving their IT to the cloud.

[09:13] Sage Qvetcher: Keep in mind that these numbers represent only the respondents

[09:13] Sage Qvetcher: We are not saying that 90% of all NGOs aworld wide are using the cloud.

[09:13] Sage Qvetcher: Familiarity with many of these applications is not surprising. 

Facebook, Gmail, Skype and Twitter are common words in everyday vernacular.

[09:14] Sage Qvetcher: However, it is interesting to note how different actual usage of these applications is.

[09:14] Glitteractica Cookie: ppl don’t even realize they are using the cloud, often

[09:14] Sage Qvetcher: You can see here that Twitter usage dropped to 38% from a familiarity percentage of 90%. So, most people have heard of twitter, but only 1/3rd use it at their nonprofits.

[09:15] Rhiannon Chatnoir: very true Glitteractica

[09:15] Sage Qvetcher: Yes, our study found that people didn’t know what the cloud was and when they were using it.

[09:16] Sage Qvetcher: People indicated that they didn’t use the cloud for collaboration and then in another question indicated that they use Skype and web conferencing tools like ReadyTalk and WebEx.

[09:16] Sarvana Haalan: Like how fols refer to it… Up there… in the cloud…. of th ecloud

[09:16] Sage Qvetcher: NTEN calls this the “Hidden cloud”

[09:16] Sarvana Haalan: *folks

[09:16] Sage Qvetcher: While it is not surprising that ease of use and access featured highly as advantages (79% reported it as a major advantage). It was interesting that cost also was noted as a major advantage (62%).

[09:17] Sage Qvetcher: Survey respondents identified costs and data security (54%) as both advantages and barriers to cloud computing.

[09:17] Sarvana Haalan: I am consern about content rights in the cloud 🙂

[09:17] Par (parhelion.palou): Data security is NOT an advantage to cloud computing

[09:17] Sage Qvetcher: You should be.

[09:17] Sarvana Haalan: *concern… sorry can’t spell today… smiles

[09:18] Sage Qvetcher: Well, data security may be an advantage for nonprofits who have their data on a server sitting on the floor in their bathroom (true story) or on their back porch

[09:18] Sage Qvetcher: It is really dependent on the situation

[09:18] Orange Planer: Sorry I’m late.

[09:18] Orange Planer: Data security?

[09:18] Hour Destiny: Encrypt before sending to the cloud.

[09:18] Sage Qvetcher: If you are Free Tibet, it may not be an advantage, but a concern.

[09:19] Sage Qvetcher: BTW, please remember

[09:19] Sarvana Haalan: excellent idea Hour… thanks

[09:19] Sage Qvetcher: We are reporting what people cited in the survey. I am not saying that any of these are or are not an advantage or concern for any of you.

[09:20] Sage Qvetcher: Lack of knowledge was the group of barriers that were reported at the highest rates (60%). 

30% of respondents said they didn’t know enough about cloud computing to know what the barriers are.

[09:20] Sage Qvetcher: Lack of knowledge was consistently reported as a barrier across geographies and organization sizes.

[09:20] Hour Destiny: Cloud == hosted services.

[09:20] Sage Qvetcher: The only barrier cited more frequently by smaller organizations was lack of knowledge.

[09:20] Sage Qvetcher: Medium organizations were on average 10% more likely to cite any barriers to cloud computing adoption.

[09:21] Sage Qvetcher: Large organizations were 18% more likely to cite barriers. 

Respondents at large organizations cited all the barriers to cloud computing adoption (except lack of knowledge) at higher levels than other organizations.

[09:21] Sage Qvetcher: Noncontrollable Externalities like “unstable electric grid” and “lack of dependable internet connection” were cited by 34% of respondents. Even in some of the wealthiest nations.

[09:21] Sister (sister.abeyante) nods on that one!

[09:21] Sage Qvetcher: We also did some individual interviews and were able to include those in the report.

[09:21] Sage Qvetcher: NGO voice: “When you’re talking about broadband in South Africa, you’re not talking about broadband in somewhere like San Francisco. You’re talking about something that’s probably about a quarter of the speed.” Technology Development Manager, South African NGO

[09:22] Sage Qvetcher: Cost factors and Ease of Setup factors were reported most frequently (47%) as changes that would most motivate organizations to move more of their IT to the cloud.

[09:22] Sage Qvetcher: Interestingly, even though 60% of respondents indicated that lack of knowledge was their greatest barrier, only 37% cited training as something that would help overcome the barriers.

[09:22] Sage Qvetcher: Large organizations cited more motivators overall for moving to the cloud than smaller organizations. In particular, they reported cost-related changes, making integration easier, the reduction of security risks, and providing remote management at higher-than-average rates.

[09:23] Sage Qvetcher: Medium-sized organizations reported making integration easier, adjusting their budget, and providing remote consulting at higher-than-average rates.

[09:23] Sage Qvetcher: With regards to timeframe…

[09:23] Sage Qvetcher: 53% plan to move a “significant portion” of their IT to the cloud within 3 years

[09:24] Sage Qvetcher: However, 36% have no plans to move to the cloud

[09:24] Sage Qvetcher: India, Africa/Middle East, and Mexico report the most accelerated reported timeframes with 74% of respondents in India reporting that they will move to the cloud within 3 years.

[09:24] Sage Qvetcher: Specifically, our data indicates that the more cloud-based apps respondents say are being used at their organization, the more advantages they report to using cloud computing and the faster their reported timeframe is for adopting cloud-based apps in the future.

[09:25] Sage Qvetcher: Medium-sized organizations reported the most aggressive timeframe for moving IT to the cloud, with 22% reporting they plan to move a significant portion of their IT to the cloud within one year.

Medium-sized organizations were defined as organizations with 10 to 44 full-time staff and volunteers.

[09:25] Orange Planer: I’m sure those virtual people will be of great help.

[09:25] Sage Qvetcher: You can also see in the lower left of the slide, that several of the nations from the lowest GDP tier reported the fastest timeframe for adopting cloud technologies. What does that mean for organizations in those countries? How might we need to tailor educational content differently in those countries?

[09:26] Sage Qvetcher: The top three or four application types on this list are not surprising: File storage/Sharing, email, data backup/recovery and office productivity like Google docs and Office365.

[09:26] Sage Qvetcher: These were closely aligned with the types of applications that were reported to be already in use in the cloud.

[09:27] Sage Qvetcher: What have we learned?

We need to offer more precise solutions. Solutions that work in verticals and minimize configuration.

[09:27] Glitteractica Cookie: i’m surprised online collab and communication is not on that list

[09:27] Orange Planer: Things that save money directly will be first on the list.

[09:27] Orange Planer: That is – those things that eat up the most storage.

[09:27] Sage Qvetcher: I am sure they are there, perhaps just lower down.

[09:27] Sage Qvetcher: But yes, it is surprising that they are not higher up.

[09:28] Sage Qvetcher: I am guessing it is because when thinking of adoption

[09:28] Glitteractica Cookie: yeah, maybe we need to add on our findings that we need to promote those apps better, via techsoup

[09:28] Sage Qvetcher: people first think “how can I make what I already do easier?”

[09:28] Orange Planer: No.

[09:28] Orange Planer: They will think “how can I save money.”

[09:28] Sage Qvetcher: They don’t think of collaboration as something they do on computers.

[09:28] Sage Qvetcher: Collaboration is 5th on the list

[09:29] Sister (sister.abeyante): Collaboration using technology as an interface is strongly influenced by the cultural context, too.

[09:29] Rhiannon Chatnoir: we are ahead of the curve in that regards.. I imagine all of us here think of collaborating online and in the cloud

[09:29] Sage Qvetcher: Very true

[09:29] Sage Qvetcher: We still have significant externalities that impact organizations’ ability to take advantage of technology. Externalitites like no reliable power or no reliable internet. We need to be supporting the good work that organizations like Inveneo are doing to help make those externalities a thing of the past.

[09:29] Sage Qvetcher: We also need to support those organizations that can connect but, for whatever reasons, have not yet done so.

[09:30] Ozma Malibu: so interesting!

[09:30] Sage Qvetcher: As you all know from your experiences here…

[09:30] Sage Qvetcher: Training is something everyone needs. And it’s hard. We know we need it. But it’s hard to make “go to a technology training class” the most important thing on the to-do list. We have to figure out how we, as capacity builders, leverage technology and our relationships across a number of sectors to offer answers to questions on demand, create mentorships, office hours for experts who are willing to donate their expertise. We need to think about how we get knowledge to people where and when they need it. And how we do that when getting the answer is urgent.

[09:30] Sister (sister.abeyante): Agree, Sage, or take a lead in creating solutions that can use the available techologies- in Africa, for example, the major growth is use of cell phone based techologies, not in using internet/computers.

[09:30] Sage Qvetcher: Exactly

[09:30] Sage Qvetcher: Answers must be locally relevent

[09:31] Carl Solutionary (carlicann): Can you take questions?

[09:31] Sage Qvetcher: And culturally sensitive

[09:31] Sage Qvetcher: Sure

[09:31] Sage Qvetcher: We need to know more about the technology usage of the organizations we all serve. We all know bits and pieces of the usage. And surveys, like this one and like NTEN’s State of the Cloud, help us. But we can also do a better job of thinking through the strengths and capacities we each bring, fitting those together so that we can get to solutions that work on the ground for the organizations we serve.

[09:31] Carl Solutionary (carlicann): What are the implications of the Cloud and this survey on Corporate Social Responsibility? And corporate use of NGOs in their advertising?

[09:33] Sage Qvetcher: Well, we hope that CSR groups will leverage the data to make better choices for their philanthropy

[09:33] Sage Qvetcher: We are working with the TSG donor partners to use this data to provide resources for NGOs and libraries

[09:33] Sage Qvetcher: Mostly, we are focusing on getting training out there.

[09:34] Sage Qvetcher: Making knowledge available so that NGOs can make informed choices.

[09:34] Sister (sister.abeyante): I imagine the training question is a “cart before the horse” question sometimes too- an org that needs training, but can’t access it because… they do not yet have the training to access it!

[09:34] Sage Qvetcher: We hope that corporations and foundations will use this data to offer the right resources at the right time.

[09:35] Sage Qvetcher: Yes, or they don’t have the internet access to be able to access the training

[09:35] Sister (sister.abeyante) nods

[09:35] Sage Qvetcher: It will take a village to get many of the world’s NGOs up and running in a safe way on cloud technologies

[09:35] Sage Qvetcher: I hope that these survey results might help some of you do just that with regards to the cloud and how NGOs are using it or want to use it.

[09:35] Orange Planer: I think Sister is saying that some organization’s employees aren’t internet savvy enough to understand how to use online training effectively.

[09:36] Sage Qvetcher: Absolutely

[09:36] Sage Qvetcher: In those cases, we need other orgs who are on the ground who first help get NGOs equipped to use computers

[09:36] Gentle Heron agrees with Sister. Sometimes the TOPIC of an online event is the motivator for people to learn the technology. We need to consider that as well.

[09:36] Sister (sister.abeyante): Yes, Orange- or they don’t yet have a clue what is possible becuase they don’t yet have the tech to find out what’s “out there” too.

[09:36] Sage Qvetcher: We need orgs like Inveneo who get orgs connected.

[09:37] Sage Qvetcher: As Allen “Gunner” Gunn from Aspiration has said, “The cloud is not a fad.” We need to help social benefit organizations “Adopt the cloud on their terms, not someone else’s terms.”

[09:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes

[09:37] Glitteractica Cookie: agree

[09:37] Hour Destiny: I’ve suggested for some time a “wizard” to help NGOs find what they need/want. Maybe I’ll actually build it some day.

[09:37] Sage Qvetcher: TechSoup can put resources out there, but we are not the org who can get to the ones who don’t have computers or internet access.

[09:38] Sage Qvetcher: A wizard would be lovely.

[09:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other questions for Sage

[09:38] Sister (sister.abeyante): Great idea, Hour- I guess I am even one or two steps prior to that… an org that doesn’t have a computer connected to the internet or a person who knows how to use it…. but would multiply their impact localy if they did.

[09:38] Sage Qvetcher: Thank you for your time today. Does anyone have any more questions or comments?

[09:38] Sage Qvetcher: Also, think of libraries and other places with public access computers

[09:39] Ozma Malibu: that is wonderful work you have done, Sage.

[09:39] Sage Qvetcher: Those are GREAT resources for the newbies.

[09:39] Sage Qvetcher: Thank you Ozma

[09:39] Sister (sister.abeyante): True- and those do not exist in many countries/ cultures/ comunities.

[09:39] Hour Destiny: You also need to overcome the fear that TechSoup is “too good to be true”.

[09:39] Sage Qvetcher: Well, surprizingly, a lot do

[09:39] Sister (sister.abeyante): Thanks, Ozma- excellent info and wow, what a great research!

[09:39] Sage Qvetcher: Telecenters are in many many places

[09:39] Sage Qvetcher: Check out

[09:40] Sage Qvetcher: They have resources for public access computers

[09:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Thanks Anna/Sage for presenting to us today

[09:40] Sage Qvetcher: I encourage you to read the report. It is free

[09:40] Diantha Petrov: Thank you

[09:40] Sage Qvetcher: Thanksto all of you.

[09:40] Diantha Petrov: This is great information

[09:40] Sister (sister.abeyante): Wonderful!

[09:40] emilia Avindar: thanks for the info 🙂

[09:40] Buffy Beale: cheering! great info ty

[09:40] Ozma Malibu: I will read it.

[09:41] Ozma Malibu: great joy that someone is doing work on this level.

[09:41] Glitteractica Cookie: i think we (techsoup) can help folks believe in the truth of techsoup and trustworthiness if we position ourselves more aligned with nonprofits. We are a nonprofit, and not many ppl see this b/c we have a corporate voice more often than not,unfortunately (my opinion)

[09:41] Sister (sister.abeyante): Will you post your entire powerpoint to the NPC blog?

[09:41] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Transcript of this will also go up on the NPC blog so if you missed any of it, you can catch u pon it there

[09:41] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and if Anna is ok with it, we can post her powerpoint?

[09:41] Glitteractica Cookie: is the URL of that blog, for those of you who don’t know

[09:42] Gentle Heron: Glitter, that’s an interesting observation, and important I believe. How can TechSoup create its image as a “fellow nonprofit”?

[09:42] Glitteractica Cookie: we should have this up on the techsoup slideshare page as well, if we don’t already

[09:42] Sage Qvetcher: Absolutely

[09:42] Sage Qvetcher: Post away

[09:42] Sister (sister.abeyante): Thanks, Sage!




[09:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Lets move on to Open Mic and Announcements

[09:42] Sage Qvetcher: Also, we will be hosting webinars on elements of cloud computing, like security and cost.

[09:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and thanks again Sage … will put the slides up then as well

[09:42] Sage Qvetcher: Thank you

[09:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Anyone have any announcements for today

[09:43] Gentle Heron: I have one.

[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: go ahead Gentle

[09:43] Gentle Heron: This Sunday, November 4, at 1pm SLT, Virtual Ability sponsors a presentation titled “Interprofessional health care education: Application to health literacy.”

[09:43] Gentle Heron: The presenters will be talking about the recent All Together Better Health (ATBH) conference in Kobe, Japan.

[09:43] Gentle Heron: You might think… health literacy–doesn’t apply to me or my interests.

[09:43] Gentle Heron: But these presenters will be talking about COLLABORATION, and that’s what we’re all about, right?

[09:43] Gentle Heron: Please attend if you can: Sunday Nov 4, 1pm SLT, Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island.

[09:43] Gentle Heron: Please let me know if you want the promo notecard which includes all the info plus speaker bios plus LM and SLURL.

[09:43] Gentle Heron: (done)

[09:43] Zinnia Zauber: Cool!

[09:44] Orange Planer: I have one also.

[09:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks.. anyone else

[09:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: OK, go Orange

[09:44] Orange Planer: I now have an official excuse to be here.

[09:44] Orange Planer: I am now the network administrator for Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders, whose information can be found here:

[09:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: congrats 🙂

[09:45] Buffy Beale: yay Orange!

[09:45] Hour Destiny: Gratz!

[09:45] Tori Landau: Congrats Orange °͜°

[09:45] Ozma Malibu: congratulations!

[09:45] Orange Planer: Essentially, we assist elderly homeowners to stay in their homes when they face financial difficulties such as badly-done reverse mortgages, predatory lending, among others.

[09:45] Orange Planer: H.O.M.E. is registered as a non-profit organization in the TechSoup website.

[09:45] Glitteractica Cookie: maybe we could create a story on your org on our local impact map

[09:45] Orange Planer: I’d love to do that.

[09:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂

[09:46] Glitteractica Cookie: ok, we will connect you with the techsoup staffer who is running that

[09:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks Orange for letting us know

[09:46] Sage Qvetcher: Yay!

[09:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Tori.. you had an announcement?

[09:46] Tori Landau: Ty Rhiannon….

[09:46] Tori Landau: Open University’s rooftop bop is Wed 7th Nov at 1pm slt

[09:47] Tori Landau: with DJ Anjoux Herbit spinning live and taking requests °͜°

[09:47] Tori Landau: chance for everyone to just chill and mix

[09:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂

[09:47] Tori Landau: at Deep Think

[09:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Thanks Tori

[09:47] Tori Landau: rooftop of communal building at Deep Think West… nearly forgot to say where lol

[09:48] Gentle Heron: Tori, you might way what Open University is….

[09:48] Tori Landau: eek – forgot – not 1pm, 2pm slt

[09:48] Orange Planer: Well, I assume it’s Open, not Closed University….

[09:48] Gentle Heron: might *say

[09:48] Tori Landau: Open University is a university based in the UK that specialises in distance learning

[09:49] Tori Landau:

[09:49] Gentle Heron loves the idea of open education!

[09:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: nod

[09:49] Tori Landau: has a rl campus at Milton Keynes, some parts of which are reflected in the design of Deep Think

[09:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: also want to mention that Next week we have Opal Lei as the featured presenter on scripting and getting the code you need for your organization’s virtual presence.


To help tailor this presentation for NPC, Opal requests that you fill out a survey before November 8:


[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so if you have coding/scripting questions …. please fill out this coming week 🙂

[09:50] Zinnia Zauber: Opal rocks!

[09:50] Buffy Beale: sounds great

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other announcements

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: if not, lets close this week’s meeting …

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: And again, here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:


Nonprofit Commons Blog:


 – Wiki:

 – Twitter:

 – Facebook:

 – Google Group:

 – Google Calendar:



About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:





Thanks everyone and see you next week!

[09:51] Sage Qvetcher: Thank you

[09:51] Buffy Beale: thanks Rhi great job!

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Thanks again Sage

[09:52] Zinnia Zauber: Great meeting!

[09:52] Glitteractica Cookie: Thanks Sage!

[09:52] Sarvana Haalan: sorry I was late… checking in… Sally S. Cherry, Baltimore, MD @SarVana/@CHAREproject

[09:52] Tori Landau: Many thanks and hope to be here next week again as missed some weeks

[09:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Mentor meeting next I believe

[09:52] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you Sage and Ozma this week!

[09:52] Glitteractica Cookie: yes, thanks all

[09:52] Tori Landau: bye everyone °͜°

[09:52] alebez: thank you!

[09:52] Zinnia Zauber: Mentors Meeting at 10! Please join us!

[09:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great and thanks all

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Anna Jaeger: “Cloud Technology and the NGO Community” for the November 2nd NonProfit Commons Meeting

TechSoup Global recently released the findings from our 2012 Global NGO Cloud Survey. This Friday, November 2nd, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Anna Jaeger of TechSoup, who will discuss the primary advantages, barriers and motivations that nonprofits, libraries, and NGOs from around the world reported for moving their IT to the cloud.



Anna Jaeger, the Director of Microsoft Program and Special Projects, was also the co-founder of the GreenTech Initiative  at TechSoup Global. GreenTech’s mission is to help nonprofits and libraries reduce their environmental impact through the effective use of technology, including cloud technologies. Prior to her work on the Global Cloud Survey, Ms. Jaeger lead TechSoup Global’s IT Engineering Department, which implemented and maintained all enterprise software and websites. 


More info on the TechSoup Cloud Survey:


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, November 2nd, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater



  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Main Speaker: Anna Jaeger
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

TechSoup’s Community Forums with Jayne Cravens for September 28th NonProfit Commons Weekly Meeting

This Friday, September 28th, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Jayne Cravens, who will speak to us about TechSoup’s Community Forums.

Jayne Cravens is an internationally-recognized trainer, researcher and consultant. Her work is focused on communications, volunteer involvement, community engagement, and management for nonprofits, NGOs, and government initiatives. She is a pioneer regarding the research, promotion and practice of virtual volunteering, including virtual teams, microvolunteering and crowdsourcing, and she is a veteran manager of various local and international initiatives. She has been interviewed for and quoted in articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, as well as for reports by CNN, Deutsche Well, the BBC, and various local radio and TV stations. Resources from her web site,, are frequently cited in reports and articles by a variety of organizations, online and in-print. Jayne received her BA in Journalism from Western Kentucky University and her Master’s degree in Development Management from Open University in the U.K. She is currently based near Portland, Oregon in the USA.

Join us in Second Life!

Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, September 28th, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater


  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Featured Presenter: Jayne Cravens
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements

The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir


On Friday, September 7th meeting featured Bezdikian (alebez in SL), who shared with NPC how Basecamp project management tool makes working on a distributed team and collaborating on mutual projects so much easier.

Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting
Friday, September 7th, 8:30 AM SLT / PST
Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater

• 8:30 am Introductions
• 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
• 8:45 am Mentors Central
• 8:55 am Main Speaker: Ale Bezdikian
• 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements

– Unabridged Transcript –


[08:29] Rhiannon Chatnoir: welcome those coming.. should be starting soon
[08:29] Jerry Buchko: hello all 😀
[08:31] Jerry Buchko: hi jac 🙂
[08:31] Chayenn: bonjour jac
[08:31] X-Flight, flight assist: All Go
[08:31] jacmacaire Humby: Hi Jerry and Chayenn
[08:32] Rhiannon Chatnoir: hi all
[08:32] Coughran Mayo: Hello Rhiannon
[08:32] Jen: Hi Rhiannon
[08:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ok everyone.. should be starting … if you want to grab a seat 🙂
[08:34] Jerry Buchko: hi Coghran & Jen 🙂
[08:35] JenJen waves at Jerry
[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so hello everyone!
[08:36] Glitteractica Cookie: sorry i crashed
[08:36] Buffy Beale: Hii Rhi! waves to everyone 🙂
[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thats ok, waited to start for you to return 🙂
[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Welcome everyone to this week’s Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting!
[08:36] bulaklak: Hi, folks!
[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: The Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is sponsored by TechSoup Global and is a program of the TechSoup Global Community & Social Media team
[08:36] bulaklak: What’s up with the bunnies?
[08:36] Chayenn: good morning bulaklak
[08:36] bulaklak: Hi, Chay
[08:36] Glitteractica Cookie: dunno
[08:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: not sure, I can’t remove Par’s things if you can.. please remove
[08:37] bulaklak: They’re kinda cute
[08:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Today’s Agenda:

8:30 am Introductions

8:40 am TechSoup Announcements

8:45 am Mentors Central

8:55 am “This one time at Basecamp” with Ale Bezdikian of TechSoup

9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements
[08:37] Buffy Beale: our new mascot?
[08:37] Glitteractica Cookie: I returned them
[08:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: First a few links to start off the meeting.
[08:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:

Nonprofit Commons Blog:




Google Group:

Google Calendar:

About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:
[08:38] CarynTopia Silvercloud: Caryn Heilman, Topia Arts Center in the Berkshires in NW MA,, @TopiaArtsCenter
[08:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s start off with Introductions!
[08:39] Adalace Jewell: sorry, I’m late. @adalace – RoSa Library Brussels Belgium
[08:39] jacmacaire Humby: Jacques Macaire HUMANBE Action Tank and Council on Sustainable Development France and International @Humanbe
[08:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Please state your real name, location, org, and the ways we can find you online.
[08:39] Buffy Beale: Buffy Bye, Bridges for Women, Victoria BC Canada, @bridges4women
[08:39] Lyssa Lyssa Rowan, Job Accommodation Network, Morgantown, WV @JANatJAN
[08:39] Dancers Yao: Kara Bennett, Elder Voices, Inc, Los Angeles, CA Health Care and Human Rights
[08:39] Pathfinder Lester: John Lester, Chief Learning Officer, ReactionGrid. Living in Montreal, Canada.
[08:39] Jen: Bruce Hestley, Transgender American Veterans Association, Akron, OH,,!/TAVAUS
[08:39] Ethelred Weatherwax: Dave Dexter, Neenah Historical Society, Wisconsin USA
[08:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Joyce Bettencourt, Boston, MA area, TechSoup Community Manager of Nonprofit Commons,, @RhiannonSL
[08:39] Chayenn: monique richert, Protect Yourself 1, Inc., Baltimore , MD ,,, @PY1US
[08:39] bulaklak: Michael DeLong, Senior Manager Online Community and Social Media, TechSoup Global, San Francisco, CA @TechSoup @MichaelDeLongSF
[08:39] Gentle Heron: Virtual Ability, Inc.
[08:39] Zazoom Zimminy: Kyle Reis, Grants Managers Network, New York City
[08:39] alebez: Ale Bezdikian, Online Community Coordinator, TechSoup, SF, CA @TechSoup, @alebez
[08:39] Tank Thibedeau: Ricky Davis, San Antonio
[08:39] Svea Morane: Brian Kaihoi, Web Administrator, Mayo Clinic,
[08:39] Brena Benoir: Brenda Bryan, Preferred Family Healthcare, Kirksville, Missouri, @brenabenoir
[08:40] Jerry Buchko: Jerry Buchko | Counselor, Coach, & Tutor of Personal Finance in Private Practice | | @jerrybuchko
[08:40] Coughran Mayo: Dick Dillon, Innovaision, LLC, St. Louis MO @Coughran, @Innovaision
[08:40] Glitteractica Cookie: Susan Tenby, Online Community and Social Media Director, TechSoup and this community, the NPC @suzboop @techsoup @npsl, San Francisco, CA USA
[08:40] Angelbell: Ysabel Pachano IUSF proffesor.
[08:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: If you join us late, please still introduce yourself!
[08:42] BELOVEDROX: NSIP- Roxy Rocker


[08:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: OK, moving to TechSoup announcements. If you have introduced yourself, please do. Thanks!
[08:43] bulaklak: Hello, folks! Very excited to be here, as always. And super excited to hear from my fabulous colleague alebez today. But first just a few things from TechSoup.
[08:43] Buffy Beale: yay bulaklak!
[08:44] bulaklak: As you know if you were here last week, we have recently officially launched the TechSoup Global Local Impact Map, a dynamic way of demonstrating stories of technology in action all around the world.
[08:44] bulaklak: In conjunction with its launch, we are running a photo contest this month called Technology in Action.
[08:44] bulaklak: It’s a *very* simple contest and has what I think is a pretty cool prize
[08:45] bulaklak: You just need to send us a picture of technology in action at your organization and you can enter to win a custom-made interactive infographic from Karma Store
[08:45] bulaklak: There are three easy ways to enter
[08:46] bulaklak: 1. Submit a photo and caption through our Facebook contest app (here comes the link)
[08:46] bulaklak:
[08:46] bulaklak: 2. Tweet a photo with the hashtag #TechInAction
[08:47] bulaklak: 3. Email a photo and short caption to
[08:47] bulaklak: Do this by 11:59 pm PT on September 30 and you are entered
[08:47] bulaklak: And we look forward to seeing how you picture technology in action!
[08:47] Gentle Heron: Can you please give an example? I’m not sure how that applies in my all-virtual organization.
[08:48] bulaklak: Well, folks can get creative. A screenshot is the same thing as a photo, of course.
[08:48] Gentle Heron: But it doesn’t show the tech.
[08:48] Glitteractica Cookie: you can take an inworld shot and tweet it
[08:48] bulaklak: Or a photo of you at the computer.
[08:48] bulaklak: We’re giving people a pretty wide license.
[08:49] bulaklak: What does tech in action mean to you?
[08:49] bulaklak: You could draw zeros and ones . . .
[08:49] bulaklak: Have fun with it!
[08:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂
[08:49] Brena Benoir: Gentle maybe a screen shot at VAI during a presentation that makes the the presentation accessible to people around the world through use of technology?
[08:49] bulaklak: The caption can really tie it together
[08:50] bulaklak: Get those creative juices flowing
[08:50] Svea MoraneSvea Morane things about technology with blood all over it as it is a surgical implant of SL 😉
[08:50] Buffy Beale: lol Svea!
[08:50] bulaklak: Our aim is ultimately to tell the human story attached to tech
[08:50] Gentle Heron: oh Svea, save it for next week.
[08:50] Svea Morane: 🙂
[08:50] bulaklak: LOL Svea
[08:50] bulaklak: 🙂
[08:51] Buffy Beale: you’ll have us all fainting Svea
[08:51] bulaklak: So moving on. We have an upcoming webinar that I am super excited about (I am saying excited too much today)
[08:51] bulaklak: We’ve been thinking a lot about network mapping on our team and at TechSoup
[08:51] bulaklak: So this webinar came at just the right time
[08:51] Tank Thibedeau: someone sitting in a field of sunflowers in sl because in rl they could not because their medications does not allow them to be in sunlight for an extended period of time
[08:51] bulaklak: It’s from one of our very cool donor partners, Esri
[08:52] bulaklak: Their program isn’t as high profile as, say, Adobe, but boy they do some really awsesome stuff
[08:52] bulaklak: with GIS and other mapping technology
[08:52] bulaklak: So I am really looking forward to this webinar about how to use Esri tools to map impact
[08:53] bulaklak: It’s free, as are all of our webinars, and if you request live transcription 72 hours in advance, that is something we can also gladly accomodate
[08:54] bulaklak: This will be on September 13 at 11am PT
[08:54] bulaklak: And it will be recorded for anyone who can’t make that time
[08:54] bulaklak: Here is the link where you can register
[08:54] bulaklak:
[08:54] Coughran Mayo: ah, my birthday!
[08:54] bulaklak: Yay!
[08:54] Coughran Mayo: hint, nint
[08:54] Rhiannon Chatnoir: lol
[08:54] bulaklak: I will also be live tweeting it, using the hashtag #TechSoup
[08:54] Svea MoraneSvea Morane takes notes on virtual gifts 🙂
[08:54] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great
[08:54] bulaklak: so you can follow the insights on Twitter, too
[08:55] bulaklak: It should be really cool. Network mapping is a really interesting and growing topic.
[08:55] bulaklak: So . . . with that I will turn things over. Have a great day!
[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great and thanks Bulaklak 🙂


[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: On to Mentors Central!
[08:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Today for Mentor Central we have Gentle Heron to speak on Intentional Productivity.
[08:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s welcome her up and start whenever your ready Gentle.
[08:56] Buffy Beale: Cheering for Gentle!
[08:56] Gentle Heron: Good morning NPC friends.
[08:56] CarmenLittleFawn: Applause
[08:56] Gentle Heron: We all know that distractions can prevent us from focusing on necessary tasks and decrease our effectiveness and efficiency as we try to work or study. Four overall strategies will help students and employees become intentionally more productive.
[08:56] Pathfinder LesterPathfinder Lester claps
[08:56] Gentle Heron: Let’s look at each strategy, plus some tips for each. Probably this isn’t new to you; just a reminder.
[08:56] Glitteractica Cookie: Hey Pathfinder! Nice to see you here
[08:57] Pathfinder Lester: likewise 🙂
[08:57] Gentle Heron: 1. The first strategy is to eliminate “reactive nibblers.”
[08:57] Glitteractica Cookie: 🙂
[08:57] Gentle Heron: When you are working in reactive mode, always responding to new stimuli, you simply can’t focus on any important task. It’s not only the time you lose while responding, it’s also the time you take to switch gears and then switch back again.
[08:57] Gentle Heron: What are “reactive nibblers,” those little things that eat up your time a bite at a time? Please share a few in Local Chat now.
[08:57] Glitteractica Cookie: here! here! on that point
[08:58] Gentle Heron: What are YOUR reactive nibblers?
[08:58] Gentle Heron: What eats up your productive time?
[08:58] Glitteractica Cookie: when urgent requests come in from senior management to do quick research projects with a one hour turn-around time
[08:58] Jen: Phone call with wrong number
[08:58] Tank Thibedeau: facebook games
[08:58] Gentle Heron: Good ones!
[08:58] Rhiannon Chatnoir: phone calls
[08:58] CarmenLittleFawn: family
[08:58] Jerry Buchko: ‘urgent’ emails, that aren’t
[08:58] Coughran Mayo: Radon detector going off
[08:59] Gentle HeronGentle Heron smiles
[08:59] Oronoque Westland: pop ups from other chat windows or email programs
[08:59] Tank Thibedeau: trying to figure out what to wear in SL
[08:59] Gentle Heron: Right. We all know what they are. These are the big ones for most of us:

Email and IMs
Phone calls
Social media
[08:59] CarmenLittleFawn: hahah
[08:59] bulaklak: When you mean to fix one thing but find another unexpected typo or other thing that then leads down a rabbit hole to ten other things and a whole chain of command that is broken
[08:59] Gentle Heron: How can you keep them under control? Try some of these anti-distraction techniques.
[08:59] Gentle Heron: For email:
1. Turn off automated email checking. The pop ups or pings distract you even if you don’t check—but you probably will peek.
2. Alternatively, extend the lapsed time between checks. Set it to notify you at a time when you are ready to deal with all your emails at once.
[09:00] Gentle Heron: 3. You can even close or minimize your email app.
4. When responding to emails, focus on those sent TO you, not CCed to you.
5. Some email systems allow you to filter and/or color code your emails, to make it easier to find the priority items.
[09:00] Gentle Heron: For IMs:
1. Don’t forget to set your status indicator.
2. Customize your status indicator. “Cranky and on a tight deadline- interrupt at your own risk” may be more effective at blocking unimportant IMs than “Busy.”
[09:00] Pathfinder Lester: my dachshund is a nibbler
[09:01] Gentle Heron: For phone calls:
1. Turn off the phone. Don’t even leave the cell phone on vibrate. Leave the cell phone in a different room. Turn off the landline ringer.

2. Set up a system. Perhaps you can assign a ring to family or the boss so you’ll know which calls you MUST take immediately.
[09:01] CarmenLittleFawn: nods
[09:01] Oronoque Westland: @Path, good thing that hotdog has small teeth
[09:01] Pathfinder Lester: lol
[09:01] Gentle Heron: 3. Send calls to voice mail, and deal with them during a block of time you’ve set aside for listening to, prioritizing, and responding to all your calls.

4. See if a response is needed. Many calls don’t require a call back; maybe a return email would do.
[09:01] Gentle Heron: For social media:
1. Schedule check-in times. Try not to peek!

2. Use an automated service (e.g., HootSuite to send out scheduled posts. Write once, post several times.
[09:02] Glitteractica Cookie: i set my VM to sy that I don’t check VM and ppl should text or email me
[09:02] Jerry Buchko: great tip re: status indicators!
[09:02] Gentle Heron: good idea, Glitter!
[09:02] Gentle Heron: For visitors:
1. Put a sign on the door. If you expect a delivery, let the delivery service know not to knock or ring the bell.
[09:02] Pathfinder Lester: I find Google Voice to be an outstanding tool for managing phone stuff. Voicemail-to-email transcription is pretty good too.
[09:02] Gentle HeronGentle Heron nods to Path.
[09:02] Gentle Heron: 2. If someone comes when you are busy, they may get the hint easier if you say “Sorry, I’m expecting a call,” rather than a more generic, “Sorry, I’m busy now.”

3. Even if you’re not listening to music, wear a headset to discourage visitors.
[09:03] Gentle Heron: 2. The second strategy for intentional productivity sounds simplistic, but it’s really foundational. Plan your work day.

There are lots of tools that can help us with this. You can buy expensive planner systems. But you don’t really need tools. Here’s what you can do.
[09:03] Gentle Heron: First, at the end of each day, write down at least the top three things you need to accomplish the following day. A full TO DO list can seem overwhelming, but is also useful if you might forget something important.
[09:03] Jerry Buchko: @Pathfinder, Ditto re: Google Voice
[09:03] Pathfinder Lester: “Plan your work. Then work your plan.”
[09:03] Gentle Heron: Yes Path!
[09:03] Gentle Heron: Keep a long-range calendar. Be sure to mark all deadlines and due dates. But also work backward from these end points, and mark where you need to focus on the steps necessary to achieve the objectives by the deadline.
[09:04] Gentle Heron: Throughout the workday, set short goals. Write down “the three next things” you need to accomplish, and finish those before you write up the next list of three things.
[09:04] Gentle Heron: If you get interrupted, or if you finish a subtask, make a note to yourself explaining what to do next.

A yellow stickie that says “Continue spell check from here” pasted onto the manuscript, or a note to “Call the client to give progress report” paperclipped to the draft plan will keep you on track.
[09:04] Oronoque Westland: just make sure that your to-do list is not part of the pop ups that you have now turned off
[09:04] Gentle HeronGentle Heron chuckles.
[09:04] Gentle Heron: 3. The third strategy is to create a productive working environment.

This has to be personalized, as we all have different needs. Basically, you want to make your working environment disappear, so that you can focus on the tasks and don’t get sidetracked by annoyances and distractions.
[09:05] bulaklak: This is great! I love planning tips.
[09:05] Gentle Heron: For example, some of us need absolute silence to really concentrate; others need background music.

Noise-canceling headphones work either way. You can also use ear plugs or a white noise generator. Whatever works best for you, use it!
[09:05] bulaklak: I also *really* love this tip from above “4. When responding to emails, focus on those sent TO you, not CCed to you.:”
[09:05] Gentle Heron: The same with all the other environmental variables: light level, temperature, chair and desk, etc.

One way to keep yourself focused on work is to be sure that the fun apps– Angry Birds, your recipe collection, whatever– are NOT on your work computer. Put them elsewhere, preferably in a different room.
[09:06] Gentle Heron: 4. The fourth and final strategy is to be aware of time, and yes Rhiannon, I am!
[09:06] Gentle Heron: A timer will help you focus. This can be the old fashioned wind-up kitchen timer, or an online tool like
[09:06] Gentle Heron: Most of us can manage at least ten minutes of concentrated effort. Work up to 25 minutes of sustained attention.

The Pomodoro Technique ( recommends 25 concentrated minutes followed by a 5 minute break. After four cycles of this, take a longer break.
[09:07] Oronoque Westland: I need to position the on screen clock where other apps don’t hide it
[09:07] Coughran Mayo: “always on top”
[09:07] Gentle Heron: (onlineclock will buzz even if you can’t see it Oro)
[09:07] Gentle Heron: When you begin a task, or start a meeting, note the time at the top of your paper. This visual reminder will keep you working and help you avoid “bird walking” away from the topic.
[09:07] Jerry Buchko: oh, fun apps are definitely one of those distractions i wrestle with sometimes
[09:08] Gentle Heron: Don’t go to unnecessary meetings! Sure you can’t avoid some. But if you see from the agenda that the topics aren’t relevant to your work, ask the meeting organizer if you can be sent the meeting notes afterward.
[09:08] Gentle Heron: Similarly, if you are in charge of the meeting, be sure it is scheduled at a time others can attend easily; always send an agenda ahead of time; and cancel the meeting if there’s nothing important to accomplish.
[09:08] Gentle Heron: Blockers and Aids are two different approaches to dealing with productivity issues. Blockers keep the distractions away from you.
[09:08] Gentle Heron: For instance, Leechblock (a Firefox add-on

and DoNotDisturb (for Outlook
[09:09] Gentle Heron: … will keep you away from those websites that steal so much of your time and attention. Other examples of distraction blockers are ear plugs, or putting your phone on mute.
[09:09] Gentle Heron: Aids help you manage distractions by encouraging you to work or study better.

These include calendars, dayplanners, TO DO lists, colored highlighters, and text substitution apps (see for some examples).
[09:09] Gentle Heron: It’s easy to get a great deal of stimulation in return for very little effort. How hard is it to find dumb cat videos on YouTube?

If it took a half hour to find one, or you had to pay to watch it, the impulse value is gone. MEMO: Don’t buy the candy at the check out aisle!
[09:10] Gentle Heron: Change the effort-to-reward ratio for low-value distractions. Make it harder to become distracted! Give yourself a chance to make a better choice, more time to think.
[09:10] Glitteractica Cookie: i close facebook when I’m trying to focus, b/c the notifications are too diff for me to resist checking
[09:10] Gentle HeronGentle Heron nods!
[09:10] Gentle Heron: Routines will make a difference in your productivity. In general, productivity aids work better than blockers, because it means your attitudes and behaviors have changed.
[09:10] Gentle Heron: What you want to do is be more mindful about productivity. Create new productive habits.

They say it takes 21 days of repetition to form a new habit. Pick one that we discussed today and do it consciously for 3 weeks. See if that routine makes a difference. I bet it will.
[09:11] Glitteractica Cookie: great advice!
[09:11] Gentle Heron: For the next 3 weeks, try making being unproductive unproductive.
[09:11] Oronoque Westland: some of these are great ideas that I can apply to sticking to my diet too
[09:11] Gentle Heron: Here are a few resources you might look into. Thank you for your attention, and I return you to the regularly scheduled program.
[09:11] Jen: ********APPPLLLAAAUUUSSSEEE********
[09:11] bulaklak: These are great tips and reminders. I’ve been thinking of setting my email to only come in every 35 minutes, but it would be such a major shift to make for me.
[09:11] Gentle Heron: Oro, that’s such a good point!
[09:11] CarmenLittleFawn: I am so appreciating this Gentle, I was and have been thinking about managing my time and projects more efficiently, and truly I know a lot of these things u are saying, the reminder helps me know I am on the right track and also the new information is going to be very helpful, 🙂
[09:11] Zazoom Zimminy: Yea!
[09:11] Gentle Heron: You can use these tips in so many ways!
[09:11] Pathfinder Lester: excellent advice
[09:12] Svea Morane: Great ideas and suggestions Gentle
[09:12] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Thanks to Gentle for leading Mentors Central today!
[09:12] alebez: these are great, gentle.
[09:12] Gentle Heron: Anyone else have good advice for us?
[09:12] Gentle Heron: Please share!
[09:12] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and yes, great advice and tips.
[09:12] Gentle Heron: Or do the next Mentor Corner!
[09:12] Tori Landau: Brill tips Gentle, thank you!
[09:12] Jerry Buchko: great presi, Gentle!
[09:12] Oronoque Westland: such great ideas and from someone who is a model at getting things done
[09:12] bulaklak: Well, I recently heard that the Rockwood Leadership Institute does NO work on Fridays and they increased their productivity by 25% . . .
[09:12] CarmenLittleFawn: 🙂
[09:12] bulaklak: hmmm
[09:12] Svea Morane: Gentle is one of the most productive people i know
[09:12] Rhiannon Chatnoir: We might want to hold that til the Open Mic, we are running a bit late today.. but lets keep the discussion going then
[09:12] Jerry Buchko: can we get a copy of your slides? i want this one for my library


[09:13] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Time for today’s main speaker alebaze/Ale Bezdikian.
[09:13] Glitteractica Cookie: um, bulaklak… ?? i don’t think so, but nice try. ;-P
[09:13] bulaklak: =)
[09:13] Jerry Buchko: lol
[09:13] Rhiannon Chatnoir: You can come up and grab a seat in front alebez.
[09:13] bulaklak: w00t alebez!
[09:13] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great
[09:13] CarmenLittleFawn: Hello alebez 🙂
[09:13] Rhiannon Chatnoir: She is going to share with us today how Basecamp project management tool makes working on a distributed team and collaborating on mutual projects so much easier.
[09:13] Glitteractica Cookie: this is a RAWK STAH, ladies and gents
[09:14] alebez: Good day everyone, thanks for being here!
[09:14] Rhiannon Chatnoir: First a bit about Ale.
After studying journalism and comparative religion at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Alexandra (Ale) Bezdikian was given a fellowship with Mother Jones Magazine where she produced videos as well as fronted their outreach communications department.
Currently, Ale is TechSoup’s Online Community + Social Media team Coordinator, and loving it! That means she keeps the team on track and in check, making sure everyone is meeting timelines and deliverables. Most of her time is spent wiki gardening and managing her team in Basecamp.
[09:14] Rhiannon Chatnoir: So lets all welcome alebez! Ale, you can start when your ready.
[09:14] Glitteractica Cookie: and she’s fabulus!!
[09:14] alebez: Thanks!
[09:14] alebez: I’d like to speak to you all about a project management tool that my team currently uses to manage our day to day activities, called Basecamp.
[09:14] Buffy Beale: Great job Gentle! and Yayy alebez!
[09:15] bulaklak: Great fit with the Mentors talk from today, too.
[09:15] alebez: You can view this presentation in your browser alongside this virtual presentation there, on our community slideshare page.
[09:15] alebez: I know, right bulaklak?
[09:15] CarmenLittleFawn: claps
[09:15] Glitteractica Cookie: is there a vanity
[09:16] alebez: It’s a tool I use every day, as do my colleagues here on the Online Community Team. For us, Basecamp does a fantastic job of managing all the content we produce during our planning and creating processes. It really helps to keep all our discussions easily accessible to members working on a project, and allows for transparent assignment of tasks.
[09:16] alebez: this was the bitly, gliteractica:
[09:16] alebez: Have any of you heard of or used Basecamp in the workplace? I’d like to note that we’re using the most recent version of Basecamp, which differs slightly from Basecamp classic.
[09:17] Coughran MayoCoughran Mayo has used basecamp
[09:17] bulaklakbulaklak uses Basecamp
[09:17] Svea Morane: I use Basecamp for dozens of research projects
[09:17] alebez: oh, fantastic!
[09:17] Pathfinder LesterPathfinder Lester has used Basecamp. Currently uses Jira.
[09:17] CarmenLittleFawn: never used
[09:17] bulaklakbulaklak uses both classic and new
[09:17] Glitteractica Cookie: alebez, i meant one that was memorable.. a vanoty, so we can tweet it, mention it, etc
[09:17] Jerry Buchko: no hadn’t heard of Basecamp until now
[09:17] alebez: Basecamp is a web based project management tool. It puts a whole team’s communication and work onto a single virtual page which displays your teams discussions, tasks, files, and documents, keeping everything stored in a single location online.
[09:17] Glitteractica Cookie: you can make one later
[09:18] alebez: This makes it incredibly easy to facilitate collaboration across a distributed team, and makes holding team members accountable all the more transparent.
[09:18] Pathfinder LesterPathfinder Lester also uses Highrise (contact management), made by the same folks who make Basecamp.
[09:18] BELOVEDROX: used it for a project once
[09:18] alebez: By assigning ownership of tasks, and placing project deadlines on one unified calendar, each member of our team can see upcoming deadlines and track project deliverables. I’ll show you how in just a bit.
[09:18] alebez: Basecamp is a web-based tool which allows for multiple user access, and makes collaboration easy across a distributed team.
[09:19] alebez: After logging in to a Basecamp account, what you see is a dashboard of all the projects you have on your plate at a given time. You can then choose to navigate to the project you’re working on at the moment, and open the project folder to reveal team discussions, to-do lists, files, and text documents.
[09:19] alebez: After opening your project folder, you have access to view and participate in all your team’s discussions relating to that project, to-do lists with the option to assign ownership of tasks, share files and text documents.
[09:20] Buffy Beale: this sounds like a great tool!
[09:20] alebez: You can choose to contribute to a discussion thread, check out upcoming to-do’s, or download files relating to the project. This folder is meant to contain everything relating to the project at hand, and allows access to the team members you choose to work on the project.
[09:20] CarmenLittleFawn: mmhmm
[09:20] alebez: Collaboration is made easy through Basecamp especially through discussions.
[09:21] alebez: It’s easy to begin a new discussion thread, as it’s a lot like crafting an email. You’d give it a title as you would an email, write the content, and then choose which people on your team you want to notify.
[09:21] Ethelred Weatherwax: I don’t see that Basecamp is offered through TechSoup
[09:21] alebez: It’s not currently offered, Ethelred.
[09:21] alebez: Your discussion is public, so anyone invited to the project can join, but only those you choose will get an email notification. (you can sync up Basecamp notifications to your email account)
[09:22] alebez: Basecamp offers a versatile platform for assigning ownership of tasks and tracking deliverables.
[09:22] alebez: By keeping all yours tasks together, and individually assigning to-do’s to members of your project with due dates, you can easily track the progress of your team on the calendar, and manage deliverables accordingly.
[09:22] Glitteractica Cookie: post it on the wishlist thread, Ethelred
[09:23] Glitteractica Cookie: we have a forum for product requests
[09:23] alebez: Because items can be assigned to individual users, it makes it easy to delegate and hand out responsibility for particular tasks. Each team member can then monitor their own to-do’s on their own personal pages and whose deadlines are factored into your team’s Basecamp’s calendar.
[09:23] bulaklak: We do offer Huddle, though. Which is similar.
[09:23] Glitteractica Cookie: bulaklak can post the link
[09:23] alebez: thanks, bulaklak, i was getting to the Huddle option. 🙂
[09:23] bulaklak: Here is the TechSoup Technology Wish List thread:
[09:23] bulaklak: Of course you were on it, Ale.
[09:23] bulaklak: =)
[09:24] alebez: So by assigning ownership of tasks, and placing project deadlines on one unified calendar, each member of our team can see upcoming deadlines and track project deliverables.
[09:24] alebez: Each project is color coded on the calendar, so when you assign a duration of time to a piece of a project, say for a social media campaign, it appears in this case in orange, and spans a number of weeks.
[09:24] bulaklak: The color coded calendar on Basecamp is my absolute favorite.
[09:25] alebez: For me personally, having one calendar that shows multiple aspects of what we do based on the categories we defined…
[09:25] alebez: whether those are events we’re producing on a given day, campaigns we’re running over a period of time, or upcoming deadlines to track, I can see everything from a birds eye view.
[09:25] alebez: Basecamp is not free.
[09:25] alebez: Pricing starts at $20/month for up to ten projects and 3GB of files, rising to $50/month for 40 projects and 15GB of files.
[09:26] alebez: $100/month for 100 projects and 40GB of files and maxing out at $150/month for unlimited projects and 100GB of file storage. All the pricing tiers have support for unlimited users.
[09:26] alebez: There’s also a no-credit-card-required 30-day free trial to try it out.
[09:26] Gentle Heron: They offer a 45 day free trial.
[09:26] alebez: I think it’s 30 days now Gentle
[09:26] bulaklak: (You can also turn any of the color coded projects on and off when you are looking at the calendar, which is even more awesome.. So you can see as much or as little as you want.)
[09:27] alebez: Some alternatives to Basecamp are Huddle and Asana, for example. Huddle is a paid service, and is offered here at TechSoup: for an admin fee of $99.00
[09:27] alebez: Huddle was mentioned by Bulaklak just a bit ago
[09:27] alebez: Our team used Huddle for a period of time, but ultimately didn’t like the fact that there wasn’t one unified calendar to view everything from a higher level, but instead required the user to toggle between multiple dashboards. Huddle’s user interface was also somewhat clunky.
[09:28] alebez: Basecamp’s proven reliability was a huge factor when choosing which tool to go with. We knew it could deliver most of what we were looking for, including a master calendar. Also points for the ability to access it mobile, and multiple entry points for collaboration. Also, a few of our team members had already used Basecamp, potentially making it easier to adopt.
[09:28] Coughran Mayo:
[09:28] Coughran Mayo: for free trial info
[09:28] alebez: Fantastic. thanks, coughran.
[09:29] alebez: Asana looked like a good project management tool, can act as an interim crm, and does have an api, but doesn’t provide the crystal clear organization structure that I feel Basecamp does a better job at providing. It does however, have the capability of syncing to Outlook, and the interface is quite easy to navigate. Also, it’s free to set up an account (biggest points for asana here).
[09:29] alebez: Asana is a practicle and clean free service, one that I would recommend on a tight budget. I’ve heard good things about Asana.
[09:29] Glitteractica Cookie: on our team we tried so many PM tools, before settling on this one
[09:29] alebez: We sure did.
[09:29] alebez: We tried a whole lot.
[09:29] Glitteractica Cookie: and several before you joined the team too
[09:30] alebez: and ultimately, Basecamp fit our needs
[09:30] Coughran Mayo: Does TS have any special offers for nonprofits for Basecamp? That would be nice
[09:30] bulaklak: Yes, Alebez was not there for the CoHuman adventure.
[09:30] Glitteractica Cookie: Coughran, that is what we were talking to ethelred about
[09:30] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂
[09:30] alebez: It would be nice if they had nonprofit rates, but at the moment, they aren’t there.
[09:30] Glitteractica Cookie: if you post the request in that forum thread, our bizdev team will look into it
[09:31] Glitteractica Cookie: right now, we have huddle, but not basecamp
[09:31] bulaklak: Coughran if you would like to suggest TechSoup offer it as a donation, you can do that here
[09:31] Glitteractica Cookie: there must be a significant interest on the front end, before bizdev seeks the doantion from the vendor partner
[09:31] Pathfinder Lester: Have you folks tried any “content collaboration” software (shared documents, etc.) ?
[09:31] Glitteractica Cookie: google docs and MS live collab software
[09:32] bulaklak: I used to use eRoom at one of my old jobs, Pathfinder
[09:32] Pathfinder Lester: cool
[09:32] Glitteractica Cookie: and of course, we are a big user of wikispaces
[09:32] Glitteractica Cookie: which is a techsoup product
[09:32] bulaklak: eRoom is expensive but it has really amazing version control
[09:32] Pathfinder Lester: We’re currently using Confluence at ReactionGrid. It’s working out very well for us.
[09:32] Pathfinder Lester: And since it’s made by same folks who make Jira, the two integrate very well.
[09:33] Pathfinder Lester: That’s probably our biggest challenge…getting all the different tools we use to *integrate* with each other. ;P
[09:33] alebez: That’s fantastic you found something that works for you, Pathfinder.
[09:33] Gentle Heron: That’s important, Path, the integration aspect.
[09:33] alebez: Now, can I answer any more questions, or any more questions to my team members who use Basecamp
[09:33] Pathfinder Lester: alebez, have you tried Highrise integrated with Basecamp?
[09:33] alebez: I really enjoy using this tool
[09:33] alebez: No, we have not.
[09:34] alebez: I haven’t expanded into the Basecamp app space
[09:34] Jerry Buchko: For those working in small collaborative teams that don’t need some of the time resource tracking functionality of PM software, LifeHacker had this useful article about how to use Google Calendar as a PM tool……
[09:34] alebez: Basecamp has a whole slew of apps that integrate with their tool that make everything from mobile collaboration to time tracking possible
[09:34] bulaklak: Ooh, thanks Jerry.
[09:34] Gentle HeronGentle Heron nods to Jerry…. VAI uses the Google tools for project management.
[09:34] Glitteractica Cookie: what is highrise?
[09:35] Pathfinder Lester: contact management
[09:35] Pathfinder Lester: made by same folks who make Basecamp
[09:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir: one of the other products that is part of the Basecamp line
[09:35] alebez: yep
[09:35] Jerry BuchkoJerry Buchko nods
[09:36] alebez: All-in-all, Basecamp is a satisfying tool to work with, and has integrated the best on our fast-paced team.
[09:36] Pathfinder Lester: as you work more with Basecamp, I’d love to hear about how you integrate/expand on it. Best practices for integrating different tools is a hot topic in my opinion.
[09:36] Jerry Buchko: @Gentle, For the small collaborative teams I’ve worked with, e.g. delivering a MOOC, using the Google Calendars along with the other integrated tools, like Hangout, Doc, Talk, etc. have really proven effective
[09:36] alebez: agreed. and i look forward to keeping you posted.
[09:37] alebez: glitter and bulaklak, do you have any closing remarks before I had the mic to Rhiannon?
[09:37] Glitteractica Cookie: I’m interested in maybe having a follow-up lecture from you, Path alongside Ale on that topic, integration
[09:37] bulaklak: I consider it a real testament to Basecamp that it’s gotten decent adoption on our team, considering our track record.
[09:37] bulaklak: (Of course it’s a testament to Alebez, too)
[09:37] Glitteractica Cookie: and considering my resistance to it
[09:37] Pathfinder Lester: i’d be happy to share my experiences. expecially my mistakes! (i learn most from those)
[09:37] Glitteractica Cookie: ;-P
[09:37] alebez: stop! blush
[09:37] alebez: 🙂
[09:37] bulaklak: That, too, Glitter.
[09:37] Gentle HeronGentle Heron agrees with Path about learning from mistakes.
[09:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other questions to Ale before we transition to Open Mic & Announcements
[09:38] alebez: Well, great. Thanks everybody, this has been a great discussion, and a pleasure.
[09:38] Glitteractica Cookie: i’m still not over-the-moon about it, but it’s working, so that’s cool
[09:38] Buffy Beale: hearty applause, great presentation alebez
[09:38] Pathfinder Lester: ty alebez
[09:38] CarmenLittleFawn: tt alebez for the information
[09:38] Pathfinder LesterPathfinder Lester claps
[09:38] CarmenLittleFawn: ty
[09:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Great and thanks alebez for presenting today!
[09:38] Jerry BuchkoJerry Buchko applauds.
[09:38] alebez: certainly. thank you!
[09:38] Jen: ********APPPLLLAAAUUUSSSEEE********
[09:39] CarmenLittleFawn: clapping
[09:39] Jerry Buchko: thanks Alebez!
[09:39] Jen: Very good Alebez
[09:39] Jen: Thank you


[09:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: It’s time for Open Mic and Announcements
[09:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Does anyone have any announcements today?
[09:39] Ozma Malibu: I do, I think
[09:39] Jen: Now if I can get the Luddites in my Foundation to accept it
[09:39] Gentle Heron: That
[09:39] Ozma Malibu: if no one else is speaking to the birthday party, I do.
[09:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ok Ozma, go ahead
[09:39] Glitteractica Cookie: which foundation?
[09:40] Gentle Heron: That’d make a great topic, Jen… how to get Luddites moving forward.
[09:40] Jen: any ideas on that Gentle?
[09:41] Ozma Malibu: Hi! The big NPC birthday party is on September 21.
[09:41] Glitteractica Cookie: i love these productivity topics
[09:42] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes
[09:42] bulaklak: Me, too! I think talking about productivity is way more fun than being productive.
[09:42] Svea Morane: Announcement on free (to SL residents) seminar:
[09:42] Svea Morane: Mayo Clinic is sponsoring its 5th annual 3 day symposium on innovation in Healthcare. The main stage presentations on day 2 and 3 (Monday and Tuesday, 9/10-11) will be shown in the Mayo Clinic conference center for free 🙂 Check the schedule and stop in.
[09:42] Gentle Heron: That conference is always SUPER, Svea!
[09:42] Svea Morane: thanks it is a good one..
[09:42] Svea Morane: mc is Hockenberry from NPR
[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: I think we lost Ozma, so if anyone else has an announcement or wants to talk on the NPC birthday?
[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks Svea
[09:44] Brena Benoir: Ozma probably has the most up to date info on the birthday celebration as she has been managing the wiki for it
[09:44] Glitteractica Cookie: can you point to where it lives on the NPSL wiki?
[09:44] Gentle Heron: YAY Ozma is back
[09:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: oh wait.. think she is back, and yes a link to the wiki on it would be great
[09:44] Tori Landau: What time will the birthday celebration be at please?
[09:44] Brena Benoir: We will be finishing up the builds for it. We are still looking for gifts that we could hand out
[09:45] Brena Benoir: one sec grabbing it
[09:45] Ozma Malibu: sorta back. Hey.
[09:45] Ozma Malibu: here is the wiki link:
[09:45] Glitteractica Cookie: thx
[09:46] CarmenLittleFawn: I am making some gifts to hand out
[09:46] Ozma Malibu: If everyone does a small bit we can have an amazing party
[09:46] Brena Benoir:
[09:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks
[09:46] CarmenLittleFawn: ty Ozma
[09:47] Brena Benoir: Zinnia has prepared the overall poster for the event which is currently off to the left of Ale’s board
[09:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great!
[09:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Any other announcements?
[09:49] bulaklak: Great meeting today!
[09:49] Glitteractica Cookie: indeed!

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

TechSoup Founder Daniel Ben-Horin Visits NPC

On July 8, 2011, founder and co-CEO of TechSoup Global Daniel Ben-Horin paid a special visit to the Nonprofit Commons meeting in Second Life. Daniel’s visit was a great way for the community to learn about the early days of TechSoup and glimpse the exciting developments in its future.

An Invigorating Sense of Possibility

Daniel began by telling the story of TechSoup’s start in the mid 1980s, when it was known as CompuMentor. Originally working as a journalist, Daniel became frustrated with what he felt was a stagnant quality in that world: the same axes ground repeatedly for a generation. In contrast, the emerging tech geek culture ushered in an invigorating sense of possibility coupled with an affinity for sharing. This led Daniel to participate in one of the first virtual communities, the WELL. So impressive was this experience that it continues to inform Daniel’s support of virtual worlds today.

Connecting the Dots

Realizing the tremendous wealth of knowledge possessed by the WELL community, as well as its willingness to share that knowledge, Daniel formed an idea. The key would be to harness the expertise of this community and connect it with nonprofits. CompuMentor was born, and from that came TechSoup.

In the midst of a tech boom, Daniel’s old journalist contacts were flush with review copies of all the latest software. Daniel arranged for these to be donated to nonprofits, and the distribution model began to take shape. While it all started with the colorful image of a pickup truck loaded with five dollar copies of every kind of software imaginable — some quite useful and others anything but — the program really took off with the advent of a Microsoft partnership. Other partnerships followed, blossoming into the robust offerings of TechSoup as we know it today.

People Over Products

Regarding the ongoing success and growth of the organization, Daniel offered a quote by Branch Rickey, an innovative Major League Baseball executive: “Luck is the residue of design.” The design of TechSoup has always centered on the people more than the products, championing the idea that technology can be fun — even for nonprofits.

This strategy of putting people at the center led TechSoup to develop a rich body of content around its donation program. Called the Portal Project at the time, the idea was based on a notion from Vince Stehle of the Surdna Foundation: “Instead of winner takes all, think about winner shares all.” The vision was to connect nonprofits to each other, and to the resources they needed to make the best use of technology. This vision continues to guide TechSoup’s idea of community today, even as it has expanded to include social media, games, and virtual worlds.

What Lies Ahead

In looking ahead for TechSoup, Daniel spoke of expanding even further. While registered nonprofits will remain at the core of TechSoup’s donation program, the community at large will continue to push the boundaries of what constitutes a social benefit organization. And as TechSoup grows its global presence beyond the current 36 countries, it just may expand the scope of its offerings, as well. “Why shouldn’t those products be solar panels?” asks Daniel, noting that technology is a big field. Ultimately, TechSoup is “a delivery channel, with trusted partners, that works.”

Watch the video highlights of Daniel’s visit to the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life, edited by TechSoup’s Interactive Media Producer, Evonne Heyning, and let us know in the comments what you see in TechSoup’s future.

Written by: bulaklak

Looking Back & Looking Forward

As we tip forward into a new year and #TSDIGS Digital Storytelling Event it’s a great time to celebrate what’s working in our virtual community, learn a few lessons and set intention for the coming year together. What were some of the highlights of our time together at NPC this past year?

1.Preferred Family Healthcare receives a grant for $865,000 for virtual addiction therapy services and PopSci features Coughran and Brena this month. Lesson learned: dream big and have metrics to back yourself up!

2.Virtual Haiti Relief teams raise thousands through virtual events in partnership with NPC and other charitable avatars. Lesson: build partnerships early, before disaster strikes, so you’re ready to leap into action together.

3.TechSoup trainings, webinars and events draw thousands of nonprofit leaders to learn about new platforms, tools and opportunities to grow. Lesson: keep providing easy opportunities to learn new tools and the community grows in appreciation.

4.NPCGames, a special working group for nonprofits interested in developing games, grew to include dozens of specialists working across sectors to grow causebuilding options for play. Lesson: Nonprofit leaders can be gamers too and we need both mindsets to develop meaningful play experiences.

5.GreenTech initiatives take hold in many organizations, reducing energy and resource costs while encouraging use of cloud and virtual platforms as an alternative to travel. Lesson: promoting efficient virtual teamwork helps reduce operation cost for some nonprofits.

6.Stories of Impact machinima videos joined our YouTube page featuring some of the best NPC leaders in action. Lesson: Telling stories through interactive media helps our community grow outside of the virtual world.

7.After four years of @techsoup weekly Friday meetings in Second Life we maxed out our sim with 99 guests to hear Lindens talk about bringing teens and adults together in the new mixed grid. Lesson: never underestimate how many people will appear when the right guest shows up!

Looking forward, how can we take our best assets and build stronger virtual communities for nonprofits?

1.Integrating youth and adults in one virtual place will allow for many new educational and volunteer opportunities along with a potential infusion of young energy

2.ReactionGrid, OSGrid and various open sims are available at low cost to nonprofits, making it accessible for organizations to own their own servers or create larger simulation experiences

3.Building bridges between worlds, hypergrid tours and cross-sector partnerships will be even more important as we connect beyond Nonprofit Commons in Second Life

4.Educational experiences, museums and nonprofits that create immersion experiences in virtual space will find participation growing, especially as user content is featured in galleries and exhibition halls around the world

5.Embracing young, saavy programmers who are excited to help their favorite causes will be the tipping point for many organizations looking to grow and try new endeavors

6.Invite more gamechangers and respected leaders from various sectors to help us open new doors, dream big and make new connections across the grids

7.Playfulness and fun storytelling elements connect people over time and grow a sticky network of engaged leaders. Be intentional about designing play that offers various ways to plug in and random people will find you and get involved!

So on this 1/11/11 it is our hope as the avatars of Nonprofit Commons that you are taking time to do something new, build a bridge and be the best you can be. Never settle for the status quo when you can be extraordinary – every avatar at NPC embodies this in some way and together we create a community that is unique in its resilience, a pillar in the ever-shifting 3D web world. Being that pillar requires all of us to live out the commitments we’ve made to our people, to volunteerism within NPC and to continually reach out beyond ourselves and represent alteratives to the rigidness of our real world. Each of us has learned to craft our own experience, choose our own adventure and share some piece of that through photos, machinima, blogs and tweets. Keep sharing and remember that we create this experience every day together and we choose how to make the most of it!

Special thanks to the leaders at Nonprofit Commons for their hard work along with Rik Riel, Rhiannon Chatnoir and Pathfinder for their amazing blog writing looking ahead to 2011 in virtual engagement.

Written by: InKenzo

Sampling Nonprofits: Collected Thoughts on JUMO

After a week in the nonprofit world Jumo is making waves for its big push around nonprofit discovery via social networking. Is it working? We’ve sampled blogs from TechSoup community leaders in this post to help you determine whether investing time on JUMO is right for your organization.

Amy Sample Ward

As you may have heard, Jumo is now open in beta. What is Jumo? As Mashable reports, “Jumo was designed to let users find, follow and support the causes important to them, and with 3,500 organizations on board at launch, would-be philanthropists should be able to find and follow something of interest upon joining. (For comparison’s sake — Apple’s Ping had 2,000 artists two months out of the gate.)”

Functionality: Persistence
So far, trying to navigate the site to browse or set up a profile has about a 50/50 chance of hitting either a 504 or 500 error page. It’s been quite a frustrating process, especially when inputting 33 different countries one by one in the “where we work” section just to have the “save” not work. It is in beta, let’s not forget! So, patience and persistence are the keys to success. I’m always the first to admit I’m not patient, but I persistence this morning has gotten me pretty deep into the site – so keep refreshing your browser and you’ll get through!

Facebook Requirements
It seems that you have to have an organizational presence on facebook in order for the project page on Jumo to work/look right – I put in my facebook ID, thinking it was verifying my association as the admin on the organizational account, but instead it put my photo and info as the organization’s! I’m not sure that organizations will want to maintain, or create, a profile on facebook just as a ticket to using Jumo. Is this experience correct – have others found this to be true?

Here’s the screen shot for the TechSoup Global page on Jumo. I am following the organization and am an administrator on the page – doesn’t appear to show either of those facts!

I’m also not finding any way to customize the URL so that users could more easily find, and I could more easily share/promote the page.

I’ve had quite a string of issues with the messaging in Jumo. Here are some of the posts I’ve shared this morning with members of a social media for nonprofits group in facebook:
* when I try posting on people’s pages, it doesn’t appear to go through, but then they say they get 4 emails telling them about it (this is what one contact reported after I posted on his wall);
* when I tried posting an update on my own page it went through twice! Just checked back and Jumo deleted the second/double post but the diction is very strange! “Amy Sample Ward wrote on her/her profile:”
* I just posted on Beth’s wall on jumo and left the “post to facebook” box checked to see if it would post on her or my facebook wall as well, but it doesn’t seem to have done so.
* Also interesting, that it let me post on Beth’s wall (if the Jumo terms use “wall”) even though we weren’t following each other. Could mean that users don’t have a way to manage the amount of posts (read: spam) that could get through to them…
* I got an error that said only letters, spaces and punctuation were allowed… no numbers?!

The reason a site for finding and following causes you care about has social features is because it isn’t just the organizations we care about that we like to follow, but also the people we care about. If a friend or family member donates to an organization, starts or shepherds a campaign, or shares an appeal for support, data has shown that we are more likely to listen and even take action – we trust our friends and family and listen to what they say more than just ads or mass-messages. So, finding and following the people we want to listen to should certainly be easier in Jumo!

As Tom Watson posted in a facebook group this morning, what’s the point?….does the nuance between the two platforms come down to “action” or something else? Organizations that I am or could follow are on both platforms, so what is the deciding factor influencing their strategy for engagement on the platform and the deciding factor for which platform I use to connect with them?

Beyond a Platform
Beyond this platform or that one, why do you, as an individual who is passionate about a cause, want to connect directly with a nonprofit organization online? Is it to take action – online? or off?  Is it to know what they are doing and how they use the funds you may have given them? Is it to see if they are worth your donations or volunteer hours? How does your purpose for engagement influence your choice of platform?

Daniel Ben-Horin

When I first heard about Jumo quite a few months ago, I reacted basically as Tom Watson did, though more snarkily. Subsquently, a mutual friend brokered a call between Chris and me. He’s obviously a smart guy and he’s trying to do good in the world. I think it’s important that we in the nonprofit tech space stay open to new ideas, projects, people in our space, and don’t hold it against the the newbies that they are able to raise money easily or maybe haven’t paid what we might consider the appropriate dues. There’s no growth if we try to pull up the drawbridge behind us. That said, my feeling talking to Chris was that he was kind of checking off a box. I sensed he had received blowback for not having talked to enough NPO folks and was remedying that, but was very much in love with his concept, and wasn’t really open to revisiting his paradigm. He was going to do what he was going to do and our call felt very pro forma. I wouldn’t say that Ami, Greg or Ben of Idealist V’match and missed a whole lot, though of course if he was going to reach out to the field, Chris should have reached out to the orgs that are most active in the corner he wishes to inhabit.

But I think we should take a long view here. It is not foreordained that Jumo will ‘sweep away the competition.’ This is a different environment than the more or less purely social one of FB. With all his dough and pedigree, Chris and his team will still have to earn trust in order to succeed, and it’s not clear to me how well they understand that or how they expect to address that need. Frankly, Chris’s round of interviews notwithstanding, I think they have a *huge* learning curve about the npo sector and the ngo sector and civil society generally. Basically, I think the right approach is the one Amy is taking here–Try to understand what they are offering…withhold judgment as much as possible…openmindedly try to make Jumo ‘work’ for our organizations and causes….learn by doing so and hope they learn too. While it is frustrating to have tech glitches, let s/he among us who is without sin in that regard cast the first stone! I don’t see much point in castigating them for being pre-alpha rather than Beta. In general, the proof is in the benefits they provide for social change and I think that our community’s reaction should be focused on that, which will take some time to reveal itself.

The Jumo project reminds me a bit of when AOL Foundation set up in late 90’s. I had funders tell me they wouldn’t support TechSoup because Goliath was clearly going to win this one. Didn’t happen that way after all, and I attribute the results to the much closer relationship we had to actual on the ground nonprofits. Idealist, V’match, (and I’d certainly add Wiser Earth to this list) have built up really committed followings. Jumo has a long way to go to get there.

On the other hand, none of us has built Facebook and we all talk about scale, reaching more people, getting beyond the circle of hard core activists etc. It’s conceivable that Chris and Jumo have something to teach us there. I’d like to find out.

Evonne Heyning

Five years ago we would muse with catalysts at the Omidyar Network about relationship networks, reputation and trust and the essentials of building strong communities of change for both local and global impact. Today some of those ideas have come to fruition with platforms like, Wiser Earth, Ushahidi, Quora, LinkedIn and Twitter campaigns. As many of us have worked together and cross paths frequently in the ethers there’s been a desire to track those engagements and understand true reputation through our work over time, mapping the most prolific leaders with great questions & endeavors like we do on the TechSoup Forums.

Jumo released to the public in the last 24 hours and has the potential to fill the gap between great people and great endeavors in a different way than, LinkedIn or Wiser Earth manages to do. Unfortunately it seems Jumo may have more interest in the transactional economy of giving than the relationship economy it has the potential to grow, becoming a philanthropic passthrough that takes a cut higher than most fiscal sponsors, but lower than the United Way. So far it functions very closely to the Causes function on Facebook, more like Razoo. It’s a start, but personally I want a real economy of contribution that goes deeper than dollars.

Tracking followers simply in the Quora fashion is a nice and elegant way to see who influences who but it lacks any sort of qualification or indication of endorsement. Recommendations in LinkedIn are more helpful but a star/point system would allow for users to vote up their favorite leaders and catalysts in various fields.

I value social action networks with indicators to vote up submissions to the creative economy. If you imagine each post, video or photo as an asset in the marketplace of Facebook or Twitter I want the ability to be able to give extra stars, points or fiery dragons to the people who are submitting the best possible solutions. The LIKE button is ok but I’d rather have 30 stars a day and have the ability to blow 5 stars on the best link or photo. I believe that this mix of a creative economy and reputation-associated relationship building will allow us to find collaborators and get things done more effectively in less time.

So far the social action networks that have sprung up to get things done quickly include Ushahidi, the Crisis Camps/Crisis Commons movements and Twitter social campaigns. Most of these have required the frequent use of googledocs and wikis to manage collaborative information across wide virtual teams and lack the ability to track the backend of engagement well as we look to reward those who are getting the most done.

Any tool that helps us leverage more for less is helpful….for now the tools that are helping me the most to create social change ripples include Twitter, Quora, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. For now the social action networks like and Jumo offer enough for me to chime in once or twice, but I’m not seeing enough sticky reasons to keep coming back to share new endeavors. Is there a future for a philanthropic discovery site like Jumo that does not push regular emails or curated updates? Would you keep going back, or are you having better experiences with other social action networks?

Allyson Kapin

Are niche social networks the best way to mobilize people and channel their energy into supporting nonprofits? Will it turn more people into repeat donors and committed activists?

…. While Jumo has some cool Facebook integration, Twitter-like features and uses an algorithm to suggest projects and issues, many nonprofit campaigners say it needs to do much more to make it a valuable online social community that will lead to a deeper engagement.
“Jumo needs to question what makes them different, does the cause marketplace really need them, who will use the platform, and how will it be marketed to them,” said Geoff Livingston.

“I don’t see Jumo, at least right now, filling a gap,” said Amy Sample Ward of TechSoup Global. “I’d love to see a platform that is focused on action: finding actionable opportunities (Social Actions made great impact here), taking action (helping people find others to do it with them, build trust, form a community, etc.), and then report/display the results of the actions.”

……Hughes is a smart entrepreneur. Hopefully, he will listen to the nonprofit community’s feedback and adapt Jumo to connect people to nonprofits that truly move people up the ladder of engagement.

Jessica Dally

My biggest thought on Jumo has to do with why I use other social sites and that comes down to getting information out to people who aren’t working in the NPO sector.  Certainly meeting, discussing and connecting with other NPO’s is TERRIBLY important but for much of my work in the past and currently, getting information out to people who are not in the field is equally important and this is where I wonder about time spent in Jumo.  Sure, there’s a lot of NPO’s there for obvious reasons, but I have yet to find anyone there who isn’t also on FB or twitter.  Every new tool creates more work and with smaller orgs with little ability to really hit every tool I can’t help but think that this is not a good use of time that could be spent reaching out to their community on Facebook or Twitter.

All this said, it’s way too soon to know if it’s great or not but likely I wouldn’t want to invest a ton of time there until I see it grow into something far better than it is now.  Something more stable and with a better vision.

Evonne’s Summary:

Jumo is VERY beta and they’re catching up with tech bugs.  They’re smart but not always asking the right questions when it comes to filling gaps in engagement or action for nonprofits. Jumo is focused on FIND FOLLOW SUPPORT: a discovery space for giving to new organizations.  Volunteerism beyond posting a note to friends is nonexistant in this space and money is the only currency that counts.

Jumo’s topical navigation will serve smaller nonprofits well who jump on early, carve a niche and build a big fan base: however at this early stage it’s hard to tell if the total fundraising capacity will be any stronger than Causes on Facebook. Thankfully it requires little maintenance and should not be a big time drain for your social media leaders.

Written by: InKenzo