Eventful is a social networking site that allows loose or formal groups to create gatherings. Groups can be based on physical location, interests, subjects, and events.

You can create groups or join groups that you have interest in. You can search through the many groups that are available through a system based search engine.

To use Eventful, you first need to set up a user account. To register, click on the top right register link. Registration requires an email address, username, password, zip code, and year of birth. You must accept the terms of service. It takes about a minute.

Once you have registered you can begin to create and/or join groups. To join a group, find a group you are interested in. Towards the right top corner of the screen, you will see a button labled "Join this group". Once you are a member of a group you may post events to that group.

Eventful also allows you to generate a "widget" that you can post on your own site. This widget will pull an RSS feed from the group you are interested in and display those results on your site. From that widget you can subscribe to the RSS feed or pull data directly into iCAL.

We’ve integrated a widget into this site to follow events from the nonprofits in secondlife members.

Written by: Creech

Skype and Nonprofits

Skype is a terrific tool.  It is a software based phone that allows VoIP calls anywhere in the world.  If you place a Skype call between computers–your computer and the computer of the person on the other end–the call is free.   It costs pennies a minute to call to a cell phone or land line.
Skype will allow you to do video calling, share documents, and IM others on the Skype network.
How can a nonprofit use Skype?  I think it can be particularly useful when working on collaborative projects.  These projects could be technology based or not.

  1. Conference calls become free using Skype.
  2. If you have documents to share, they can be sent to everybody in the group by dragging and dropping into a Skype chat.
  3. Skype’s chat feature allows you to see when others in your group are online–and potentially available to talk.

I use Skype pretty much everyday in collaboration with programmers and other project based colleagues.
For the purposes of the Nonprofits in Second Life group, it is used to keep the project leaders in touch with one another.
Paired with other tools, Skype can become a powerful–and free–tool in your virtual kit.  It is a free download, works on MacOS, PC, and Linux.
Look me up, my handle is jmatthewsaunders.

Written by: Creech

Tagging Tutorials, Part IV, REVVER

REVVER is a video site similar to YouTube.  The company is quite a bit smaller than YouTube.  The number of videos on REVVER is much smaller than on YouTube.  While it is a little guy, REVVER is my preferred video site. 
The small guy is more likely to try and work with content providers.  You can post messages to the forum on REVVER and get a response very quickly.  The REVVER staff are quite likely to email you directly if you have something you need/want to have resolved.
Posting to REVVER is very similar to posting to YouTube.
What are the steps?

  1. You need an account.  Accounts are free.  Go to http://one.revver.com and click on "register" in the top left corner.
  2. Once you have an account, log in and click on "Upload".
  3. REVVER takes the process in reverse of YouTube–first you choose your file (and you can upload mov, mpeg, mp4, asf, avi, DIVX, 3gp and 3g2).  Click on the "Browse" button and after you have selected your file, choose "Upload".
  4. That opens up a "Title", "Description", TAGS, Web Page, Credits, and Age Level.  Click "Save This Video".
  5. Do NOT leave this page until your file has completed uploading.

You can tag during this process or after you have saved your video.  The Nonprofits in Second Life Group are using "NPSL".
One thing to note is that REVVER is highly sensitive of copyright.  They will not post a video that they suspect contains any copyrighted materials.  Background music can cause a video to be rejected.

Written by: Creech

Tagging Tutorials, Part III YouTube

If you don’t know about YouTube you must be living a sheltered life… YouTube is a video sharing site that has successfully captured a huge portion of the Internet video market. It has come under some criticism for allowing large quantities of copyright material to be pirated and uploaded onto the site. None the less, YouTube is a powerful tool that can be used by the nonprofit community to raise awareness and market.

What do I need to post and tag on YouTube?

  1. An account. Signing up is easy. Go to YouTube.com and click on sign up in the top right corner of the screen. Enter in the required fields and submit. You will get a verification email which with a link that you need to click on to activate your account.
  2. Upload a video. This presupposes that you have videos ready to go. YouTube accepts a wide variety of different video formats including: .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG. Uploading a video is simple. First click on upload videos in the top right corner of the site. Second, enter in a name, description, and TAGS. For the Nonprofits in Second Life site, we are asking folks to use NPSL as a tag to identify it as related content. Choose a category and a language. Click "Continue Uploading". Browse for your file on your computer. Just like on Flickr, you can then decide who can see your video–will it be public or private to friends and/or family. Click Upload.
  3. This will bring you to a page with a snippet of code you can use to embed your video into your Web site. In my case this looked like this…

<object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/04dCZ3Rzsho"> </param> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/04dCZ3Rzsho" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"> </embed> </object>

which produces this:

You must own the video to tag it. So, unlike Flickr where friends can add tags, you need to ensure that all the tags you think are relevant are added. You can always add to your own tags later.

Written by: Creech


I was asked by a colleague if I would write a "How To" on Qumana.  I’ve been using Qumana now for several months to post to three different blogs–dogstar.org, imagespace.blogspot.com, and secondlife.techsoup.org.
What is Qumana?

  1. Qumana is a free blog posting package that allows you to craft offline and post once you have completed editing your narrative.
  2. Qumana is a tagging tool that allows you to easily control what tags are used.
  3. Qumana allows you to insert ads if you want.

The software includes a very simple text editing menu bar that allows you to colour text, use bold, italics, underline, and crossout.  You can justify to the left, center, right or full block.  You can use bullets or numbered lists.  You can quote and indent.  It makes embedding pictures simple, will link for you and has spell check.
Qumana allows you to manage as many blogs as you like.  The process of adding a blog is simple.

  1. Choose "Blog Manager"
  2. Click "Add Blog"
  3. Enter the URL of your blog
  4. Let the system know what kind of blog you utilize
  5. Enter your username and password
  6. BLOG

When you are ready to compose..

  1. Fire up the software
  2. Choose "New Post"
  3. Craft your text
  4. If you have tags already set on your site, click "Refresh" in Categories.
  5. Click "Save" to come back later
  6. Click "Publish Post" to post your text.

It really is that simple.  So, download Qumana.  It is available for Mac and PC.

Written by: Creech

Tagging Tutorials–Part II Blogs

Tagging on blogs can have multiple benefits.  The first is, if your blog is searchable, the tags prove to be a way for readers to find like content.  For example, on this blog (built on Drupal), if you click on a single tag it will return all results that match that tag.
Try clicking on "npsl" and see the result.  In Drupal, a function called Taxonomy makes this magic happen.  We could, in fact add navigation to the site that would match a given tag essentially creating navigation to content that will for ever expand.
The second benefit is allowing your posts to be easily pulled into tag based feeds.  Technorati allows easy setup.
Many blogs will have a field for tagging.  So, as an example we’ll use Drupal as an example.
How do you tag a Drupal Blog post?

  1. You need to have rights to post to a blog.  In the case of the Nonprofits in Second Life site, contact Creech Antwerp (Matthew Saunders) at matthew.saunders [at] westaf.org or at matthew [at] dogstar.org if you are a member of the project and want to become a blogger.
  2. Underneath the "Title" you will see a section called "Tags".  The Drupal database collects and saves all tags and will attempt to auto fill it for you.  If you see a similar tag match it so your post will be referenced with other like posts.
  3. Separate tags with commas.

Who can tag a Drupal Blog post?  In general…

  1. The author.
  2. Someone with administrative rights

If your post is related to the Nonprofits in Second Life project, please tag your post with npsl particularly if it is on your own site.

Written by: Creech

Tagging Tutorials — Part I Flickr

My next few posts will deal with tagging on different social networking sites. This first tutorial will focus on Flickr.

In all the social networking sites that you might post to, there is something in common–tagging. Simply put, tags are little pieces of data that let people know what your information–whether it be an image, a video, or text–is about. For example, you could tag a picture of the castle in Warwick, UK on Flickr with "Warwick castle UK England" and when someone searched on these criteria would have the following results returned:

Click on me: [warwick castle UK England]

Who can tag on Flickr?

  1. First you need an account. If you already have a Yahoo! account, then you can sign up quickly using that account.
  2. After logging in you can tag a) your own photos b) photos of those who have set you up as a contact c) photos of those who are in the same group as you

How do you tag on Flickr?

  1. Log in
  2. Go to photos you are allowed to tag
  3. Look on the right side, you should see the current tags of photos
  4. Click on "Add a tag". If your tag is more than one word, use quotes around the tag.

How does tagging benefit you?

Tagging allows others, like on the Nonprofits in Second Life site, to pull in images–see the Flickr badge on the left–from all sorts of people who have chosen to use the same tag. It also allows Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds of that content that can pull in like images to a web page or to a RSS aggregator like Netvibes. Tagging allows your pictures to be found.

The tag being used for Nonprofits in Second Life is "NPSL."

Written by: Creech

Parcels of Land

Tonight Frank gave a group of us a turorial on how to manage the land in our little community. Having never thought about what goes into managing a sim before, I was impressed by how well thought out the system actually is. I’ll probably start out by using WESTAF as a guinea pig to reset the name and so forth, but once I’ve got it under my belt let me know if you, a tenant, needs help. I’m happy to see what I can do for you.

Written by: Creech