Monday, October 24, 2005

More help with Web2.0

Web2.0, although somewhat of a buzzword, is not going away despite some criticism that it's just a phase. (I remember when I joined CompuMentor almost 10 years ago, part of my attitude was that this new "World Wide Web thing" was a lot of hype, and wouldn't necessarily help nonprofits and the disenfranchised in any immediate sense. I was right - as well as wrong....)

For me, "Web2.0" is a buzzword, but a useful one in that it applies to a bunch of tools that allow people to do stuff online a) without needing to become programmers (I can avoid learning even something as "simple" as HTML), b) I can do stuff online, as opposed to just read or get stuff online.

If you want to learn more, this blogwill be touching on more of these Web2.0 thingies, but right now there is an online event going on at TechSoup - so go over there and check it out. (A description of the event is here).

Friday, October 14, 2005

Silicon Valley Community Foundation arts initiative

Someone forwarded me this announcement from the SVCF, announcing a major arts initiative. (Jump on it because one of the three workshops has already passed).

At first, I thought it was part of the big Bay Area funds-for-artists initiative from last year, inspired by a study where they discovered artists where - gasp! - underpaid.

(Well, to be fair, the point of the study was not to discover artists' quality-of-lifestyle, but 'the various factors that enable artists to pursue their careers" - or perhaps prevent them from pursuing their careers.....).

So thanks again to the many foundations that believe in the arts, when the state (in both senses of the word) decides not to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Web2.0 - Whooza-Whatsit?

You'll notice a series of photos on my website now.

... I'll get to that.

Some of the tools I've been talking about in this space are starting to be commonly referred to as "Web2.0". I think the gist of what a Web2.0 tool is, is something that enables you to share data and information without needing to "program" (i.e be a programmer).

For example, I can post new entries in this blog without needing to know html, Java, XML, RSS, etc. But the more I know about these things, the more I can do.

It's also about open standards. I could design my blog in a particular way so it could also be automatically be republished - entry for entry - on some other site. However, with open standards I'm not hiding any pieces of the technology, so someone else can look at my blog, and decide to pull the entries automatically.
Lord no! It's copyrighted! It's mine mine mine!
Well, no. I really don't care - I mean, honestly, I'm not making a red cent publishing this here, and what I find I'm intentionally trying to share. So the more I can share it, the better, see? And if I don't have to do anything to share it, even more better better, yezno?

So that's the ... really basic gist behind tools that are collectively called Web2.0. Some of these tools are a bit more complex then where most of us are prepared to go.

Another example - if I take a "Web2.0" tool designed on open standards - like Google Maps - and then I took posted information on gas prices at various pumps around the U.S....
And then some magic happens here, where I'm pretty darn smart and I program a little interface to tie the gas prices to actual pump locations....
I'd have the Cheap Gas Google Map guide.

Now that's useful, particularly in these times. I know what you're thinking - "I wouldn't know how to design that interface!" Well, that's a high-end example.

So take those photos on my sidebar. (Actually, you should check the copyright for each photo before taking them). I went to Flickr, and followed the steps on their Flickr Badge pages. I selected a tag "theatre" and it created the necessary html for me. I then pasted it into the "Sidebar" section of my Blogger template.

If I was smarter, I could edit the html myself. (But I'm not - I'm lazy.)

By the way, here is a more specific theatre photoset. Maybe if I get trickier, I can use this one instead of just "theatre." In either case, what's Very Cool is that this set is automatically updates. Since I've played with this badge - adn since I've edited this entry - 3 new photos have bumped their way onto the sidebar, replacing the three I started with. So I get new content all the time, without doing anything!

More on Web2.0 tools to come!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

October 2005 is Funding for Arts Month at the Foundation Center

That about sums it up!

Some of the local (SF) highlights:

October 14 - Arts Education Funding: Current Trends, Future Directions

October 19 - 20 - Focus on the Individual Artist as Grantseeker
Oct 19
  • Survival Strategies for Struggling Artists w/ Networking Session.
  • Getting Started with "Foundation Grants to Individuals Online"
Oct 20
  • Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts.
  • Fiscal Sponsorship and the Arts
  • Meet the Grantmakers: Opportunities for Individual Artists
  • Fundraising for Film and Media Projects.
October 25 - Creative Fundraising Strategies for Arts Organizations

October 27 - A Day for Arts Organizations
  • Meet the Grantmakers: Funding Opportunities for Arts Organizations.
  • Introduction to Corporate Giving for Arts Organizations.
  • Corporate Sponsorship and the Arts.
But there's a lot more going on, online, and in Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, and Washington DC. So check it out.