Tuesday, July 25, 2006

RSS to Email?

I'm testing an RSS to email feature, and since my previous tests have failed, I've decided to go live on this blog in an effort to force the service I'm trying out - Squeet - to send me an email update of my blog.

No, I'm not doing this because I would prefer to get blog updates via email. But I might want to get wiki updates via email, and as far as I can tell, WikiSpaces doesn't support email updates, only RSS/ Atom feeds.

See, I've helped someone set up a WikiSpace because - well, it's easy to use, particulary for non-techies. And then to ask people to set up a feed-reader? Not in my world, dood. KISS - email and the Web - baby steps, baby steps. I'm not throwing Wiki-style CamelCase and RSS to a tech newbie in the same week....

(And if this fails, I may have to add another filler blog post.... Pray that it works...)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Fixed Flock?

So a while back, I tried a couple of different things to see if I could incorporate my blogging more easily, as opposed to having to log in every time I wanted to blog something (no, I prefer not to sit on logged-in sites, but I'm slowly changing).

I tried the plug-in Performancing, but had some challenges with it.  A friend convinced me to re-try Flock, which is what I'm using create this post.  We'll see if it works.

(And a mean RSI pain just flared up, so I guess I'm quitting for the day.  Perhaps too much Drum-Fu this weekend at the SF Theatre Fest?....)

Blogged with Flock

Bonding, not branding

Following up on a little on a previosu presentation I gave on "how to blog, and why to blog, and then - why to read other people's blogs (and how)" (otherwise known as my blog-tags-rss presentation). Here's a succint case made by Nancy Schwartz on why you should read and search blogs - make sure to click to read the full article. It may make my post about how to set up feeds on Bloglines using Technorati make a little more sense.....

Thursday, July 20, 2006

IssueLab - nonprofit research portal

IssueLab, created by the Chicago-based New Media for Nonprofits, collects and shares (or links to) the plethora of nonprofit research out on the Web. As far as I can tell, it's all free, unlike research clipping services. Part of the strategy is that nonprofits register (for no fee) to add their own reports - or add links to their research. There's a wide range of information on the site, from The Almanac of Hunger and Poverty in America 2006 to Health Care and Opportunity - but since it relies on organizations uploading info, there are a few holes (the tech reports section is fairly light, and there's nothing under "Arts and Culture").

Nonprofit Operations Tips blog!

It's exciting to see things come full circle. I first met Heather when I was giving a presentation on Healthy and Secure Computing, and she was struggling to manage the technology where she worked. Since then, she's plowed through a ton of resources on nonprofit technology, continued to develop her expertise in nonprofit management operations - and now she works for Aspriation Tech, and is posting blog tips on nonprofit operations - that I end up reading!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Carnival of Nonprofit Blogs: Technology!

Last week over here I mentioned the call that went out to bloggers for the "best-of" technology for nonprofit blogging. Well, here are the results - edition #5 of the Carnival of Nonprofit Blogs: Technology.

("The Carnival of what?....")

New Technology in the Arts site and blog!

A while back, I too was invited to be on the Honorary Committee of the new Technology in the Arts conference (my nomination was care of the Beth Kanter, linked).

Now that they have the website up, what's the first thing they do? Set up a blog! Brilliant!

Technorati hates me - I wanna Rent an Expert

So the idea with Technorati is that you can use it to not only find out what other people are saying, you can find out what other people are saying about you.... And, if you use tags in your posts, you can then share "conversations" on a topic (as defined by the tag) with others. To wit, I can search for "social networking" as a keyword, and I get a different list of blogs than if I use it as a tag search - because some people are specifically identifying their post as being relevant to "social networking." (Note: you'll get different mileage on tag searches if you keep or omit the space between words).

How is this supposed to work? Well, you add some html into your blog post, as directed here - using your tag word of choice. Recently, I've tagged blog posts with OCC2006 (posts I think are relevant for Online Community Camp), WineCamp (posts relevant to WineCamp and WineCampers), and MMC2006 (the Making Media Connections conference). However, if you look at the links, while my OCC2006 and WineCamp posts show up on Technorati (amongst other bloggers who have also blogged about these events), my MMC2006 posts don't.

And that's frustrating, because there are several worthy posts (oh, and one more)!

I would consider going and Renting An Expert (courtesy of the folks who bring you BrainJams) - except that I'm in rehearsal for a small performance. Oh well - maybe next time someone can come and rent me!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The coming mobile revolution

OK, so in some circles I'm kinda late on this one: At WineCamp a few of us talked about what kinds of technology could actually help people on the ground - in rural parts of the developing world - actually make money. I.e. we were avoiding the altruistic conversation about how technology can help on a broader level of education and access, and jumping straight to the point: can the use of technology lead directly to someone in rural India/Tanzania/Guatemala making money. Becuase if anything is at the base of economic development, it's economics....

Well, this lead to various conjectures on how mobile technology can be used to "do work." What kind of work? Well, take a look at MobileActive. While mostly focusing on how mobile technology is used in the developed world (and parts of the developing world that has a decent infrastrcuture), this website does a great job of documenting how people are using cell-phone technology to do work.

For example, one conjecturial idea from that WineCamp conversation was to follow the Grameen Phone mobile-as-pay-phone model. Another is to use cell phones as a tool for unskilled laboreres to collect time-sensitive field data. Then there's the case study of Ugandan farmers using cell phones ot get accurate prices for their coffee - and finding buyers without having to trek into the city.

A final conjecture of how to use a mobile to "do work" (as opposed to a information tool) is using the innate human ability to distiguish things that computers cannot - based on Amazon's Mechanical Turk program (what the heck is Mechnical Turk?). The popularity of the application is fading, but when you look at the types of work that is being outsourced to the developing world - from IT support to IT application development to legal clerical prep work to actual content revision and generation - you begin to get the idea that someone getting paid to do simple tasks on a cell phone is not that far away.... Both figuratively, and maybe literally.

Filed in: and

Passing it along: blog tools review

Here's a good review of the top seven blogging tools -courtesy of Idealware, definitely a good site to familiarize yourself with if you work in the nonprofit tech world. (The review is also linked on my del.icio.us list of great web tools panel had in Chicago ).