When I was in my 20s I had two groups of friends: nerds and activist hippies. There was no crossover between the groups and I kept these two communities and parts of me separate like matter and antimatter (that’s the nerd talking!)
When I moved to Vancouver in 2007 my workplace sent me to the Web of Change conference (they noticed that their volunteer manager kept asking why the database was broken) where I first encountered the progressive nonprofit tech community. IT BLEW MY MIND!
It may not seem strange you, being worldly and reading this in 2013, but for me the idea that nerds and activists could co-exist or even be the same person had never crossed my mind. These communities had always been oil and water in my mind. Activists are anti-technology: that’s what I had learned (growing up on a commune.) 🙂
I discovered an entire new universe that week at Web of Change and it changed the course of my life irrevocably.
The friendly conference attendees scoffed at my naiveté and recommended that I start attending Vancouver’s Net Tuesday, which had recently been formed. I did. And I learned, while sitting quietly in the back.
But after a few months the organizer (Joe Solomon, who went on to 350.org and #GreenMemes) left town. The idea of the group folding was too tragic, so I volunteered to take it over. And four years later here I am!
But WHY did I decide to take on Net Tuesday Vancouver?
I wanted to find my tribe
I was in a new city and I didn’t know anybody. I discovered that being a NetSquared organizer turned me into a community hub – I quickly met all the key players in the sector, many of whom have become friends. It can be hard to find local nptech-ies without a Net2 group!
I can get really quiet in a group of people, unless I have a clearly defined role. Being the “host” of a meetup gives me an “in” to talk with people.
I like organizing events
I spent my 20s doing production on large outdoor festivals. I didn’t want my event skills to atrophy.
I wanted to learn more
I had learned at lot at the local meetup. The best way to learn more was to schedule more events! And this time I could guarantee that I’d be interested in the topic, because I was planning it. “Scratch your own itch” they always say. 🙂
I wanted to build a reputation
As I developed my career in nonprofit tech I quickly realized that being a Net2 organizer was doing wonders for my reputation. People (irrationally!) assumed that I was an expert on every topic I had a speaker present on! I started to receive job offers…
Net Tuesday fit with my values
Somewhere along the way life taught me that the more I gave the more I received. I enjoy serving others, and being a NetSquared organizer has been the most rewarding volunteer gig I’d ever taken on.
And that, in a giant nutshell, is why I become a Net2 organizer. 🙂
Using Video to Tell Your Stories – Net Tuesday May 7 2013
Video is taking over the internet. Fast. Nonprofits need to get in front of this trend now. Video can be complicated and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. This week three guests shared their tips for creating visually striking videos on a nonprofit budget.
Storified by Net Tuesday· Sun, May 12 2013 14:10:08
1. Siobhan Aspinall started the event by sharing her three favorite nonprofit videos and explored WHY they were successful. It wasn’t because they spent the most money!
This is what’s possible when you invest!
Note: That Matt Damon video is NSFW!
2. Eli demos Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker, a free tool for remixing and annotating any Youtube or Vimeo video.
3. Tiva Quinn showed off two tools for creating animation on the cheap.
Animoto – create animated videos from photos
Sparkol VideoScribe – creating animated “whiteboard” videos.
Cool projects from our community
The Twitter feed…
Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last month in my gig as NetSquared Local Community Curator.
It’s December, which means we’re on the last page of our calendar. Team NetSquared is working hard to wrap-up some this year’s projects. We’ve now completed all seven of our NetSquared Camps and have just one more Global Leadership Council meeting left. But just because some things are coming to an end there’s no reason for tears – rather let’s reflect back on what we’ve learned over the year and share the gift of knowledge on the Washington DC group’s quora page.
The future of NetSquared
The recent reorganization of NetSquared sees the emergence of a unified content and community team for both the NetSquared and TechSoup brands. Sheetal Singh is our new TechSoup champion, taking over from Billy Bicket who is going to take on platform work.
What does that all mean to NetSquared organizers? I’ll be able to share more by mid-December when Sheetal sends her community update, but in the short-term you’ll start to see a regular stream of new content on the NetSquared community blog.
This fall’s major initiative was the NetSquared Camps, which were seven regional unconferences and workshops produced by our local organizer network. The camps were an amazing opportunity to expand the NetSquared local experience from a brief daytime or evening event into an all-day extravaganza. It was also a great excuse for us to get local organizers together for face-to-face meetings, since the big lesson from the Global Leadership Council experiment this year was that we can kickstart inter-organizer relationships by getting people together in the same room. Which, honestly, shouldn’t have been too much of a shock since that’s the key insight that keeps all of us local organizers doing our meetups from month to month.
Each of the camp organizers has written a blog post sharing their insights, photos and video. There are lots of great ideas to steal for your own events!
The tenth release of the NetSquared platform is now live. Many of the changes were beneath the hood, but you’ll definitely notice the improvements to the community blog. We’re now randomly featuring bloggers from the local network. You may see your face next time you go to http://www.NetSquared.org/blog!
Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest
The Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest invites both new and seasoned developers to create an app for “social good” – and you could win cash prizes to help fuel your dream and keep it going!
There are already five entries in the contest. Check out their project pages and use the social share buttons on the one you think is coolest.
Note: the contest is only open to residents of the USA. But anyone can vote and share!
A quick scan shows ten events happening across the NetSquared local network. That’s a big drop from the 21 in November… Curse those holidays! 🙂
- Houston, TX: December Holiday Social
- Vancouver, BC: Prove it! A/B testing for Nonprofits
- San Francisco, CA: Holiday Party
- Washington, DC: Dec. 18: NetSquared DC Happy Hour – Tech: The Gift that keeps on Giving
- Honolulu, HI: We’re all heading to Hon*celerator!
- Boston, MA: Be the Media! Mini-Conference
- Philadelphia, PA: Tools and Analytics for Understanding Usage of Your Website
- Toronto, ON: Donate & Learn – Social Media Workshop
- Morrisville, NC: NCTech4Good December Social
- Baltimore, MD: December Tech & Social Change Baltimore Meetup