Building a Better Conference

In the education/learning parts of the blogosphere, there's been a lot of talk lately about professional conferences and how to increase their value. I want to follow this trail because it led me to some thoughts of my own. Tony Karrer started things going by asking what we could do to make conferences better. He made several suggestions, including: "Expert Only" time Unconference within a conference Better fun activities "Passionate... Read more →

Blogging and Transparency Build Trust: A Case Study

Relationships between nonprofits and the public are based on trust. I'm not going to give your organization money if I don't trust you to use it well. I won't volunteer for your cause if I don't trust that you are working for it. Trust is an essential relationship ingredient and transparency--making your organizations visible to the public--is a critical component in developing trust. I was reminded of the importance of... Read more →

New Report from Pew Says that Half of Americans Are Only Occasional Users of Modern ICT

Via Neville Hobson, highlights from a new report from the Pew Charitable Trust, "A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users": 8% of Americans are deep users of the participatory Web and mobile applications Another 23% are heavy, pragmatic tech adopters – they use gadgets to keep up with social networks or be productive at work. 10% rely on mobile devices for voice, texting, or entertainment 10% use information gadgets,... Read more →

Technology Can't Create Change When Culture Stays the Same

An interesting article in yesterday's NYT--Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops. Apparently a number of school districts throughout the country are re-thinking their 1-1 laptop programs because they aren't seeing the results they expected. This is a great example of what happens when you bring in technology without really thinking through either your expectations for results or how your organizational culture needs to change to make the best use... Read more →

The Digital Divide Comes Home

NOTE--I've had this post in draft form for several days, debating about whether or not to post it publicly. I've typically used my blog to share information I find or ideas I have. Only a few times has it veered into more personal realms. But lately I've also been using my blog to document my learning, to delve more deeply into my own thoughts, and to gain greater clarity about... Read more →

On Transparency

I read a lot of educator blogs. Most teachers and administrators who blog are thoughtful men and women with great insight and I always learn from them. Via Stephen Downes tonight comes a post from teacher Clarence Fisher on a recent experience he had with a class project: As part of the International Teen Life project (or ITL as we are now calling it, see the trendy new logoJamie Hide... Read more →

Open Source Bidding and Innovation

A few weeks ago, Michelle Murrain asked a great question--How do we make change if we keep doing things the same way? (I would argue that you can't, but that's not the point of this post.) Now David Wilcox and some other collaborators are looking at how they can use a different process for a familiar nonprofit activity--responding to a Request for Proposal/Invitation to Tender (depending on your location). Writes... Read more →

Blogging Code of Conduct Draft--Your Chance to Weigh In

In the wake of the recent furor over proper blog participation behavior, Tim O'Reilly has posted a draft of a Blogging Code of Conduct. Based closely on the Blogher Community Guidelines (I'm not surprised that women are leading the way in this regard), O'Reilly has posted the suggested code on a Blogger's Code Wiki where you can make suggested edits and weigh in on the discussion. His key points: We... Read more →

Scarcity, Abundance, Mental Models and Reader Responses

In the past several days I've received a number of comments and emails on my posts regarding scarcity thinking in nonprofits. I wanted to try to summarize some of what's come my way because I think that it all furthers the conversation. In a comment on my original post, Mike Wassenaar left me a link to an interesting 2003 report entitled Battered Agencies: Supporting Those Who Serve Low Income Communities.... Read more →

One Way to Move to Abundance Thinking:Focus On What You Can Give

Lately I've been reflecting on ways that organizations can move from scarcity to abundance thinking. Seth Godin has one idea based on his father's 50 years of consistent business success: I was thinking about the way my Dad does business the other day. He's been a successful executive (and then entrepreneur) for more than 50 years. I realized that I can't remember one time when he did this to get... Read more →