A flurry of mappr invites

It must be the NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network) conference coming up in Seattle next month, all of the sudden I’m adding myself to peoples’ Frapr friends maps. We’ll see if that sticks. Frapr is very useful for events organizing, see for example the NTEN map of attendees. You’ll notice that it’s very East Coast dominated. Hint hint, if you are interested in non profit technologies and are on the west coast you should think about coming. And think fast cause the early registration period ends next week I think, maybe this week. Here’s a handy do-da of images conference attendees have uploaded.

When the Net Squared conference registration opens, we’ll be using another system to map out the locations of attendees, called (forgive me, maybe it’s a joke) Attendr. See, for example, this well used Attendr map of the recent MashupCamp. Its a very smooth system, easy to use. The one concern I have about it is the “people this user would like to meet/people who would like to meet this user” feature. Specifically, I worry about some people being very in demand and some people not. I know this is how it works in real life, but I don’t know how helpful it will be for online event organizing. Maybe its the middle of that continuum where it will make the most sense.

Hope this post was useful to folks interested in easy to use mapping systems and conferences.

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eLearning Resources in OPML

In response to a question from some one in the education technology field asking what some good feeds to subscribe to, here’s an OPML file of some of the best/ my favorites. eLearningFeeds

If you’re unfamiliar with OPML, check out this post on the basics.

The file contains:

I’m having so much fun putting these lists together that I’m fantasizing about starting a separate blog just for cool research OPML files, to try and help fill the space with more than just tech feeds. I should probably learn how to build the files more elegantly first, but it sure would be fun.

Are readers digging these OPML resources?

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OPML file of US Gov Doc Watch-Dog Organizaitons

Resource Shelf feed item today took me to the National Security Archives at George Washington University, long one of my favorite sources of information. Of course they don’t have an RSS feed. So I scraped one using Wotzwot, did the same with two other good sources of information about US Government documents supressed, released and otherwise. Here’s an OPML file: US Gov Watch Dogs

If you are unfamiliar with OPML, in this case it’s a file you can copy and paste into your RSS reader to subscribe to multiple feeds at once. See also this post of scraped feeds from international free speech watch dog organizations.

Please note that these are sources of pretty hard core information. I’ll let you take care of your own patriotism, but you might want to watch out for your stomach in regards to both images and text on these sites. Likewise, they are definitely sites of interest to federal authorities, particularly Cryptome. Just so you know.

The file contains:

  1. National Security Archive News
  2. The Memory Hole: Rescuing News, Freeing Information
  3. Cryptome documents posted both on and off site.

Since these are scraped feeds, they are sometimes kind of slow, but they are sure better than nothing.

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Adding value to tech reporting

I’m really trying to figure out how to add some value to my writing over at Social Software. Inhale feeds, exhale posts – as the motto says here, just aint feeling right over there. I don’t want to write just one of many blogs talking about the same new services that 5 or 6 other blogs are talking about, and then many more. Some thoughts I’ve had so far on how to add value to the things I write over there:

  1. Interview the people behind the start ups that other bloggers are writing product reviews about. It’s more time intensive, but I think I’m pretty good at it and it would be relatively unique.
  2. Watch the super geeks closer. Checking out the real fringes of tech blogs, not just the new sources that dominate my feed reader, could be a good way to stay a step ahead of the discussion.
  3. Bring resources to the table. One thing I’ve tried to do a bit is add supporting resources to my posts, like OPML files made up of feeds about the topic I’m posting on.

Those are the ideas that have come to mind so far. We’ll see how it goes.

Open email to ForImmediateRelease.biz

The following is an email that bounced back after being sent to ForImmediatRelease PR podcast. Your thoughts on the topic before I try resending? I’d like to know what folks in the non profit world think too.

Re the idea of omitting any mention of new web tools by name in favor
of simply saying to some one in need “here’s a solution for you” –
I’d like to hear more Web 2.0 voices on the question. I am working
right now for two organizations and both make mention of Web 2.0
immediately in their names, Net Squared ( http://netsquared.org
bringing Web 2.0 to non profit organizations) and Weblogs Inc. (Social
Software blog). In both of these capacities, Web 2.0 evangelism is my
top priority and thus usability/ accessibility, etc. – but I introduce
them by name.

I do discuss Web 2.0 tools by name when I propose them to clients
(“you need a blog, you need to read RSS feeds”) but I won’t claim to
know the answer to this question. What does boss man Jason Calacanis
think of this? What do the guys on the Gilmor Gang think? What do the
folks at Web 2.0 Work Group think of it? Very important – what do the
folks at Blogher.org think? Presumably there are infiltrators in old
school media – how do they respond to this question?

My quick stab at it: the changes underway are so drastic, and so
characterized by an emphasis on open communication that people need to
be told relatively early in their process of adoption that they are
joining an emerging world that is made of different stuff. There are
enough anemic blogs out there, the LA Times wiki editorial was so half
hearted, etc. that people really need to grok what’s going on and what
the new tech means functionally and politically. If they’re not told
quickly, the landscape around these new tools is likely to get far
more ugly than it is today.

But I’d like to see this conversation extended. I know that the point
is important that many technologies now widely used were discounted at
first, but I’m not sure that ignorant bliss is the best solution.

Marshall Kirkpatrick
Tech Soup’s Net Squared and WINC Social Software Blog

This blog to be for reflections

I do want this blog to remain active, despite the fact that the majority of my energy is now focused on posting interviews on Net Squared and frequent short posts on Social Software. I’m going to try making short observations here (I have plenty of them) when I sign on and off each day. We’ll see if those prove as interesting and valuable to readers as the kinds of posts I’d been making did.

I think that working full time in the non profit and for profit blogosphere leads to some interesting ruminations which I hope will be discussed on this site. It’s my weekend now, so I’ll begin on Tuesday.

Andy Carvin interview

Wow, it’s been a week since I posted here. I have some thoughts I’d like to write about, but I don’t have time. I want to keep posting here, but am having a hard time doing so when I’m writing a lot on two other blogs.

Folks who stop by here should check out my long interview with international digital divide fighter and super video blogger Andy Carvin over at Net Squared.