Get a feed full of inspiration with Net Squared case studies

I just noticed that there’s an easy link to subscribe to new case studies at Net Squared. These are organizations around the world using new web tools in innovative ways. It’s totally inspiring. Here’s the most recent case studies added and here’s the feed URL to subscribe to updates.

If you work for a nonprofit organization doing innovative things online you can write up a case study yourself on the Net Squared site.

Another reason to blog

Dave Winer, who apparently hasn’t stopped blogging after all, on why organizations should blog:
“To me, asking why you should use blogs is like asking why you should answer the phone. It might be a customer, a developer who wants to use your services, or a reporter who wants to write about the company. Your competitors answer the phone, so you should too.”

Winer was one of the key inventors of RSS, podcasting, OPML and goodness knows what else.

Interviews with people from and Freedom Toaster

Two new interviews posted over at Net Squared. The first was with Leonard Lin, a co-founder of the super-calender service, now owned by Yahoo. Leonard gets pretty heady, it’s cool.

The second was with Jason Hudson of Freedom Toaster. Freedom Toaster is so cool! It’s a vending machine that appears around South Africa that dispenses free open source software and cultural content. Jason and I had a good conversation by IM, 8am my time, about 8pm his time. Two things you don’t want to miss from the Freedom Toaster interview: first, the picture of the Toaster itself – it is sweet! (Oh what the heck, I’ll throw it up here too!)

Second, at the end of the interview I added not just an OPML file of feeds related to the Freedom Toaster Project, but also a swift Grazr box so readers could preview the bundled feeds before subscribing. I had to get the right permissions from the site admin to put in that code, but from here on out I think I’ll be doing that with every interview I can. I love it.

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I’m going to try a live “help desk” experiment by Skype next Friday

Update: This first experimental call’s roster is filled (yay!) but if you’d like to be contacted about future events like this, leave a comment below and I’ll get your email via the email field and will let you know when the next time comes up. Or you can subscribe to my blog.

Inspired by an announcement by the NewsGator Enterprise team that they are going to start doing weekly webinars, I want to try an experiment as well. Next Friday, April 7th at Noon Pacific Standard Time, I want to have a Skype conference call with anyone I can help implement the kinds of things I write about here. I’m sure we’ll all end up helping each other as well. No cost. This is the kind of thing I’d like to end up doing professionally some day (conference calls on specific training topics) and so let’s see how it works.

For manageability, let’s say that the call will be limited to the first three people who sign up plus myself. If these conversations go well, I’ll do some at other times of day so we can go international. Thoughts?

Update: It looks like we’ve got Seth Mazow from Interplast and Norris McDonald from the African American Environmentalist Association signed up to participate in the call so far. Seth wants to talk about using tags to increase visibility online and Norris wants to talk about leveraging Skype and blogs together. That means we’ve got one slot left for the first phone call. Care to join us?

Good topics to discuss might be:

  • Reputation and issue tracking for groups or individuals.
  • Getting the most out of RSS, either as a reader or a publisher.
  • Tagging, making it work.

If you’re new to my site, here’s some links that might fill you in on my perspective:
Teaching RSS: a discussion
13 reasons to use tags.
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Alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excell, PowerPoint

Tech Soup is running an in depth comparative review of the open source and free Open Office compared to Microsoft Office. See also the Mac version of Open Office, NeoOffice. I’m going to be interviewing a man from Open Office as soon as I can get myself together enough to make it happen. It’ll be in the Net Squared interviews section. Did you know that Open Office has an estimated 40 million users and 60 language projects underway?

Maybe it’s naughty and I ought to just forge headfirst into the open source world, but I feel like I need compatibility with Microsoft format every once in awhile at least. In that spirit I’m going to check out ThinkFree Office Online. See also AJAXwrite (thanks Noka for pointing that one out).

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