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February 20 2012

11:22

Netsquared Regional Conference Buea Cameroon

Conference theme: Cameroon Netsquared Reboot

The Netsquared regional conference Buea Cameroon built for the 9th of February 2012 at Dchucks Palace hotel came to pass as scheduled though we encountered some technical difficulties in carrying out part of our activities. The conference brought together civil society organizations and techies to rethink the future of the network in Cameroon and set a solid foundation. We were lucky enough and highly favored to have:

 

  • Nicolle Beeby from SANGONet South Africa (www.sangonet.org.za) who spoke on ‘the introduction of Social Media in NGOs’,
  • A 20mins video from Daniel Ben-Horin, CEO of Techsoup Global,
  • Tobias Eigen, Founder Kabissa Kabissa, who spread the news over the web (www.kabissa.org ) and,
  • Asama A. Excel, President & CEO of I-Vission International (www.ivission.net) presenting the historical background of Netsquared network in Cameroon

The following remote presenters could not connect to us due to Internet failure:

Marc Manashil, Community Evangelist for Netsquared (www.netsquared.org): he had to come in to comment the video from the CEO and co founder of Tecsoup Global. Marc just wished us the best through SMS and email.

David Barnard, Executive Director SANGONeT, was to talk on ‘online fund raising’, unfortunately after several attempts to connect us; we could not establish a comfortable connection. He sent us his presentation through email.

-------------------------

After the presentation of participants, Asama A. Excel was given the opportunity to introduce the historical background of Netsquared activities in Cameroon. He briefly explained to the audience how he was in a cyber café, searching for partners in Europe and the United States that promote the use of the web in social activities. This is how he came across Netsquared. He paid more attention on the Netsquareds’ network around the world with the famous Net Tuesdays meetings. Asama Excel developed great interest in the vision of Netsquared in particular and Techsoup Global in general which he said are similar to that of I-Vission International, the NGO he chairs in Cameroon. He decided to get involve by creating a network in Cameroon back in 2008. The Network started and was later on shut down because of in activity. He took the courage and created the group a second time in 2009. That same year, he succeeded to register some few members.

Below are some of the activities Netsquared Cameroon has succeeded to organize since creation:

 

  • Cameroon Netsquared Campaign in Kribi, August 26-29, 2009. This 3 day event brought together 250 participants from different social sectors. Some of the highlights of the event include: A touristic tour in Kribi, swimming, visit to some orphanages, visit to the Kribi Urban council and the regional delegation of tourism.
  •  Netsquared Camp in Douala-Cameroon: The theme for this event was REMIXING THE WEB FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. It gathered 64 participants both in Douala and its environs to discuss issues on the impact of social web on civil society organizations. Some projects were presented by five different groups.
  • Special training: the Netsquared team headed by Asama A. Excel organized a special training to build the capacity of students on project management on the 7th of February 2012 at the university of Buea Cameroon
  • Local monthly meetings: We have succeeded to organize many local meetings in Cameroon -This regional conference is just part of the activities of Netsquared Cameroon

 

Challenges encountered

The major challenges we face in Cameroon are:

 

  • Lack of a good internet connection,
  • Ignorance or low access to the ICTs (Very few people master the social web)
  • Financial and logistic difficulties to organize meetings,
  • Difficulty in attending conferences organized in the USA. Last year in February we were refused Visa to the USA for no concrete reason. This provoked a negative impact on the group as a whole. The group coordinator, Asama Excel was psychologically disturbed and could not organize meetings regularly as a result of this, many members left.

 

The second speaker of the day was Nicolle Beeby by Nicolle from SANGONet, an NGO based in South Africa (www.sangonet.org.za) She presented the topic: An Introduction to the social Media for NGOs After a series of trials, she succeeded to Skype in. Participants were very attentive to this presentation for two reasons:

  • It was their first time to learn through remote presentation
  • Social media is making the news worldwide and everyone wants to be connected.

She attempted the following definition for social media:

 

  • Social media is content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies
  • A category of sites that is based on user participation and user generated content
  • Online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights experiences, and perspectives with each other 
  • Social media are works of user-created video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment, such as a blog, wiki or video hosting site

 

 The importance of social media to NGOs including:

 

  • User-generated content T
  • The demise of the webmistress J L -It’s so easy – the demise of the ‘tech guy’
  • Getting our voices out there – the demise of the gatekeepers
  • Participation – you speak out; other’s speak back
  • A level playing field – we are all documenters
  • Online presence – many can know about you -Text, audio, video, pictures – documenting gone wild J

 

 Participants were as well empowered on micro blogging applications like twitter and facebook . Nicolle suggested the following sites for bloggers:

 

 

The last segment of her presentation involved multimedia sites with flickr, Zoopy, Youtube channels and Dotsub.

 

  • Youtube channels, NGOs are offered huge international audiences, limit of 20 minute uploads, 10 million uploads a day.
  • Zoopy: Local option, local audiences, local speeds (faster). Audio, video and photos. Mobile site.
  • Dotsub: Plugging in to a community of translators Nicolle highlighted the necessity of multimedia sites as a great way to find resources on issues related to your work and videos as a great way to effectively explain complex issues in a succinct and entertaining way. You can share explanations about your cause and why it is important. 

 

Some best practices proposed

 

  • Read blogs! 
  • CONVERGE ALL YOUR MEDIA eg Send your listeners to the blog transcript 
  • Convince your readers (via email, blog etc to listen tonight...)
  • Make it sustainable – should be easy if you are a media org... 
  • Quality above quantity
  • Respond to comments!!!
  • Don’t just tell – show 
  • Afrigadget •PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE 
  • ANALYSE ANALYSE ANALYSE (www.google.com/analytics

 

The Co Founder and CEO of Techsoup Global Daniel Ben-Horin, send us a 20minutes video tape explaining the vision of Techsoup Global. This video was projected several times to permit participants understand how Techsoup Global operates. Many participants notice that the CEO used the word trust, confidence and participating several times as essential tools in building long lasting and solid relationships. The NGOs present were delighted to hear the CEO say Techsoup is looking for credible organizations to work with in Cameroon.

Testimonies and success stories The participants were expecting testimonies from other Netsquared groups but unfortunately none of them volunteered to share with Netsquared Cameroon. We wonder why?. Nonetheless, they encourage us to keep on sharing with others.

The New team for Netsquared Cameroon The following organizations voluntarily accepted the offer to join the team and to give full support for the smooth running of Netsquared Cameroon:

 

  • Helen Nsume Nkelnsieh:  OREP NGO 
  • Hans Jambe Ebot:      CHAMEG
  • Ngrima Yvonne:       ASWA-RUDEB
  • Halle Simon:           Empowerment PR
  • Samuel Akuro:        Creative Hands
  • Abanda Sammy:      Creative Hands
  • Achu Denis:          Member (Independent Expert)
  • Acho Denis Fominyen:   ASWA-RUDEB 
  • Andre Signing: Member (Independent Expert)
  • Asama Abel Excel:   I-Vission International 
  • Anagho Daniel:   Member (Independent Expert)

 

 Resolutions

 

  • Participants were called to make contributions in writing to help us design our strategic plan of action,
  • A website will be put in place to promote the activities of Netsquared in Cameroon. Part of the funds received from Techsoup Global should be kept aside for this purpose,
  • The new team made up of civil society organizations shall henceforth develop and execute projects together,
  • A specific fee will be charged for anyone seeking to join the network in Cameroon.
  • Meetings could be held on or off line,
  • More conferences and workshops should be organized regularly to build the capacities of members on social media and other related ICT issues.
  • Facilitate access to ICTs to civil society organizations,
  • Put in place a kind of umbrella bureau at regional levels to coordinate activities on the ground,
  • Put in place an online platform to promote the activities of civil society organizations in Cameroon with priority to those affiliated to Netsquared Cameroon, 
  • Jointly organize activities with local partners, diplomatic representations and foreign stake holders.

 

 Future event

  A meeting was programmed for the 10th of March 2012 at the headquarters of I-Vission International in Douala to review the strategic plan of action 

 

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March 15 2011

20:08

TechSoup Global: Connect with TechSoup at 11NTC!

This post was written by Elliot Harmon and originally appeared on TechSoup.org

Are you headed to Washington for the Nonprofit Technology Conference? Several of us from TechSoup Global will be there, and we'd love to see you! Here's a rundown of where to find us. 

11NTC

The State of the Jewish Digital Nation 
Thursday, March 17, 8 a.m.

Rachel Weidinger will lead a resource-matching and problem-solving session as part of this affinity group meeting

International Nonprofit Organizations
Thursday, March 17, 11 a.m.

Shai Coggins from Connecting Up Australia (TechSoup's Australian partner) will host this get-together for international NGOs.

Local Community Organizers
Thursday, March 17, 1 p.m.

Claire Sale will host this community organizers' meetup. Come discuss the struggles, challenges and rewards of community organizing.

Science Fair
Thursday, March 17, 3 p.m.

Be sure to find our booth and say hi at the Science Fair!

Working with a Distributed Team: Fusing Non-local, Virtual, and Remote Staff with Free Communications and Productivity Tools
Saturday, March 19, 1:30 p.m.

Jessica Dally, Evonne Heyning, Rik Panganiban, and Susan Tenby will discuss the tools and strategies they use for working in a distributed team.

The Future of the Map
Elliot Harmon will host this panel on GIS and mapping technologies and the growing role they play in the nonprofit sector.

Follow us on Twitter!

Whether you'll be in Washington or not, you can read our updates on Twitter and watch this blog for 11NTC coverage all week.

 

NetSquared @NetSquared
TechSoup Global @techsoup 
TechSoup for Libraries @techsoup4libs 
TechSoup Global Network @tsgn 
Nonprofits in Second Life @npsl 
Shai Coggins @shaicoggins
Jessica Dally @jessicadally 
Elliot Harmon @elliotharmon 
Evonne Heyning @amoration 
Alicja Peszkowska @alicjapeas 
Claire Sale @clairesale 
Susan Tenby @suzboop 
Rachel Weidinger @rachelannyes
Laney Strange @laneystrange

 

 

February 10 2011

23:54

Mark Liu introduction for GCS

Hi:  I'm Senior Manager for Planning and Analysis for TechSoup Global. I'm focused on strategic planning and program business planning for our social enterprises. In recent months, I've been looking into how the cloud and other new technology trends can be leveraged by civil society and how TechSoup Global should change its programs to respond to technology and industry changes.

July 28 2010

07:52

TechSoup Webinar: Tour GrantStation - Your Fast Track to Fundraising

Join Cynthia M. Adams for a free webinar that offers a short tour of the GrantStation website. Learn how to use the tools that GrantStation provides to help you identify the right grantmaker for any program or project.

If you're interested in learning more about GrantStation before the TechSoup special offer on August 17 and 18, this tour will help you understand whether it's the right tool for your organization and how to get started.

read more

July 14 2010

14:54

TechSoup Webinar: Business Planning for Nonprofits and Libraries

Have you dreamt up a great program for generating new revenue streams or providing new services at your organization, but you don’t know how to implement your idea and build support for it? If you answered “yes!” this webinar can help.
 

read more

10:00

TechSoup Webinar: Tips and Tools for Technology Planning

You’ve heard that a technology plan can help you budget and better plan for future technology acquisitions, but with everything else you do all day, who has the time? Come to this TechSoup and WebJunction presentation where we’ll share tips, tools, and tales from folks who’ve crafted their own tech plans without too much discomfort.

In this webinar, you’ll:

read more

June 30 2010

12:08

TechSoup Webinar: 10 Social Media Tips & Secrets

Social media has dramatically changed how nonprofits and libraries communicate with supporters, donors, and volunteers. Most organizations in the United States now use social media in their communications and development strategies, but few have been properly trained on how to best utilize sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Your organization's return on investment (ROI) in social media is directly related to whether your staff fully understands the long-term implications of social media and are knowledgeable of each sites' unique functionality and toolset.
 

read more

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