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May 24 2011


Follow, Follow, Tweet Tweet (realities of microblogging)

Microblogs like Twitter are a great vehicle to help organize political demonstrations in countries run by corrupt governments (and an effective way to spread misinformation), but how can nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), libraries, government programs, and other mission-based organizations really use microblogs to promote their work, increase attendance at an event, get donations or mobilize or support volunteers?

I've updated my resource on Microblogs and Nonprofits yet again, this time adding much more information about live microblog/live tweet events. This is a primer based in reality - you won't find a panting endorsement about how you will raise millions of dollars via Twitter or Facebook or any other technology-tool. Rather, this resource is, I hope, a no-nonsense, anti-fluff, anti-hype, practical list to help nonprofits, NGOs and other community-focused initiatives explore microblogging and use it effectively with volunteers, event attendees and others they are trying to reach and engage.

Being able to work online is now an essential and much-sought-after skill in the work place, no matter what your job at a nonprofit, NGO, government agency, etc. This isn't the domain of just your marketing department anymore: program staff, those that work with volunteers, and anyone that works with the public or with clients at a mission-based organization has a role in using online tools on behalf of mission-based organizations. This updated resource is just one of many pages on my site meant to help those at mission-based organizations who want to enhance their online skills quickly.

Remember: content is still king. Be thoughtful and be strategic about whatever communication tool you use, even the flavor of the month.

October 14 2010


Mr. T, are you out there?

Once upon a time I had a principal I thought would make a difference – and he did for many. His dream was a non-traditional school which would reach students and give them both responsibility and freedom to learn and excel. But (my opinion) he moved on and back into the jungle of educationese and was lost amid the hoards. His legacy is a high school that almost is what could have been – although it is a remarkable school nonetheless.

Today I got an email about a school that is and may be everything a school should be.

Bob Greenman with visualthesaurus posted a story today that almost made me cry with joy.

Now I was only a teacher for eight years – three in a fairly non-traditional high school and five in what is termed a “comprehensive” high school. Schools where seat time and discipline were paramount. Rigid. By the BOOK.

Greenman’s story is about Edward R. Murrow High School.

“All of this — the absence of bells, bathroom passes and most regimentation, the college-like atmosphere, the subject titles — and the effect it would have on students’ lives, now and long after high school, existed because Saul Bruckner, Murrow’s principal, believed in the dignity of young people and the need to treat them with respect, understanding and compassion.”

A principal who valued freedom above order. Where chaos seems to be the order of the day, but learning IS the current that drives students.

The dream is possible. And it is all about freedom. To think. to grow up. To be responsible. (Transparency: I was NOT motivated to showcase this school just because of the name and the fact they prefer broadcasting over athletics. Not too much. My principal also valued technology and freedom, but was fettered by regulation and the ruts of time-word tradition.)

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