Want some tips for how to makes sense of all of your options when it comes to developing website technology for your organization?
- NetSquared - old site
- Alternate ROOTS
- Pattern Literacy
- Southern Center for Human Rights
- United States Social Forum
- Mayfirst / People Link
This is my first crack at building a social network (with a small team) and I must say it is one of the most fun projects I have worked on, and certainly one in which I've learned the most. Check it out here! NetSquared is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of TechSoupGlobal. They exist to connect organizers, non-profit organizations and NGOs in connection with technologies, technologists, and projects.
NetSquared is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of TechSoupGlobal. They exist to connect organizers, non-profit organizations and NGOs in connection with technologies, technologists, and projects. This project was built by many developers, and by the time I came on it was time to clean up (and clean up and re-factor and cleanup) and make the custom modules and code on this site run well, and well as to focus and further develop a variety of views on the site such as this one.
Alternate ROOTS webusers are able to purchase/renew memberships, donate, and register for events online. Members are also automatically given access to networking and information that isn't available to regular users. It is not unusual for an organization to be able to do this on a website. What makes this website special is the degree to which these online interactions are directly connected to their main membership and donor database.
That means that when a user, member, staff or donor does anything worthy of note on the website, it automatically gets recorded into the membership and donor database for the organization (CiviCRM). This kind of connectivity between the website and the database allows for viral input of information directly by users, leaving less administration for staff.
Alternate ROOTS memberships automatically expire after a year, and when that happens, their access to the tools available through membership also expires. These tools include discussion forums, access to special forms and applications for different grants, polls, and direct connections with other members and their profiles.
Websites can also be relatively simple. This is a simple (but very organized) website for Pattern Literacy, a permaculture institute and center. They have a lively blog, and tons of resources and information.
When I came to the Southern Center for human Rights, they expressed a need to work differently with one another. Staff (predominantly lawyers and investigators) were feeling like they were so busy doing their work, that they would loose track of other projects either in their units, or across the organization.
One strategy to connect a diverse and busy office is to develop a tool that is easily accessible, and where stakeholders can work together to develop ideas and projects.
The SCHR Intranet is a virtual space (much like Facebook or other social networking sites) in which members can discuss and present ideas, post events or schedules, exchange files, share agendas and meeting minutes, and collaborate on wiki-style project documents.
Because of the underlying content management framework, an Intranet can be customized to fit the exact needs of the organization, and have tools and functions that can easily be plugged in to suit any variety of needs in the future.
The United States Social Forum was the first event of the World Social Forum family to occur in the United States. There were 10,000 people in attendance, and over 800 workshops (not including plenary speakers) that occurred over 5 days in Atlanta, GA. I was involved on the Information and Communications Committee as one of the project managers on the team. I helped configure the website, managed and helped design the registration systems, and generally participated on the Tech Team for technical issues resolution.