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Sep
29
 

Most of you already know that  social media is an important part of any marketing strategy. Effective social media strategies allow organizations to increase exposure,  develop community, build partnerships, and so much more!  In order to keep followers engaged and actualize the potential of social media marketing, it is important to continually update your profiles with new and interesting content. This task becomes daunting as users try to manage an increasingly long list of profiles: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest,  Instagram...the list goes on).  Fortunately, there are many great programs out there designed to help you manage your social media accounts, schedule posts, and track your influence.

 

 

Klout: (FREE) Klout is a social media management system that give you a social media influence score between 1 and 100 (the average score is 40). Your Klout score measures your social media reach and influence.  Connect Klout to your social media accounts, find and share great content, and schedule posts.  Simultaneously post to different social media accounts, schedule content to publish, and watch your Klout score go up! There is also a Klout Chrome Extension which allows you to quickly format and share links. Klout is free, easy to use, and can save you a lot of time!

 

Buffer: (Limited free version or $10/mo.) Connect your social media accounts and schedule postings. Buffer suggests content and allows you to connect to RSS feeds to find great content. Buffer is a great time saver, and allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one convenient location.  The free version allows you to add up to one account per social network. The "Awesome Plan"  is  $10/month without a contract and it allows you to add up to 10 profiles and 15 RSS feeds.

 

Cyfe: (Limited free version or 19/mo.) Allows you to create customized dashboards to easily monitor all of your data in one place.  Create dashboards for social media, finance, project management, and more. Share your dashboards with team members, clients, or public URLS.  Cyfe costs 19/ month or 14/month if paid annually. There is a limited free limited version which I've found works well to keep track of some of LSNTAP's Analytics. For more information about Cyfe, see this short introductory video.   

 

TweetDeck: (Free) A dashboard application for managing Twitter accounts. Tweetdeck users can monitor and tweet from multiple accounts and create customized dashboards to organize your Twitter streams.

 

 

PeerIndex: (limited free version or $100/mo.)  Similar to Klout in that it measures your social influence on your social media accounts on a scale of 1-100. Increase your score by sharing content, building community, and increasing online activity. Disclaimer: I created a profile to try and test out PeerIndex, but I couldn't get passed the loading screen. It was loading for hours. I tried a couple browsers with no luck. 

 

Twitter Lists: (Free) Twitter lists are a great way to organize and manage your Twitter contacts.

Organize your contacts by interest area so you don’t have to scroll through irrelevant tweets to find what you are looking for. I recently created a Twitter list for Tech Law Twitter Users. The list allows me to quickly get information that I want without being bombarded with Irrelevant tweets on my home feed. Others can easily subscribe to the list or ask to join. Twitter lists are great for creating little online communities. 

Hootsuite: (Limited free version or $9.99/mo.) A dashboard system to help you organize and optimize your social media accounts. Add social media account streams to your dashboard and publish content directly from Hootsuite.  The free version is very useful.  Click on tools and in extensions and downloads, you can download a chrome extension, which formats content and allows you to schedule posts.

 This is just a short l list of sites you can use to help manage your social networking sites. Creating  accounts is really simple, so I suggest trying out a few until you find one that you like. If you are interested in the sites that give you a social media score, here is an interesting article comparing Klout, PeerIndex, and Kred, 3 of the most prominent score based social media management sites.

 Please comment and let me know which sites you've used, which sites you find the most useful, and of course sites that I've left out!

 

Also, If you find this post interesting or helpful, you are likely to benefit from an LSNTAP community training by Idealware on October 22, 2014: Getting Beyond the Like: Social Media Engagement.  More information about this training is available on our Training Page. 

 

 

 

Sep
24
 

More Than Apps: Affordable Program Delivery Through Mobile Phones

 

Lindsey Bealko, Expert Trainer, Idealware

Principal & Founder Toolkit Consulting

Pat Malone: Associate Director, Immigration Advocates Network

Xander Karsten LawHelp Program Coordinator,  Pro Bono Net

 

What We'll Cover

  • A new, Mobile World
  • Providing Information
  • Conversations with Constituents
  • Supporting Staff in the field

 

A New Mobile World

  • 90% of all American Adults have a cell phone
  • 58% of American adults own smartphones
  • Common across demographics. Not huge gaps

 

How you can Provide Information via Mobile

  • Start with the basics: a mobile website is the core of any mobile strategy
  • If you're going to engage your viewers on a phone, they need to be able to find your site on their phone.
  • Is your website up to date? Do you have an email-marketing strategy to drive people to your website?
  • How does your website look on a phone?
  • Look at your web analytics to see how much of your traffic is coming from mobile, and see what people are doing.

 

Optimizing  your site for mobile

  • Plan for those who only see the top left of your site, or a full but tiny site
  •  20-80 rule,  About 20% of your content is what people are looking at 80% of the time. You mobile site should optimize that 20%.  Then, add a link to full site.
  • People are more likely to be looking at your site while distracted, and are probably looking for quick information rather than in-depth information. (think about what your users really need and want)
  • Consider responsive  design: if you're building from scratch, you can create a site that adapts itself to different devices.
  • Or create your own simple app. Apps need to be downloaded, but then are accessible offline. Tools like AppMakr, Sweb Apps, MobBase will help you create very simple apps for $100-$200. (make sure you have someone to help you maintain your app).
  • Or for simply use QR codes to make paper interactive. Direct people to a mobile version of your website.

 

Mobile Friendly Examples

  • Pocket Daca: info  to help individuals understand and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Immigo:  information for practitioners working in the immigrant integration space
  • Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation iProBono
  • Winona County Historical Society: Created with open source software, TapTours, by non-technical staff members.
  • Circle of Six: An app that protects women: women select 6 trusted  friends. Sends preprogrammed text to those friends including map of their location. Designed for college-age women with smartphones.

 

Conversations with Constituents

Sending Texts from Email: not officially supported, so not 100% reliable or for large quantities. A reasonable choice for small numbers of texts.

Sending Broadcast Texts: If you've collected cell phone numbers you can text them messages-- very similar to broadcast email. Start adding cell phone numbers with an opt-in box for text message updates. 

Ask People to Subscribe: put it on all your forms, or start a texting campaign. "Text Subscribe to 2934 to stay informed about our organization" 

Text messages for 2-way conversations: set up branch logic. You can setup automated responses with a lot of branch points.

You can connect your texts to a database, so people can get automatic texts or responses.  Use texts to collect information: People can report emergencies or incidents via SMS, which are collected in a database.

 

Examples

-teens can text or call to talk to someone for help if considering suicide. They got 20 times as many texts sessions as phone calls.

 

Text Message Platforms:

Mobile Commons:  $400/month. More 2-way. (will do group subscription)

 Mobile Cause: 1000 text/mo. Starting at $69

Google Voice: 5 texts at a time, for free. 

Clickatell, Mobile Accord, Frontline SMS, Twilio

 

99% of texts get read. 80% in the first 3 minutes. And the click rate is 4 times higher than email.

 

Supporting staff in the field:

  • Allow staff to view or collect data in the field
  • Allow staff to do intake remotely
  • Collect data from constituents
  • Tablets can be compelling for surveys or quick data collection
  • Door to door canvassing

Sep
22
 

I've been doing a lot of research seeking information on  securing discounted internet for 501.c.3 nonprofit organizations, and I want to share with you some of the information I've found. Most notably is the advice from Northwest Justice Project's very own Sue Encherman, Director of Administration Management.  This August, The Northwest Justice Project's Yakima office relocated to a new building. Sue, who was working hard to ensure the transition between the offices went smoothly, contacted the Public Utilities Department (PUD) in Yakima to ask about discounted high-speed fiber optic internet.   Although the first contact Sue spoke to didn't have any idea that the PUD could help,  she  informed the contact that some of the other counties in Washington provide discounted broadband to nonprofits. Shortly thereafter, the PUD contacted Sue and let her know  that the Northwest Justice Project's Yakima office did indeed qualify for discounted broadband!

 

 I'm not saying "Don't take no for an answer," but be sure to do your research so you have a leg up when you contact your PUD. Here are some more tips to help you secure discounted broadband for your nonprofit:

 

Research

Like I mentioned before,  your local PUD,  may not even know they are allowed to provide high speed internet to nonprofits, so do your research!  I've noticed that  a lot of PUD websites are a little bit outdated and hard to navigate, so you might have to dig. Take your time to thoroughly search, and there is a  chance that you will be able to find unintentionally hidden information on your PUD's website. It also helps to look at the Public Utilities Departments for neighboring cities.

 

Be a Comparative Shopper

If your PUD gives you a deal, make sure it's the best deal you can get. Know who all the internet providers in the area are, and that sometimes commercial is the way to go. If the PUD offers you a 50% discount, but charges $6,000 to install fiber, it is probably not going to be the best deal if you only have 4 people in your office.

 

Look for Grants

Right to internet access or right to broadband movements are growing, and a lot of them provide grants to non profits.  Look for Last Mile grants and grants specific to your state or city.  BroadbandUSA, committed to connected America's communities, is a good place to start.

 

What's the deal with Fiber

Fiber is up to 100 times faster than the average broadband speeds. According to the Washington Post, the average internet speed in America is 18.2Mbps. Fiber provides speeds up to 1,000mbps or 1 gigabyte/sec! 

 

Photo by Michael WyszomierskiCC BY-NC 2.0

Sep
17
 

I've been going through old blog posts to make sure our information is all up to date. Here are some popular posts that have been updated. I made sure all the links are working, added some more relevant information, and removed outdated information. I will continue to go through the posts and update everyone accordingling. If you ever find an outdated article or an aritcle with broken links, please let me know. You can either comment on this post or email me at jamilah@nwjustice.org.

Post Title

Date Published

Date Updated

FreeTech Tools for Legal Aid

4/6/2014

8/18/2014

50 Tech Tips for the Poverty Law Community

9/14/2010

8/15/2014

Tech and Law Update- December 5, 2011

12/5/2011

8/18/2014

Online Scheduling Tools

9/24/2010

8/18/2014

50 Tech Tips -My Favorites + Recordings

6/21/2013

9/17/2014

Sep
17
 

Back to School with 50 Tech Tips 9/10/2014

A perennial favorite, join us as we present 50 new technology tips! From new tools to new hacks, start the school season off right with this fast-paced session.  Pulling from a broad range of presenters -- from technologists, website administrators, attorneys, to tips from the community -- the hour will fly by

Panelists:
Talley Wells, Disability Integration Project Director, Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Tony Lu, Citizenship Works Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Net
Kim Marshall, Content Developer and Project Manager, Arkansas Legal Services Partnership
Jessie Posilkin, Training and Implementation Specialist, Legal Services Corporation
Moderator:
Xander Karsten, LawHelp Program Coordinator, Pro Bono Net
 
Tech Tips from Kim Marshall,
Arkansas Legal Services Partnership

Spritz: If you have too much to read or want to read faster, check out Spritz. Do a quick test to find out how many words per minute you read, and start using Spritz to read faster. Spritz is incorporated by the next tip, Readsy.

Readsy: Readsy incorporates a Spritz widget and allows you to upload a file, copy text, or a URL onto the site and read the text using Spritz technology. There is also a Readsy bookmark tool which automatically copies URLs for you.

StayFocused: A productivity tool that allows you to block sites from distracting you. You can set time limits and fully customize which sites you want to block. The site helps limit how much time can spend on time-wasting websites by allowing you to set a number of minutes that you will be allowed to look at certain sites on your blocked sites list. Here is a list of suggested blocked sites!

Zotero:  A free tool which helps you collect, organize, cite, sync, and share your research. Download Zotero, and start building your research library that you can access from any computer!  Here is a short video that will help you get started.

OttoBib: Generates a citations and bibliographies with just an ISBN. Generates citations in MLA, Chicago, and a few other styles.

EasyBib: Generates citation in MLA, APA, & Chicago for your bibliography. Cite a URL, Book, Journal, database, or 50+ other types of documents with easy using this handy tool.

Duolingo: A language learning tool that understands how people learn languages. Choose from Spanish, Danish, Irish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Dutch. The site is free and can be used on a mobile device! Beginners start at Basics 1, and advanced learners take a placement test.

Wordmark.it: A font selecting tool. Simply type in the word you are trying to styalize, and wordmark.it will use all of your fonts and show you your text as the sample. Excellent for graphic design projects!

OneLook: OneLook is a reference site that allows you to use commands to search for words and definition. Ie: search “bl????rd” which will find words that start with bl and end in rd with 4 letters between. Comes in handy when you just can’t remember the word you are looking for.  

Tip of My Tongue: Helps you find a word that you can’t remember. Has an unscrambling tool, allows you to enter partial words, and offers definitions.

Microsoft Word Alternatives: Free open source software. They have the ability to open word documents:

My Fridge Food: Generates recipes and meal ideas based on the ingredients that you have in your kitchen. Go through a quick check list and populate recipes!

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Coffitivity: Perfect for those who like to work in coffee shops. Coffitivity has a library of background noises including “Morning Murmur” and “University Undertones” to boost your creativity. Download the app for on the go sounds.

Email Hacks

  • Outlook: copy and paste attachments from one email to another
  • Show a second time zone
  • Gmail: boomberanggmail.com: schedule emails and reminders, so you can write an email when you have time, and send it the next day
10 Tips for a Website Launch by a non-techie:
 Talley Wells, Atlanta legal Aid Society, Inc.
  1. Map it out early & often
    • Where each piece fits. Organize.
    • The homepage/main sub pages
    • Think through each part
  2. Sit Checklists
    • Think through all the pieces
      • Hero shots/pictures
      • Graphics
      • Responsive design
      • Color schemes
      • Accessibility
      • Embedding videos
      • Layout
  3. Learn Enough to be dangerous
    • Understand enough about how to run the website
    • What the limitations are
    • How to embed videos
  4. Have a photo party
    • Find a photographer
    • Get great pictures
  5. Plan out accessibility from the start
  6. Target your Audience
    • What is your audience looking for?
    • Involve your audience in planning and thinking through
  7. Build Partnerships for Content & Promoting
    • Great publicity
    • Helps with SEO
  8. Accessibility Audit Before/After Launch
    • Used Interactive Accessibility to ensure ADA compliance
  9. Time Launce with and Event, Anniversary, etc
    • Kick off at an event to get the word out
    • Get people excited about your website
  10. Keep it Fresh
    • Plan/Schedule to edit and refresh it
    • Sell it!
    • Respond to audience interests/needs
    • Social media
    • Get assistance to keep the website going

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Moqups: Wireframe your website, create mock-ups and prototypes at moqups.com.

Iphone5csimulator & mobilephoneemulator: simulate your website on a mobile device to see how it will look and work.

 Tech Tips from Tony Lu,
Citizenship Works Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Net

Trello: Collaborative project management tool. Very helpful for visually organizing projects and tasks. Create boards and tasks. Easily collaborate with others. Assign tasks, leave comments, and set due dates on each task. 

Aero Snap: In Windows, drag a window to the left or right of the screen, and the window “snap” to fit half of your screen. Great for comparing two documents or webpages.

Better Snap Tool: For Mac, download this app to manage your windows. Simply drag windows to the screen corners or sides of the screen to compare side by side.

MindMeister: Collaborate with others, brainstorm, organize data, plan your vacation and develop with MindMeister a mapping tool that organizes vast amount of information in an organized and presentable way.

Coggle: Free and easy to use mind mapping software. Easily drag and drop to organize data. Create color coded maps, and easily organize data.  

Mindnode: (Mac iOS) create visual representations of your thoughts. Brianstorm and stay organized.

Mindjet: (Windows, Mac, iOS) Visualize projects and help people pinpoint what needs to be done, and who is responsible for each task. Uses: Brainstorming, Meeting Management, and Project Management.

Noisli: Background noise and color generator for work or relaxation. Listen to a coffee shop, white noice, or a light breeze. You can layer different sounds to get things just right. Rain+Thunder is a pretty good combo to try!

Simply Noise:  Another sound generator. Listen to white, pink, or brown noise. Extension packs are available. Set up a sleep timer or start oscillation to get the sound just right.

Sunrise Calendar (Web, Android, iOS) and Fantastical (Mac, iOS) are plain-language calendaring tools. Type “dinner with Brian next Thursday at 7pm” and the apps create the event without fields and dropdowns!

Google Authenticator: Two-step authentication using text message or voice call for many services including: Google apps, Facebook, Dropbox, LastPass, Bitcoin, Tumblr, and more. Install Google Authenticator and find more info at Google Support.

The Wire Cutter: A great site for gadget reviews. Very well researched product reviews on a broad range of topics.

Instapaper: Save articles, videos, recipes, and more while browsing. This app let you save & read things that you find online on any of your devices. Read anything you save on or offline across platforms.

Pocket: Another app that allows you to save information you find online. Put it in your virtual pocket and access it from any of your devices on or offline. .

Chromecast: A small $35 device that you connect to your HDTV (HDMI port). Connect it to your wifi network, and control it with your phone, laptop, or tablet. This is perfect for travelling or for casting videos from your phone. Cast Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, and more Apps!

Normal: Battery Analytics: Normal is an iOS app that diagnoses and suggests actions you can take to extend your battery life. It shows you which apps on your device are hogging your battery.  Cost: 99 cents in the app store!

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com: A website that provides tips and training for nonprofits. They offer weekly webinars and blog posts Monday-Friday about nonprofit marketing, communications, and fundraising.

Hootsuite Syndicator: Provides you with a library of content for you social media accounts by streamlining RSS feeds. Subscribe to RSS feeds and see them in the HootSuite Dashboard. Once subscribed, sharing content from your curated library is really simple!

Tech Tips from Jessie Posilkin
Training and Implementation Specialist, Legal Services Corporation

School of Data: A free online resource which seeks to empower people and organizations by teaching the data use skills. Their goal is to enable people to work with data and to drive social change. Check out their course list, and learn the skills you need in the data age!

Tuva Labs: An online tool for students and teachers which seeks a brighter future through teaching/learning data literacy skills. Tuva labs allows teachers to choose datasets, assign activities, and evaluate work.

SQL (Structured Query Language) School: A plain-English guide to SQL data analysis. Simply create an account, and work your way through the lessons. You’ll be a data analyst before you know it!

Anne Emery Tutorials: Anne Emery’s website is full of useful information about data visualization and data analysis. Her 2-5 minute long Excel tutorials are awesome and reach out to trying to analyze research data and evaluation projects.

Clarify: a $30 program that allows you to create visual communications easily without fussing with multiple applications. Create an instruction manual, tutorial, or presentation with this easy to use program which makes it easy to create, export, and share!

Web Scraper: A free chrome extension that allows you to easily get data off of a website and into a spreadsheet without coding.

Awesome Screenshot: A free browser extension that allows you to capture screenshots. After capture, the app allows you to edit, crop, blur, annotate, and manipulate your capture. You can easily copy it to the clipboard or save the capture.

OneTab: A free browser extension that keeps you organized. Download the free extension, and click the icon to convert all of your open tabs into a list. When you need the tabs again, you can restore them all, or individual.  OneTab saves 95% of memory by reducing the number of open tabs!

HTTPS Everywhere: A web browser extension that automatically makes websites use the more secure HTTPS connection instead of HTTP.

LastPass: A secure password manager. Add passwords to your LastPass Vault, and the next time you need to login to a site, LastPass does it for you! The data is encrypted and decrypted locally to ensure that your information is safe. Use on your desktop, phone, tablet, or even a friend’s computer.  

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Stop Breath Think: A free guided mediation iOS app that seeks to foster compassion, kindness, and mindfulness to all people through a process called Stop, Breath, and Think. 

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