Improving website of the Alliance of Disability Advocates, Center for Independent Living
From the NCTech4Good meeting October 16:
- The website software is Dreamweaver, hosted on their own server.
- Dianne will create a requirements document.
- Leandra will get Paypal working on the existing site and clean up the home page (out-of-date info).
- And she'll create a wordpress site where we can build a replacement. (There was instant, unanimous agreement to move it to Wordpress.)
- Judy (and others who have time) will copy and paste content into the Wordpress site.
- Gabe will help with images and the map.
- Judy will apply for Google nonprofit membership for Public Information Network, Inc. (doing business as NCTech4Good Conference).
- Dianne will help us use Google Apps (http://googlefornonprofits.blogspot.com/2013/02/google-apps-for-nonprofi...) to post and share documents for this project.
- Allison offered assistance.
We learned about screen readers and that some websites with a lot of different types of content on the home page can be confusing. The current website is clean and accessible, but staff cannot update it and the Paypal interface doesn't work. The designer left before training staff.
There are 6 video clips on YouTube, each less than 10 minutes. Here are the links with some content notes.
Part 1. 6:39.
- Intro to their website and goals.
- Website uses Dreamweaver. Developer left without teaching them how to update it.
- Don't know how to add images or photos.
- People served have disabilities. No such thing as point and click.
Part 2. 9:36
- What does an accessible website look like.
- wral.com homepage is very busy. A lot of text, hard to sort out.
- Difficult for people with cognitive/intellectual disabilities.
- wunc.org is clean and accessible. Looks like 3 columns with a banner.
- How screen readers work.
- Columns need to be separated so screen readers won't read lines straight across.
- Heading tags are very helpful for navigation.
- Putting everything on the homepage is hard.
- People who are illiterate use screen readers.
- Navigating with tabs is very slow.
Part 3. 10:10
- More on how readers work.
- Some with disabilities may use text-to-speech.
- Besides serving people, they want the website to be a marketing tool.
- Fundraising and paypal. Paypal doesn't work.
- What they want on their website. Want to turn accessibility into a dynamic experience.
- Change to use Wordpress.
- Current layout looks good. Seems to have the content.
- Straight forward move to Wordpress.
Part 4 8:59
- Do you have access to your website? Yes, they have the password and can access the current site.
- What do you want on your website?
- Alerts by email.
- Start problem solving.
- Dianne will do a requirements doc.
- Leandra will fix Paypal.
- Nice to have a snapshot of what they have now. Nice to have after changes made.
Part 5 9:25
- Think about content.
- This discussion provides feedback from the general public.
- Make a wishlist.
- A few select people will do updates -- about 3.
- Role access in Wordpress can control who can do updates.
- Copy and paste from Dreamweaver to Wordpress.
- Website on their own server in their office, backups, Dreamhost.
- More on Paypal.
- Look at websites that do something similar to what you do. Which ones do you like. Bookmark what you like. Refine. Select a few. Ideas for designer.
Part 6 8:24
- Do you have any statistics on your site.
- Flat design, responsive, mobile considerations.
- What we'll do.
- Requirements document.
- Move over what they have now.
- Then evaluate where they want to go.
- Leandra will fix Paypal.
- Leandra will install Wordpress for us to copy and paste in content from Dreamweaver.
- Timeframe. Not pressured.
- Communicating with each other -- by email. Judy has email addresses.
If you would like to help out with this project, send email to me, Judy Hallman, email@example.com.
The 2013 NCTech4Good Conference was amazing and we’re finding it hard to believe it’s been almost two months ago. The Conference Team has been digesting all the content, evaluation feedback, tweets, and video and we’ve come to one conclusion -- you all rock! We’re in awe of the nptech knowledge and greatness there is among our community.
There’s an abundance of information on the wiki, including session notes, slides, photos, short videos, evaluations, and the printed program.
Amy Sample Ward did an amazing job with the Pre-Conference Workshop. She gave folks useful strategies for social media. View some video snippets of the workshop. If you are interested in Salesforce, there are longer videos of the sessions Salesforce for Nonprofits and Integrating Salesforce with Drupal. These offer great tips as you dive into a new project.
If you need encouragement to come to next year's conference, read the evaluations, especially what people liked best. There is great feedback to help us improve next year! Also check out the video that provides an overview of the conference.
Q: How do you know you're attending an unconference?
A: You're not bored!
If you've never been to an unconference, please first go and read my post What's an "unconference" and why am I so excited about it! (I'll wait). If you have been to one before, you probably have some great stories to tell of unexpected connections between people, being part of a community that shares great ideas, and coming home energized and ready to do still more sharing and connecting. If you did NOT have this experience, you may have been participating in one of the dreaded pseudo-unconferences that have been popping up.
I'm not going to name names, because I know everyone is trying to do their best. As we've seen unconferences grow in the tech world, many groups want to take this energy home and apply it to other events. This is great, but it's important to understand the fundamental structure that makes the seemingly-chaotic unconference work.
NCTech4Good tried adding on a unconference the day after their main event in 2011, but people didn't want to give a whole second day (it happened to be a beautiful Saturday to boot), especially with the agenda being so unknown. Organizers wanted to incorporate the openness and engagement of an unconference with the predictability of a conference with sessions selected and advertised in advance.
I have seen so many hybrid unconferences fail. I wasn't sure it could work, but I worked with the organizers to develop a compromise that actually meets both needs incredibly well. We took a leap of faith and piloted this model last year, and this Friday we'll be doing it again! Here's how it works:
Before the event:
- Organizers solicit session proposals, invite public voting, and, then hand-curate HALF of the day's sessions leaving half of the rooms free.
- Speakers whose sessions are not selected are invited to attend and pitch their session at the beginning of the day.
- All of the selected sessions are added to the conference wiki, and registrants are invited to share their own ideas for sessions as well.
- The classic "unconference grid" (see right) is pre-populated with cards from sessions that were already picked by the organizers. The gris let's us see which sessions are in which rooms and at what times.
- Anyone who is interested in convening a session as well as everyone who is already on the grid stands up in front of the group and gives a 30-60 second pitch for their topic. This needn't be an organized presentation, although Powerpoints are welcome and projectors are available, but can be any form of panel, talk, conversation, demo, Q & A, or even a code sprint!
- Cards for new sessions are added to The Grid, and then we work out any conflicts or special requirements, and Voila! We have a schedule.
As you can tell, I am very skeptical of the whole idea of messing with unconference process, and I wasn't completely sure it would work last year. But it was a resounding success and everyone came away satisfied. This year we'll be doing the same and I expect it to go even better. I hope to see you there!
Do you know of or work with nonprofit executive directors and staff who could benefit from knowing more about technologies in areas such as fundraising, social media, and communication and advocacy tools? The NCTech4Good Conference at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill June 6-7 is designed to meet their needs, as well as the needs of IT support staff who want to increase their skills! Current topics include making the most of Google grants, hardware and software donations, video storytelling, responsive design, social media, Salesforce, and Drupal, and more sessions will be added during the opening session based on the needs and interests of attendees.
Networking is one of the most important aspects of the Conference. Talk with others who are facing similar challenges and experts who have solved similar problems.
For more information and to register, see nctech4good.org. The cost is only $75 for the conference and $75 for the pre-conference workshop through May 31.
Note: Small business representatives are also welcome.
Amy Sample Ward will conduct a workshop 10 am - 5 pm, June 6, at the Friday Center on Using Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage Your Community, which will help nonprofit staff members understand how to utilize and integrate email communications, social media, and mobile devices to promote community engagement and achieve social change.
Amy is an excellent speaker with vast knowledge of nonprofit needs, technology tools, and how to create websites, build community, and engage supporters. Attendees will have the chance to learn as a full group, participate in small group interactive exercises, as well as develop personalized resources and plans for their own organization. The workshop will cover the basics for engaging your community online, review social media policies, and even get attendees started with strategic planning for a new project or campaign.
Additional benefits of attending the pre-conference workshop:
- A complimentary copy of the book Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money and Engage your Community (Wiley and Sons; 2013), co-authored by Amy and Allyson Kapin.
- Workshop participants may apply 6 hours toward the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management. More information.
Here’s what a few people in the know say about the book:
- The pervasive nature of the Internet makes action a possibility anywhere, from the streets and homes in your nearest city to the tractors and woods of rural life. Social Change Anytime Everywhere authors Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward offer a needed new look at how mobility and social tools impact the business of change. Geoff Livingston, author, public speaker, and strategist.
- If you are looking for a recipe book for tips and tactics to integrate mobile and social media to round out your nonprofit’s marketing plan, look no further than this book. Beth Kanter, master trainer, blogger, and coauthor of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit
- People are more impatient, busy, and distracted than ever, but they still want to help causes like yours – and they will, if you follow the advice Amy and Allyson are handing you in this book. No more excuses about how hard it is to get people’s attention these days. You have the manual now. Read it, and go for it! Kivi Leroux Miller, president, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com: author, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide:High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause
Also check out philanthropyjournal.org, featuring interviews with Amy. The articles are: Tips for starting, fine-tuning your cross-platform communications and Nonprofits must use multiplatform conversations to engage with donors, constituents.
The cost of the workshop is $75 through May 31; $125 after.
Many thanks to Google for sponsoring the Workshop!
With social events, workshops, and tons of resources, the NCTech4Good Conference is sure to give you the tools needed to use technology to further your mission. Join us June 6-7, 2013 at the William & Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill.
We received dozens of amazing session proposals and are grateful to those who voted. Your votes are in and the session schedule is now available.
Have a session you’d like to see added? Let us know! We’ve reserved spots for Design-Your-Own Sessions so you can pitch your idea the day of Conference. Simply share it during the opening session and participants will vote. Top ideas will be added to the schedule.
New this year! Amy Sample Ward will lead us in a Pre-Conference Workshop, Using Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community, on June 6 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Additional fee applies.
Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are still available, but they're going fast. If you’re interested, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pitch an idea during the opening session to have it voted on and added to the program.
This conference is a hybrid of a conventional conference with an "unconference." During January and February, many very interesting session ideas were submitted. Then folks in the NCTech4Good community voted, selecting some sessions that clearly should be on the program. But several slots were reserved for Design-Your-Own sessions that will happen alongside the scheduled sessions. Participants will pitch their session ideas and vote on ones they would like added to the conference schedule. Ruby Sinreich describes how this works in her blog post.
Here's some great advice about unconferences from Kaliya Hamlin:
You do not need to do preparation in order to convene a session. If you get an idea the day of the event, call a session.
There is no ‘right way’ to lead a session. However there is a bias towards interaction and discussion.
Choose a format for your session will help you achieve your vision.
Following are a few ideas about different session types to get you thinking about possibilities.
- The longer formal presentation
This is tricky, because it’s difficult to make a formal presentation interactive. But if you have a big, well-developed idea you can pull it off.
- A short presentation to get things started
5-15 minutes of prepared material/comments by the session leader followed by an interactive discussion
- Group discussion
Someone identifies a topic they are interested in, others come to join the conversation and an interesting discussion happens
- My Big (or Little) Question
You have a question you want to know the answer to, and you think others in the group could help you answer it. This format could also just be the seed of a conversation.
- Show and tell
You have a cool project, a demo, or just something to show and let people play with that is the springboard for all the conversation in the session. Alternatively, you can invite others to bring their own items to show and tell (perhaps with a theme), and everyone takes a turn sharing.
- Learn how to do X
If you’re inclined to teach, this can be simple and effective. Bring the equipment that you need, and have a plan that will let you teach five, ten, or 15 people how to do something all at the same time.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, this year's NCTech4Good Conference uses a method called Open Space Technology which invites participants to shape and help lead the event. In addition to the speakers that are already listed on the schedule, you are encouraged bring your own ideas about additional sessions that you would be willing to lead or co-facilitate.
At the beginning of the day, all participants including the scheduled speakers will be invited to make a brief "pitch" for their topic to the group. Then cards for each session will be arranged on the schedule grid to ensure that everyone gets time to follow their interests.
Your session can be formal or informal - an organized presentation, a conversation between a panel of experts, a hands-on how-to-do-it, or simply a structured discussion on a topic you want to learn more about. (See more on how to prepare to attend an unconference.) If you have an idea in mind, please post it in our wiki, but don't feel you need to have planned it to pitch a session at the conference. We really do welcome your ideas, be they big or small.
We're trying something new this year at the N.C. Tech for Good Conference. Last year, I helped facilitate the North Carolina nonprofit community's first experiment with an unconference! It went pretty well, but many NCT4G attendees were not convinced to spend a second day on this strange new format - or maybe they just understandably didn't want to work on a Saturday.
Unconferences are a great way to do more with less! This year, the conference organizers have worked to develop a hybrid format. I think we have come up with a structure that is truly the best of both worlds. This new approach gives us some reassurance in advance that there will be some great sessions to attend, but also allows the attendees to shape the event into whatever they want and need. Many participants don't think of themselves as leaders but just as everyone has something to learn, everyone has something to share as well. This event allows all of us to do both.
So check out the schedule. Do you see something you'd like to learn? Do have an idea about what is missing? Add it on the wiki. Once we get the conference started, both the pre-selected speakers and the people thinking up emerging proposals will all have the opportunity to "pitch" or explain their session the participants and get added to "the grid." What happens next is up to us! (For more about this process, see my blog post from last year: What's an "unconference" and why am I so excited about it.)
Come on out May 4th - register by Friday April 27th to get the $75 early bird rate - and help us make this the event that you want and need!