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Grog: the Green Moon Blog
Author: Created: Monday, March 23, 2009 8:58 PM RssIcon
John Dukovich, technology developer, chief cook, and bottle washer's observations on the nonprofit technology world.
By John Dukovich on Friday, January 23, 2009 7:00 PM
I have been attending technology conferences, reading articles, following blogs, and working with my own clients and if I had to make a prediction for the best use of technology for organizational efficiency in 2009 it would be in the area of collaboration.Hot on the nonprofit technology arena are ideas for collaboration. I cannot tell you how many of my clients e-mail Word documents around and ask people to review and update them. Most don't take advantage of Word's "track changes" features (which allow multiple people to comment on and edit a document, color-coding their changes, and provide for a central person to accept or reject their changes). It becomes a nightmare of figuring out what the changes are and how to resolve conflicting changes.Some organizations have embraced Google Documents (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, forms). Once a document is created (or uploaded), it can be shared with others. However, each individual sharing/collaborating...
By John Dukovich on Tuesday, December 02, 2008 7:00 PM
I've been looking for a simple RSS widget to replace the one on the Green Moon homepage. The one we use is a roll-your-own version, using JavaScript and classic ASP technology. It's fine for now, but as we look to redesign our website, we need something that is more portable since we won't be staying with classic ASP. Additionally, each time we find a new character being used by the RSS source, we've got to go in and manually escape it. Feedburner provides a clean way to show rotating headlines. It's not quite what I am looking for, as I'd also like to include a short summary of the article. However, if you have limited space and the rotating headlines will work for you, the Feedburner may provide what you need. I don't care for the branding, but they have reduced the font size and starkness of it over the years. An example is here:TechSoup

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By John Dukovich on Monday, November 03, 2008 1:06 PM
I have been messing with Twitter on and off for a few months, not being really sure what to do with it. Lisa and I used it at the N-TEN conference last spring to do real-time commenting on a plenary session. It was interesting to see how others were responding to the speaker and the environment, but not sure how truly useful that was. Similarly, I plugged in during the U.S. presidential debates last month to see what other viewers were thinking. Again, interesting but also it seemed to just add to the general chatter. Today I received an e-mail that pointed to what looks like a very practical application of Twitter: using it to report problems and issues at U.S. polling places on election day (tomorrow). Thanks to early voting in many states, there have already been more than 80,000 calls to a voter hotline.  The calls came in on the...
By John Dukovich on Saturday, November 17, 2007 5:58 AM
In June I wrote about some spam-fighting strategies.  Recently, Tech Soup published Things You Can Do to Prevent Spam, which covered many of the same approaches that I wrote about, but also had several other good ideas. You can read their succinct listing for the details, but the strategies that they list that go beyond my article are these: Don't forward an email from someone you don't know to a list of people. Before you join a list, make sure the list owner or Web master will not sell your address.Use a complicated email username. If your organization has an IT department, forward any spam that gets through to it.Make sure your privacy settings are set so you don't receive marketing from other sites in your AOL and Yahoo profiles. Never use your email address as your screen name in chat rooms. There is also a...
By John Dukovich on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 7:00 PM
Has SPAM got you down? Are you having trouble weeding through the inane and bogus offers in your inbox as you try to find legitimate e-mail messages? I think everyone is affected by SPAM. There is not one silver bullet to defeat SPAM (other than ditching your e-mail account and going back to snail mail). However, there are multiple strategies you can use to combat this modern-day vermin. First, let's quickly go through how you e-mail address gets into a spammers database. If you purchase retail products online, it is likely that the retailer may sell your e-mail address to an e-mail harvester. They collect millions of e-mail addresses and load them into databases which they provide to spammers. Another way for your e-mail address to be absconded is for it to be harvested off of a website. If you post your e-mail address on the web, expect it to be gobbled up by automated programs ("bots") that crawl across the web looking for e-mail addresses. If you post your e-mail on a "contact us" page, if you respond to a...
By John Dukovich on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 7:00 PM
A lot of organizations are either setting up content management systems (CMS) for their websites, or they are hearing a lot about them and want to know if they should move toward using them. From a non-profit technology perspective, I think they make a lot of sense. Green Moon has both evaluated and recommended CMSs to our clients, as well as set them up and then let our clients run with them. What is a CMS? Simply put, it is a user-friendly system that allows people to update websites without having to know web design, HTML, JavaScript, or other technologies. The user only has to know how to type to add new content.  There are various flavors of CMS -- from free, very bare-bones, less-user friendly but very efficient do-it-yourself kits, to high-end, sophisticated systems that combine customer relationship management (CRM) with e-commerce and other complicated systems, which are often set up and  hosted by large companies (that charge big bucks for their services).  Which flavor is right for your organization?...
By John Dukovich on Thursday, April 19, 2007 7:14 PM
Two weeks ago I attended the Nonprofit Technology Network (N-TEN) Technology Conference (NTC). This was the second year that I attended the conference. It reaffirmed the rush I received last year. If you are involved in technology and/or nonprofit organizations, I highly recommend this conference.  The sessions are fantastic. In fact, I am going to take one of my fellow Green Mooners with me next year because there were several sessions I could not attend because of the parallel nature of many of the sessions. Several times I wanted to split myself into a couple of pieces in order to cover areas of interest. Even more rewarding than the sessions is the interaction with other tech geeks and with nonprofit professionals. The other geeks provide invaluable information, tips, resources, and are excellent beer drinkers. Networking with nonprofit leaders and staff is the best way to learn about issues and concerns...
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