What's on our mind
NPower Northwest will be closed on Monday, January 2nd. The NPower Support Line, including Emergency Support, will not be available that day. Have a safe New Year's celebration and we'll see you in 2012!
NPower Northwest will be closed on Monday, January 2nd. The NPower Support Line, including Emergency Support, will not be available that day.
Have a safe New Year's celebration and we'll see you in 2012!
Forget to get a gift for someone on your list? Why not show them you care with an animated GIF? Cheap (i.e. free), plentiful, and environmentally friendly (no need to print these beautiful things out), nothing says "happy holidays" louder than a forwarded email full of the best animated GIFs of the season. Click here to see some of our favorites...
Forget to get a gift for someone on your list? Why not show them you care with an animated GIF? Cheap (i.e. free), plentiful, and environmentally friendly (no need to print these beautiful things out), nothing says "happy holidays" louder than a forwarded email full of the best animated GIFs of the season.
While animated GIFs used to be a sure sign of web design left over from the 90s, animated GIFs have experienced a huge comeback during 2011. Thanks in part to Tumblr and other link heavy blogs, more folks are turning to animated GIFs to help capture unique moments, funny occurrences or just odd pairings. Here at NPower, we take our job of finding the best technology has to offer for the nonprofit world seriously and have created this special curated GIF collection especially for you.
- Looking for a subtle hint for your co-workers that you welcome their leftover Christmas cookies? This should help you send a clear message.
- Perhaps you prefer to express emotions through imagery from the teenage soap opera Dawson’s Creek. Well then this collection of James Van Der Beek’s emoti-GIFs should keep you well supplied for many months.
- Do you prefer those classic animated GIFs that have stood the test of time and still can be found in the far reaches of the Internet? This should suit your needs.
- And finally these last two GIFs are from my co-worker Stephen’s personal collection: Graceful Camel and, finally, the best gift from Carl Sagan.
Do you have a favorite GIF from 2011, or perhaps an old classic that makes you smile every time you see it? Share the link in the comments below.
- Abby Nafziger
The GIF That Keeps On GIFing: Why Animated Images Are Still A Defining Part Of Our Internets
10 Funniest GIF Trends of 2011
The Golden Age of the Animated GIF
Animated GIFS Triumphant
Whether you're planning to update your current website or building a new one from scratch, a little non-technical work on your part can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in web consulting hours. NPower recently hosted a brown bag to help nonprofit staffers with the planning process and also produced a thirty minute recording of the content. Read more...
Whether you're planning to update your current website or building a new one from scratch, a little non-technical work on your part can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in web consulting hours. NPower recently hosted a brown bag to help nonprofit staffers with the planning process and also produced a thirty minute recording of the content. The workshop covered three main topics:
- How to save money on design consultation by defining current website problems, determining goals for your new site, and articulating those goals clearly to your web consultant in a Statement of Work (SOW).
- How to save money by avoiding "shiny object syndrome." Just because you're impressed by the latest and greatest web tool doesn't mean it's going to be of value to your organization. Simple questions and formulas will help you determine if a shiny new web feature is cost-effective for your organization.
- How to save money on design services. There's several ways to help your designer and developer work together more efficiently to produce a beautiful and functional web site.
If you're getting ready to embark on a website project, I recommend you schedule your own brown bag lunch at your office. Bring in your staff to watch the 30 minute recording on Planning Your Web Project, and then start brainstorming strategies to effectively plan your next web project.
- Christin Boyd
NPower Northwest will be closed for the holidays on Friday, December 23rd and Monday, December 26th. The NPower Support Line, including Emergency Support, will not be available on those days. If you have a regularly scheduled support visit for that day, your consultant will work with you to reschedule. We'll respond to emails on Tuesday, December 27th unless otherwise indicated in an out of office email response. Happy holidays y'all!
NPower Northwest will be closed for the holidays on Friday, December 23rd and Monday, December 26th. The NPower Support Line, including Emergency Support, will not be available on those days. If you have a regularly scheduled support visit for that day, your consultant will work with you to reschedule.
We'll respond to emails on Tuesday, December 27th unless otherwise indicated in an out of office email response. Happy holidays y'all!
It's hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close, but here at NPower we're excited by the possibilities of 2012, including tons of new training opportunities that we'll be providing at no cost for our nonprofit friends. You can check out our website's Training Calendar for the full list (we've got brown bags scheduled through August), but here's what we've got coming up in the first two months of the new year. Read more...
It's hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close. But, here at NPower we're getting excited by the possibilities of 2012, including tons of new training opportunities that we'll be providing free of charge for our nonprofit friends. You can check out our website's Training Calendar for the full list (we've got brown bags scheduled through August), but here's what we've got coming up in the first two months of the new year.
FREE: Google Analytics Brown Bag: Your organization’s website is the cornerstone of your online communications strategy, but is it helping you reach your online goals? Join our brown bag session to learn more about Google Analytics and how this website statistics service can help you determine if you’re on target. January 11
FREE: Twitter 101 Brown Bag: Confused by all the jargon flying around Twitter? Terms like “retweet,” “hashtag,” and “handle” throwing you for a loop? Join our Twitter 101 brown bag where we’ll take you on a Twitter field trip that will help demystify the tool. January 18
FREE: Choosing a Database Brown Bag: Selecting the best database for your organization can go a long way toward improving operations and translating meaningless data into information you can actually use. Join us for a brown bag session to get clarity on your database options in terms of cost, features, and ease of implementation. January 25
FREE: Prevent Communications Overload Brown Bag: Managing email, social media, and mobile communication is a daunting task. Join us for an interactive brown bag where we’ll identify the various elements of the communication spectrum and ways to turn the overwhelming noise into manageable communication again. February 8
FREE: Search Engine Optimization Brown Bag: You may think your organization’s website is the best, but what do Google and other search engines have to say about it? Join our brown bag and learn the simple steps you can take to improve your website’s content and exposure. February 22
Need training on Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, Windows 7, etc? Visit the Training Partners page of our website to get info on classes offered by RAMCO and New Horizons. Our partnership with these training providers means that friends of NPower are eligible for discounts. Full details are available on the Training Partners page.
See you in 2012!
- Mandi Moshay
Just in time for the holidays, NPower has a huge bookcase of library books up for grabs! Perfect as last minute gifts or for some light vacation reading. Read more...
Microsoft and Adobe have generously provided NPower with instructional guides for all the major products released in the past few years: Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, SharePoint, MS Server, and about 50 more. Some titles are a few years old, but most of the content will still be relevant. And who doesn’t have a grand-uncle still tapping away on a Windows 98 machine?
Abby and Elissa show off their valuable MLS skills
Stop by our office (403 23rd Avenue South) any time this week or next (with the exception of Dec 23 & Dec 26) to peruse the collection!
Ever have computer problems? Do you know someone who might be able to help you,but they’re not nearby? Then check out Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop solution! This simple “app” allows you to share your computer screen with a trustworthy expert of your choice over the internet, allowing them to move your mouse around and view your computer. What’s great about this product is that it is free, works on any operating system (Mac, PC, Linux), and only takes a minute to install and set up. Read more...
Here’s how you get started. You’ll need:
- The Google Chrome web browser. Don’t have it? Download and install it here. It's quick!
- The Chrome remote desktop “app”. Get it here.
- An internet connection. Looks like you're already got that!
- An expert with Google Chrome and the app installed as well.
Want to share your computer now? Just find the Remote Desktop App (this might be on your “App Screen” or there should be a button to launch it after you install it), and then click on the “Share This Computer” button.
The software will generate a random access c ode. Then all you need to do is give that access code to your expert friend (I’d suggest emailing or instant messaging it so they can copy and paste it).
Worried about privacy? Well... you ARE giving your expert friend full control of your computer, but you're still control of the situation. At any point you can take control of the mouse or end the session. Once the session is ended, your expert friend no longer has any access to your computer. You’re safe and sound. While they’re controlling it, you can see everything that they’re doing. If your friend starts to open up your secret documents describing how to take over the world, just end the session (or tell them to stop).
Sound amazing? Life changing? Well, there are some things to be aware of:
- Keyboard shortcuts don’t always work. Copy and paste shortcuts might not function.
- The mouse arrow doesn’t animate as you move around (so the expert can’t make any gestures with the mouse to describe where to look).
- Some users have mentioned that the Windows 7 start menu doesn’t work all the time.
- This product is in beta and things may change, break, (or improve) at any point in time!
- If you have a weak internet connection, it might be painfully slow to use.
This is the first guest post from Matt Fikejs, Information & Referral Program Manager at 501 Commons. Matt will be guest-blogging periodically to share updates from the Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory. Click here to read more about the resources available in the directory...
This is the first guest post from Matt Fikejs, Information & Referral Program Manager at 501 Commons. Matt will be guest-blogging periodically to share updates from the Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory.
Once upon a time, a nonprofit staff member got stumped in their job, but didn’t know where outside of their organization to turn. Ever happened to you? If so, you’re in good company. The reality is, this “story” plays out everyday and across the state for countless colleagues. Knowing this, you start to see why a central place for information and referrals is so important to our state’s nonprofit sector.
A late 2009 Giving Practice report – funded by seven Northwest foundations – came to the same conclusion. It found that “One of the essential [nonprofit] ecosystem elements is a trusted source of information and referral to capacity-building services. None of the [WA State] community hubs we looked at had such a system, and it was mentioned as a high priority in King County in particular.”
Recognizing the need, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Campion Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Seattle Foundation, and Social Venture Partners stepped up to back 501 Commons’ Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory. Launched earlier this year, the online Directory connects you with:
- Approved consultants and other service providers who specialize in nonprofits, like NPower Northwest
- Tools & best practices
- “Best of the web” links
- Featured events
- Statewide map of discounted venues
In future posts, I’ll hone in on different aspects of the Directory and how they can help you do your job more effectively. For now, remember: You have a “first stop” for questions. Save yourself time by starting your search with the Directory.
Still stumped? Then email me (email@example.com) or give us a call (206-682-6704). Over the years, we’ve done at least 1,500 projects with Washington State nonprofits, schools, and government agencies and have pretty much seen it all. Chances are we'll have an idea of where to turn next.
- Matt Fikejs, Information & Referral Program Manager, 501 Commons
So you've created a branded Facebook Page, started tweeting, and got your LinkedIn Company Page humming. A great way to build engagement via these online platforms is to post interesting content that's relevant to your audience. Searching all over the internet for content can be a huge time-suck. Lucky for you there's Google Reader - a great tool that can help you find good content all over the web in a short amount of time. Here's five reasons your nonprofit should consider using a RSS reader:
Checking 20 sites for new updates every day would take forever (imagine all those open tabs and the inevitable distractions!), but when you sign up for Google Reader (requires a Google Account) you can have all the latest updates come to you through the magic of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). How does it work? When a website or blog makes an update, Google Reader captures the new information and pulls it into a central feed. Google Reader will do this for every website you subscribe to, allowing you to browse updates from several sites in one central location.
There are probably several local nonprofits in your area that you like to keep up with - to compare notes, identify partnership opportunities, etc. Subscribing to their websites’ feeds is a great way to get all the latest news. Click on the RSS feed button that usually looks something like this:
As a self-professed internet addict, I have many, many sites I like to stay up-to-date with. However, I want to keep separate the sites I check for work versus my friends' blogs or my favorite cooking sites. Google Reader makes it easy through the use of folders.
In addition to organizing separate types of blogs and sites, folders can also help you to stay focused on different tasks throughout the day. For example, I have a folder I use for high volume aggregators (sites produce a huge number of updates every day) that I only check briefly in order to grab a few interesting articles to share with my own followers. I have a separate folder for fellow nonprofits and individuals in my professional peer group - these are blogs and sites that I may want to follow more closely, comment on or otherwise engage with on a deeper level. By keeping my feeds separate, I can help keep my time balanced between finding interesting content to share and making meaningful connections with others.
In the end, I like Google Reader because it allows me to control my browsing of the internet, while staying up-to-date on all the latest strange things, helpful how-tos, insightful nonprofit reports or just random hilarious videos.
As a newcomer to Seattle, I've spent a lot of time over the last four months reading, researching, and meeting people to acquaint myself with the nonprofit technology community. There are too many valuable resources to possibly attempt to list them all. I will, instead, post the top web links that I have encountered in my scouting. Read more...
- NTEN, Idealware, and TechSoup are infinitely useful and probably need no mention as they are so widely known.
- I have recently discovered Beth Kanter's blog clearinghouse - it's sorted by category and is a great jumping-off point for your area of interest.
- A very comprehensive news aggregator that I use to populate my RSS feed reader is Alltop.
- I check in regularly with Puget Sound Nonprofits, an amalgamation of tweets and other local news content.
- Communities Connect Network publishes information about its collaborative work delivering technology services to Washington citizens. (NPower Northwest has been involved with CCN initiatives).
- I also like to keep up with the Seattle Community Technology Program blog, maintained by the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology.
- And, as a former librarian trained at the University of Maryland iSchool, I was curious to see what projects are percolating at the University of Washington iSchool. The Technology & Social Change Group provides information on research about communications technologies in communities of need.