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On blogging

ActionCamp San Antonio invited me to give this talk about blogging October 28:

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EFF-Austin revives meeting series

EFF-Austin has been quietly working along presenting occasional events (like the recent Texas Government 2.0 Camp), operating its email list, and publishing occasional blog posts,  but we’ve had a growing sense of a need to ramp up our activities. We can see major threats to the distributed, decentralized Internet and the expectation of a “freedom to connect,” and there are all sorts of interesting conversations and movements emerging that are relevant to EFF-Austin’s stated mission: “EFF-Austin advocates establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. We promote the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint. We also advocate the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies.”

A first important step in our ramping up: we’re restarting our monthly meeting series, coordinated by our new board member, Anna Kozminski. The first of the new series of meetings is June 1 at the Flying Saucer at the Triangle – information and (free) registration here. Open Source software developer Tom Brown, who among other things maintains oscurrency for the Austin Time Exchange and founded Superborrownet, Inc., will talk about his experience attending Internet Identity Workshop 12, and about the Identity Commons movement in general. Come to the meeting, express your support for EFF-Austin’s mission, volunteer to be part of our future going forward.

(Note that EFF-Austin is an independent nonprofit formed originally as a potential chapter of the national Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). When EFF decided not to have chapters, we went our own way as an influential organization focused on cyber liberties and more, such as digital culture and arts.)

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HelpAttack!

My friend Sarah Vela launched a new company called Help Attack! in August, and it’s proving to be a cool way for nonprofits to raise money, and a clever way for donors to commit money by pledging to give some amount of money for every tweet they post in a month. Sez Sarah, Sez Sarah, “This new way to donate is easy, fun and offers a layer of social responsibility to online activities. We invite all nonprofit organizations seeking new ways to collect funding through year-end campaigns to visit the site, add themselves if they’re not already listed, and share this new way of giving with their supporters.” In addition to the money they’re raising, the nonprofits get more social media visibility via the Twitter connection. Callie Langford, Communications Manager of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), says HelpAttack! raised awareness of her organization and provided “a no-fuss way for us to receive additional donations, engage with new and old donors, and share details about our upcoming events.” [Link to HelpAttack!]

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Austin Non Profit Camp

Here’s the elevator speech: Austin Non Profit Camp is a free, facilitated and participant driven conference that will be the place in Austin for non profits (and social entrepreneurs) to learn and troubleshoot their technology problems in a supportive, collaborative setting.

Here’s where you sign up: http://npocamp.eventbrite.com/

You’ll want to attend if you’re a technology expert who wants to help nonprofits, or if you’re a nonprofit that is grappling with technology (and who isn’t?)

The Austin Non Profit Camp is similar to Aspiration Tech’s Penguin Day events, which were established to bring together open source developers and technology support staff for nonprofits in a friendly, open knowledge sharing environment. The Non Profit Camp is free, and unlike Penguin Day it’s not completely focused on Open Source (because many compelling solutions for nonprofits are hosted solutions like Google Apps).

Working with EFF-Austin and local techs, I helped coordinate the local Penguin Days in San Antonio and Austin. We’ve been talking for two years about doing another one, and when we invited David Neff to work with us, we found that he’d been wanting to do the same. Once we joined forces, the current Non Profit Camp plan came together quickly. Maggie Duval of the EFF-Austin Board of Directors and Plutopia Productions joined us as producer, and Matt Glazer of Burn Orange Productions and GNI Strategies is helping us get the word out. Great team! Sure to be a great event as well.

Sign up at Event Brite, and show up at 10am Satureday, November 14 at ACC Eastview Campus, 3401 Webberville Road,
Room 8000. If you want to present, sign up for a slot – we’ll have two rooms for breakout sessions and several “pods” in the auditorium for smaller conversations.

A free lunch is provided by Pictoric and the fine folks at  Carino’s Italian. Following lunch, we’ll have a keynote address by Holly Ross. Executive Director of NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network).

I plan to have a session on social media, for those who’ve been asking. Join us!