#HOWTO: Use Crowdbooster To Marshall Your Social Media Conversations

Crowdbooster social monitoring platform

Let this platform tame your Tweetstream and Timeline

Numerous social-networking monitoring sites are out there by now: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Klout, Tinker… As programmers develop new tools, and social platforms like Facebook or (even!) MySpace evolve, the staff at a nonprofit can feel overwhelmed with the changes. What is important to remember in this fast-changing communications environment is that you are looking for tools that are beneficial to you and your organization − not (necessarily) the latest platform that is getting some buzz. One of the newer sites meant to aggregate metrics from your social networks is Crowdbooster, and we do believe it is worth a look because it helps your busy staff consider the near future of its social-media outreach as well as lay out the past trends.


| Category Advice, Communications, Dashboards, Education: General, How-to, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Project Management Tools, Resource, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | 2 Comments

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#HOWTO: Connect Your Facebook Page & Your WordPress Blog For Seamless Outreach

You need two identifier bits of code from Facebook to link it to WP

Click to enlarge

Last week Facebook and WordPress announced a plugin that will link both social-media platforms: posts on your nonprofit’s WP blog will be updated in your nonprofit’s Facebook Timeline, and your blog entries can have ‘Like’ and ‘Recommend’ buttons on them. One of the great things about the WordPress blogging platform is indeed the plugin feature: most are free and open source. And though establishing a WordPress content-management system (CMS) is not the easiest thing to do, installing plugins is a snap as the established site does all the work for you!

So how do WP and Facebook talk to each other?


| Category Advertising, Advice, Blogs, Communications, Dashboards, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology for Nonprofits, Web Design, Writing | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: What Makes Pinterest So Engaging? It’s So Simple.

Pinterest is 'Invitation Only,' which will come quickly if you askPinterest was released as a private beta in March 2010, which makes it something of a late-comer (or the ‘second generation?) of social networking platforms. Its mission was “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting,” and its modus operandi was to encourage people to ‘pin’ whatever they found interesting online to their own boards (e-bullentin boards, if you will). Within two years, Pinterest claimed over 11 million users, making it the fastest site/service to break 10 million subscribers.

How has use in Pinterest exploded and why might a nonprofit want to establish a presence on the site? The simplicity of administering and advertising your organization’s interests make it well worth the effort. Let us show you how:


| Category Advertising, Advice, Advocacy, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Dashboards, Design, Fundraising, How-to, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Mobile, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Pinterest, Public Media, Public Relations, Resource, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print, Web Design | | 1 Comments

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#HOWTO: Setup A (Free) Magazine For Your Community

Twitter and/or Facebook accounts get you immediately into Scoop.It!We introduced and Pinterest earlier this week because we think these information-sharing sites offer a great platform for nonprofits and charities to share their own news as well as related images or stories in their sectors. As promised we have returned to round out this mini-series with a guide to help you setup a e-magazine site. Unlike Pinterest, you need not wait for an ‘invitation’. In fact, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, you are already good-to-go. And if you don’t, where have you been these past five or six years?!


| Category Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Dashboards, eNewsletter, How-to, Marketing, Media Review, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Research, Resource, Reviews, Scoopit, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#TECH: Google+ Gets Redesign To Emphasize Visuals & Customizations

The cool palette of greys highlights users' contentThis morning Google announced a striking rise in income that beat stock analysts’ predictions for this first quarter of 2012: $10.65 billion for this past quarter. The number represents a 24% increase from last year’s Q1. Just before the search giant released these huge numbers, it announced a redesign of its social network, Google Plus. Though little if any of this influx of cash came from the social network, Google seems to be heavily invested on making their platform a vibrant competitor to Facebook, and the redesign seems geared to emphasize photos and video (Google owns YouTube) just as the new Timeline does on the competitor’s platform.

Let’s take a little tour.


| Category Blogs, Communications, Dashboards, Design, How-to, Media Review, Newspaper Article, Resource, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology, Web and Print, Web Design | | Comments Off

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#TECH: Google Now Designing Glasses And Giving Us A New ‘Play’ Service

The good people at Google have been busy releasing new aspects of their services that are meant to augment our muti-media experiences. As is often the case, one’s first blush of these technologies might appear a bit overwhelming or a bit far out on the bleeding edge for most of us. But one of our goals at MKCREATIVEmedia is to keep our readers up-to-date on that bleeding-edge technology and to keep apprised as to how that technology is adapted and adopted by the nonprofit, charity, and small-business communities.

The first, Google Play, will likely seem pretty familiar to anyone using a cloud-based media service like iCloud or Amazon Prime. But Google Glasses seems so far out there that even some tech fetishists are wondering about its appeal. Of course, people scoffed at the notion we would want to travel in a noisy open-air flying machine as well.


| Category Communications, Dashboards, Design, Hardware Review, How-to, iDevice, iPad Apps, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, Public Media, Reviews, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Video | | Comments Off

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#TECH: RSS Readers To Help Save Time & Sort Out News & Emails

RSS subscriptions bring updated websites to readers' computers automatically

We continued our series on Tumblr yesterday with some guidance to get your nonprofit’s blog out via an RSS feed that allows people to subscribe to your site. When they subscribe, they get automatic updates and summaries of whatever is going on in your blog. The great aspect of setting an RSS feed for your organization’s blog is that you encourage people to subscribe to your feed, then outreach to your supporters is automatic. Moreover, readers can forward a single link to their colleagues and friends to encourage them to subscribe.

But what about the advantages of using Really Simple Syndication as a reader and follower of news in the nonprofit world? With just a bit of setup organization, you will find RSS a fabulous way to get to the information you want coming to you, rather than hunting out for it.


| Category Blogs, Communications, Dashboards, Design, Desktop Apps, E-Mail, eNewsletter, How-to, iDevice, Internal Marketing, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Newspaper Article, Publications, Report, Resource, Reviews, SEO, Site Administration, Social Media, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Tools | | 1 Comments

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#HOWTO: Tumblr & RSS Feeds – How Do They Work Together?

RSS subscriptions bring updated websites to readers' computers automaticallyLast week we promised to discuss the connection that can be made between your nonprofit’s Tumblr site and RSS Readers around the world. Thus far in this series we have focused on the Tumblr side of things, but today it might be of greater value to focus on RSS, what it is and how it can be used as a means to keep your audiences fully up-to-date with your work.

The meaning of the acronym ‘RSS ‘has been debated, but not hotly. Most people understand it as ‘Really Simple Syndication’, though early in its history the letters meant ‘Rich Site Summary’. The readers are also known as ‘news aggregators’ because they pull changes from websites and present them in a listed format for the reader’s convenience − allowing him or her to click on any of the headlines of the ‘new news’ of a website to read the full story. Given the fact that your nonprofit wants to be making news, you want to give your followers the opportunity to sign up for your ‘feed’, and Tumblr makes that process painless.


| Category Advice, Blogs, Communications, Dashboards, How-to, Marketing, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Resource, Reviews, SEO, Site Administration, Social Media, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Writing | | 2 Comments

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#HOWTO: Get Your Nonprofit’s Tumblr Blog Up, Published, & Read

Tumblr offers rich-media blogging for us non-codersSigning up for Tumblr takes seconds and is free, so there’s no economic reason your nonprofit might resist learning the platform. As we introduced last week, Tumblr offers the opportunity to have a fabulous and well-connected online presence without needing to learn the tricky coding behind a traditional blog or website. Our excitement about this platform has inspired us to continue to try to inspire you to consider Tumblr for your organization’s outreach. Every software package has its quirks and features, but Tumblr really seems to offer a wide array of opportunities to use the skills you already have (proven by the fact you are reading this blog!) to present a professional, flexible, and elegant web-face to the world. Let’s set up our first post!


| Category Advice, Blogs, Communications, Dashboards, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Nonprofit, Resource, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Tumblr, Web and Print | | 1 Comments

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#HOWTO: Time Those Tweets To Test And Build Impact

Schedule your social-media posts for maximum effectEarlier this week we introduced and reviewed a few social-media dashboards to help tame your organization’s streams of updates pouring in. Many platforms (like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and SproutSocial) also offer the ability to schedule a series of tweets to go out over days, weeks, or months. This feature is obviously handy if your charity has a similar message or link that it wants to send on a regular basis (enter it once, schedule it for Tuesdays over the next month, done!).

But how does that timing feature work, and how could your nonprofit use it to your advantage?


| Category Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Communications, Crowdfunding, Dashboards, Desktop Apps, Events, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Nonprofit, Site Administration, Social Media, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#Tech: Will The iPhone 5 Reinvent Mobile? In 2011? 2012?

iPhone 5 rumored with a keyboard

Not it isn't. And it won't look like this.

Few companies or individuals spur a greater rumor mill than Apple or Steve Jobs. We may speculate over Sarah Palin‘s candidacy for president or Facebook’s next set of tweaks, but Apple has inspired more discussion about non-existent products and unsubstantiated reports than most anything else.

And now much of that attention is focussed on the iPhone 5. We think it’s worth spending a Tech Friday on discussion swirling around the iPhone 5 because (a) an iPhone 5 will come out someday (don’t look to us to guess when) and (2) when it does, it will surely shake up the mobile industry again. Even folks at a BlackBerry users’ site admit that they’ll jump ship as soon as the iPhone 5 hits stores.


| Category Apple, Communications, Dashboards, Hardware Review, iDevice, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Media Review, Opinion, Software Review, Technology | | Comments Off

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#Aging: Ford Motor Co. Features Fonts For Baby Boomers – How Lame Is That?!

Ford Motor Company's press release about designing cars for older Americans

Click to enlarge

As Margo Channing famously said, “You better buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

The issue that has fired all cylinders is that the Ford Motor Company is designing a series of cars over the next few years with larger fonts and gauges in order, in part, to appeal to Baby Boomers. Out of the gate, the 2011 Ford Explorer has signage and text some 30% larger than previous generations, and Ford promises to expand the use of larger fonts over the next few years.

Catey Hill of noted Ford’s studies of dashboard legibility that argued for safety in larger fonts: “The move is an effort to make it “easier for people of all ages, particularly aging baby boomers, to read display fonts,” the company said in a statement. (Ford conducted a “legibility study,” which found that people’s eyesight begins to decline in their 40s and worsens from there; these results mimic the results of previous studies as well). Of course, it’s also likely an effort to sell more cars to the lucrative boomer demographic.”

As Boomers move toward retirement age, they will soon be a larger American demographic than children under five. So why would it be lame for Ford to adjust the fonts on the dashboards of its cars? Of course it would not be lame: not many five-year-olds in the car-buying market. But try talking sense to Tristan Hankins over at


| Category Advertising, Aging, Automobiles, Blogs, Communications, Dashboards, Design, Independent Living, Marketing, Opinion, Press Release, Public Relations, Research, Retirement Living, Reviews, Seniors Life, Technology | | 1 Comments

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#Tech: Collaboration Tools To Navigate The Cloud

Hands Clasped In CollaborationEveryone in the tech and communications worlds is talking about ‘The Cloud.’ And so have we. The concept might seem new, but really it’s the term, not the technology, that’s new.

But even as we send our entertainment, files, and photos to iCloud, Dropbox, and Flickr (etc.), we might feel like the cloud provides a one-to-one relationship. I send my stuff to a service, you sign in to the service, you see my stuff.

But as JD Lasica shows us with one of his great Top 10 lists, there’s plenty of free-to-inexpensive software out there to make the cloud a viable medium for collaboration. Nonprofits and charities really should take advantage of these technologies: collaboration in the cloud means fewer trips to regional offices (saving fuel and money), quicker turn around on on-house projects to keep them timely, and convenient ways to update colleagues on-the-fly when the big donor comes through.

We picked three of these gems of the ten that we would like to call a bit extra attention to.


| Category Communications, Dashboards, Desktop Apps, iPhone Apps, Nonprofit, Social Media, Software Review, Technology, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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Social Networking: How to Use HootSuite to Unify & Automate Your Social Networking

The HootSuite OwlSometimes the power of Twitter is that people use it in real time to report global events. Sometimes the impact of Facebook comes from our ability to post in-the-moment reactions or thoughts to evens as they unfold. We have often noted the power of social networks to spread information, draw in donations, and call passive supporters to action.

But the fact of the matter is, in the nonprofit and charity universe, immediacy is only occasionally a concern. Mostly, what we want is a sustained (even if rather briefly) campaign of advertising events, calling people’s attentions to a concern, and/or encouraging participation in fundraising, political action, and the like. Who wants to break up their day every few hours to remember to send out those announcements to their followers? Not me, and probably not you.

A fabulous, free, tool to automate and schedule that process is HootSuite. It has been around for a couple of years now, but its value seems really to have become evident to organizations in the social-good economy over the last few months. We want to introduce some resources to get you and yours on board with this great tool.


| Category Communications, Community, Dashboards, Desktop Apps, Facebook, Marketing, Nonprofit, Reviews, Social Media, Software Review, Twitter | | Comments Off

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Social Networking: How to Create Your Group’s Facebook Page… and Promote it


Facebook Follow Us Icon

Using Facebook is somewhere between easy-peasy and dauntingly complex. As we reported previously, the only really unalterable decision is the first one: do you set up a personal account or a Page for a group, business, band, or nonprofit? Though even that decision can now be adjusted, the adjustment goes only one time and one way. Better to consider in advance who ‘you’ are and what you want to represent.


Once you have decided to get your nonprofit organization or cause online via its Page, you want then to consider some of the best practices for getting people to the page. Alison Zarella (née Driscoll) presents four great examples of how best to bring people to your organization’s page, and get them engaged.


| Category Advice, Communications, Community, Dashboards, Design, Facebook, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Permission Marketing, Resource, Social Media, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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Tech: Great Guidance To Develop Social Media Strategy

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

The influences of social media on our language, our reading and writing habits, and our communications expectations have been phenomenal. Our blog has tried to help our readers traverse the SM landscape. And today we turn to a peer, Chad Norman, Internet marketing manager for Blackbaud, who has a wonderful presentation and how-to concerning setting up a SM ‘Listening Post.’ But more importantly still, he explains why a Listening Post can help tailor your tactics of SM-outreach to help achieve your organization’s larger strategic goals. The key term for Chad is ‘Listening.’

While listening is critical at an event like the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, it’s also a key function back in the offices of our nonprofits. Listening to our supporters can help in so many ways, and social media has made it extremely easy to so. But how?


| Category Advice, Blogs, Branding, Campaigns, Communications, Dashboards, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Nonprofit, Research, Seminar | | Comments Off

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#SocialNetworks: Great Tools & Advice SM Integration & Cross-Posting

Nine Social-Media Icons

From Wasilla Washington to Washington DC and around the globe in Cairo, people are inspired to rant, plan, organize, raise funds, and/or protest through social media. Philanthropic groups are largely expected to have a social-media presence to entice people to their causes and to help drive fundraising. We at MKCREATIVE have often touted the many benefits, and some possible dangers, of social media for nonprofits.

But maintaining such a presence for your organization is not quite as ‘free’ as the software’s cost might suggest: someone needs to sign up accounts, post media, update status, and announce calls-to-action. What tools exist to help streamline that process to improve efficiency?


| Category Campaigns, Communications, Dashboards, Desktop Apps, eNewsletter, Facebook, Fundraising, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Measurement, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Social Media, Software Review, Twitter | | Comments Off

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Social Media: Software Informs You Of Developments On Facebook

A logo for Facebook's email service, MessagesPerhaps traditional email is going the way of the fax machine, as we all become more dependent of the instant communication of text messages and tweets. Certainly Facebook’s engineers are counting on that evolution as they roll out Messages.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of computer users continue to use ‘traditional’ email services and software, even as they keep up with their personal and professional Facebook sites. Yet the folks at Facebook have not offered any means to have the one medium keep track of the other.

Fortunately for all of us, Ching Ya, an enthusiastic blogger on all things social-media, has found some free-to-inexpensive ways to get email notifications of postings, comments, and ‘Likes’ brought to your organization’s Facebook page.


| Category Dashboards, Facebook, Fundraising, Nonprofit, Site Administration, Social Media, Software Review, Technology, Twitter, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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