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Monday, April 17, 2017

10 Interesting Findings from the 2017 State of Blogging Report

The 2017 State of the Blogging Industry Report was recently released by ConvertKit.

There were about 850 bloggers that were surveyed. I was surpised to see that nonprofit was in the bottom of the topics blogged about. Even though not many bloggers were nonprofit related, the findings are interesting for nonprofits to read.

Here are some the findings and how it might relate to nonprofits:
  1. The 3rd and 4th top reasons for starting a blog was to build an audience and to teach what they know.   Nonprofits start blogs to share what they know about their mission. They want to build an audience of readers who will support their organization.

  2. The top blog topic was professional development. This fits well with the nonprofit blogs people are reading. When asking others about favorite nonprofit blogs, people mention blogs that are nonprofit related not blogs that an organization writes. These are blogs that nonprofit staff can benefit from. Topics include technology, communication, and fundraising.

  3. The top 20 blog topics include marketing, technology, web design, and web development. These are some of the topics that are written about on nonprofit related blogs.

  4. The only topic that could be nonprofit related in the top 20 is art.

  5. The survey had an other category. Some of the write-ins were education and health.

  6. Most of the bloggers intend to publish blog posts once a week, but they actually post more than once a day. Every organization is different and there isn't an answer on how often to post. It depends what is best for your organization. It's suggested to at least post once a week.

  7. Bloggers measure success on their blogs post the most by website visitors and e-mail subscribers. Social shares was also one of the top ways.

  8. Bloggers grow their audience by using social media and e-mail marketing. Nonprofits can gain new readers by including links to blog posts in their e-newsletters. 

  9. Facebook and Twitter are used the most to promote blog posts. 

  10. Finding time and growing audience were two top struggles that bloggers have. These are the same struggles nonprofits have.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

What I Learned About Digital Inclusion at the 2017 Nonprofit Technology Conference

I attended the Nonprofit Technology Conference two weeks ago. Most of the sessions I attended were about digital inclusion, which will help me improve NTEN's Digital Inclusion Online Community that I organize.


NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Toolkit: Resource Sprint

This session was to brainstorm ideas to add to NTEN's Digital Inclusion Toolkit.  We divided up into 6 groups, one for each topic. After 10 minutes, we switched to another group.

Topics were:
  1.  Participant Outreach & Engagement, Engaging Volunteers and Staff
  2.  Partnerships
  3.  Classroom Management and Development
  4.  Curriculum and Tools
  5.  Connecting to the Digital Inclusion Community and Staying Informed
  6.  Devices and Access
Here is what was discussed in my groups:
  • There are many digital literacy resources available so there is no need to create from scratch.
  • Focus on activities that are already successful and bring in technology. One example was shared where there was a job fair and then computers were available to use.
  • A beginner class teaches how to use a mouse and Windows.
  • Customize training for what people need.
  • People don't have time to learn technology skills.
  • People don't see how the skills will help improve their lives.
  • Have incentives for people who attend classes.
  • Partnerships are important to find clients, spread the word, and to get devices.

Same Issues, Different Contexts: Digital Literacy in Schools, Libraries, and Housing

This session was a brainstorming session where barriers and solutions were shared.  

One barrier that I thought was interesting was that there is a lack of knowledge about digital inclusion is. People think everyone has access to technology and that digital inclusion issues end with just being connected. 

One solution I really liked was to have more storytelling. 

Connect: Digital Inclusion

This session was a smaller discussion about digital inclusion. Here are a few things that were discussed:

  • Making technology accessible for people with disabilities
  • Some staff at organizations are from low-income areas - how to train them to do their job
  • Older workers have done the same things for years and don't want to change with new technologies
  • Smaller organizations and businesses can't afford technology products and are falling behind

Tech within Reach—Best Practices for Including No-Tech and Low-Tech Communities into our Work

This was probably my favorite session at NTC.  Some of the information shared in this session was about DC, which is local to me to it was very interesting.

  • Older Adults - make tech relevant for daily life
  • LinkedIn is a great tool for SEO
  • It's a success hearing "I want to use this again"
  • Make programs tech-based
  • 1 in 4 homes in DC lack broadband service
  • People aren't online because of relevance (34%), skills (32%),  cost (19%), and access (7%)
  • People aren't online are low-income residents who are seniors, returning citizens, or ESL residents

Byte Back is an organization in DC that provides technology training and career services. Here are some facts about them:
  • Job seekers are their target audience.
  • They find that young adults are literate with mobile, but they do not know how to use a desktop computer. They don't know how to type or use Microsoft Office.
  • Outreach includes word of mouth, bus & metros ads, Facebook ads, and partners.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

How Buttons and Stickers Can Inspire You to Create Visuals

There were lots of buttons and stickers at the 2017 Nonprofit Technology Conference. It seems like the ones that were the most popular were ones with catchy phrases. The ones that weren't as popular were ones that just had logos of a company or organization.

The image below has some of the ones I collected.



My favorite ones were:
  • "My database is like me: open to new connections"
  • "Small Dollars. Big Change."
  • "I want the data and I want it meow"
  • "Build the world you want"

What does this have to do with creating visuals?

Posting visuals on social media is something organizations and companies are doing more of.  People will share a visual if it is interesting. One of the most popular topic boards on Pinterest is inspirational quotes.

If visuals were created like these buttons and stickers, imagine how often these would be shared.

Companies and organizations can experiment with this idea by putting a catchy phrase and their name on a graphic.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Broadband Access in Public Schools

The 2016 State of the States report on the state of broadband connectivity in the nation’s K-12 public schools was recently released by EducationSuperHighway.

 Here are some of the findings:
  • 75% of all students in America are connected to high-speed broadband
  • 10.4 million more students became connected in 2016
  • 88% schools are ready for digital learning
  • 11.6 million students in over 19,000 schools do not meet the FCC 100 kbps per student minimum connectivity goal

EducationSuperHighway has a tool called Compare & Connect K-12 where you can find out which school districts are falling behind.