Non-Profit and NGO

By Mike Gifford on 07/01/2016
This article was initially posted in on Dec 29nd, 2015 in the Ottawa Business Journal.
Most of us are more connected to the Internet than ever before.
Not only do we have phones, tablets, game consoles, and televisions that are connected , but we also use the net for shopping, civic engagement, social and archival purposes. New appliances, cars and devices use the Internet without many of us even knowing it. So much of our lives are tangled up in the Web, and all indications are that this trend is increasing by leaps and bounds.
Many people are concerned about the social impacts of this...
By Claire-Isabelle Carlier on 18/08/2015
Drupal’s terminology can be confusing when you are not already familiar with it. I have gathered in this post essential terms that will should make non-technical people (or simply people new to Drupal)'s life easier. I'm happy to add to this list if people identify additional useful terms they feel need further definition.
 
Core
Core refers to the code files that make up the default functionality of a Drupal site when you download it from drupal.org.  The functionality includes menu management, user management, system administration, design and layout, etc. Additional functionality can be...
By Mike Gifford on 01/12/2014
Ryan Weal & Others in the Code Sprint
San Francisco is beautiful in the fall, BADCamp has become a real institution in the Drupal community, and I had an opportunity to present about Drupal 8's accessibility. So I packed my bags and flew down to sunny California and was able to participate in several Drupal Core Code Sprints, the NGO Summit and several talks.
It is useful to go to these community events and to have a chance to hang out with other people who are shaping this community. The Drupal community involves a lot of passionate people who believe strongly in collaboration. It is always exciting to see how people are using...
By Mike Gifford on 22/10/2014
Duane Raymond preseting in Ottawa.
It was great to work with Duane Raymond and George Irish to create a FairSay campaign/fundraising training in Ottawa on October 15th. I've corresponded with Duane for many years and have always wanted to make the trip to Oxford to go to the eCampaigning Forum. After organizing these events for over a decade, Duane has built quite a considerable base of knowledge and an extensive global network.
In the afternoon session we had very interesting conversations on building a digital election strategy for 2015, retaining supporters online, effective eCampaigning models and converting online...
By Mike Gifford on 05/06/2012
Golden Gate Bridge
It is pretty much expected that most organizations will go through the process of re-launching their website every few years. The process of deciding to abandon the old site, negotiating with a vendor to build it and finally deploying the new site can easily take a year. This is often a consuming process that leaves organizations happy to resume their day to day operations, and happy that they don't have to worry about the website for a while. Most small organizations don't have the luxury of having full-time web staff working proactively on their web presence. 
Things on the Web evolve very...
By Mike Gifford on 09/11/2007
NOTE: There is a new effort to do this in Ottawa with Tech4good.
It's been years now that I've heard of the Social Tech Brewing Company phenomena in Vancouver and Toronto. Apparently it's even spread as far as Australia. However November 1st marked the first meeting of its kind here in Ottawa. George Irish & I have been discussing this ever since he moved up from Toronto, but we finally set a date and a Facebook group to try to coordinate the network. The response from the Ottawa progressive geek community was more successful than we had anticipated.
We talked mostly about what would be...
By Mike Gifford on 13/07/2007
I've modified this article as Google has removed a few of it's pages and so I've pointed the links to the Way Back Machine. Not sure where Google's Climate Change, Public Health and Economic Development programs are now.
Hopefully Google is trying to be good rather than just trying to get good press, however there are some interesting initiatives that Google is starting to take. They have fairly recently:
Google Grants - Free advertising for charitable organizations in several countries including Canada
Google Earth Outreach - Put your organizations efforts on Google Earth
Hosting events with...
By Mike Gifford on 05/06/2007
In the last month I've noticed a number of NGO/NPO's have started to use one of the early Web 2.0 poster children Flickr. Unlike many of the other social networking sites out there, Flickr's all about the photos. You can't upload movies, write notes, or stick something on someone's wall like you can in newer tools like Facebook. However, if what you want is an interface for propagating images, Flickr is still one of the nicer ones. I started using Flickr in 2005 largely as a means of keeping track of people who I had met at the Web of Change conference that fall. It has proven very effective...
By Mike Gifford on 22/02/2006
The following was adapted from a workshop lead by Mike Gifford on why NGOs should be interested in Open Source:
Practical reasons why NGOs and the organizations that work with them should use Free/Libre Open Source Software
Viruses - Any other OS than Windows will have fewer problems with viruses.
Stability - GNU/Linux is a very stable Operating System, and Mac's stability has increased considerably with OS X which is based on Free Software.
Cost - No license fees (up front or annual), no mandatory upgrades (you can choose to upgrade or not), and no external costs to try out or customize the...