NetSquared for Wellington?

NetSquared button: net2, with tagline share, build, collaborateThere is lots of great sharing going on at the monthly Wellington NGO webmaster networking events which got underway in November last year.

We’ve touched lightly on a heap of topics, and dug into depth on a few. Hot topics include choosing a content management system, email newsletter distribution options and analytics. At yesterday’s session Julian provided an overview of instant website builders Weebly and Google Sites – opinions were mixed.

Getting out from behind the computer to swap notes in person seems valuable for those that participate. What is obvious to me is that many more people could benefit from the korero. Plus the topics people touch on range far wider than just websites.

Watching the recent broadcast of the online Nonprofit Technology Conference beamed in from San Francisco I caught a short lunchtime interview with two local organisers of NetSquared networking events.

One of them was the enthusiastic and friendly Elijah van der Giessen who I conversed with at the Connecting Up conference in Melbourne last year. His vivid description of how the regular Net Tuesday Vancouver networking events really benefit NGOs convinced me to look into the net2 movement further.

Bringing together people with an interest in using technology to promote social benefits is at the core of NetSquared. It’s an initiative of the TechSoup software donation and capacity building organisation. They promote innovative uses of the web to help NGOs through challenges and events, along with support for loose, local networking events (called Net Tuesday).

Seeing all this makes me wonder if we could run NetSquared here in Wellington?

It would mean broadening the scope of the nascent webmaster network. This is probably no bad thing as few people in the NGO sector identify as being a webmaster. As well as those working in NGOs, Net Tuesday would be open to interested professionals, people going online for things other than websites (which is most people), and individuals with a passion for social justice.

NetSquared aims to support people “to connect locally with all those interested in the intersection of social technologies and social change”. This definition is a good description of what participants coming to the existing networking events are actually doing.

I like the idea of a network where the philosophy is centred on network members organising stuff for themselves. As well as a monthly Net Tuesday meet up (which I’ll happily convene along with any other willing organisers), people could run other events. NetSquared pay for a Meetup subscription to support spontaneous networking.

I notice in Vancouver there is a Salesforce sub-group. So webmasters or any other specialist group could keep meeting under a broader umbrella. And of course events could be run in weekends or over breakfast (no thanks!!).

When I raised this idea at the networking event yesterday, there were nods of support and a few good questions. I promised to canvas more widely before arriving at a conclusion.

So, Wellingtonians wanting to remix the web for social change, what do you think about the idea of setting up a NetSquared network? Your thoughts?

Update: the first Net Tuesday will be held on 19 June. Register and get update dates on NetSquared Wellington.

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8 thoughts on “NetSquared for Wellington?

  1. Ben Teoh

    I spent time with some of the global leaders in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. It’s great to know that NetSquared is very much a global movement with groups popping up everywhere.

    Would love to hear how it goes in New Zealand!

  2. Julian Apatu

    I think that it is a great idea to broaden the scope and have already sent out a message to a local network for social good and positive social change.

    I think we should try and clearly (or loosely) define what we want to achieve with the group so we have a vision for where we want to move to and we might even be able to generate some additional support or resourcing from sponsors.

    Good to have a discussion and see what eventuates!

  3. Claire Sale

    Hi Stephen – Claire here from Net2 HQ! Thanks for your lovely post. I look forward to the launch of your group! There is a group that is getting started in Auckland right now – perhaps you and Lindsay have already been in touch, but if not, I’d love to introduce you!

    Can you shoot me an email so I can share all the new organizer resources with you and get your group added to the map?


  4. Stephen Blyth Post author

    Great to hear of positive response,

    I like the idea of setting out a kaupapa – I want to make sure the people working in NGOs have a space for practical learning and sharing, with hype/ hot air about what could be done kept to a minimum.

    Looking forward to seeing more thoughts.

  5. Mike Curry

    I think it’s a great idea Stephen and look forward to being involved. Reading through the Net2 website it seems to align closely with what we’re already trying to do. I do think this approach may be more sustainable.

  6. Julia Burgess

    Hi Stephen. The Net2 aims seem to closely align with what we’re trying to achieve here at Jigsaw. We would be very interested in being part of a NetSquared group here in Wellington, and look forward to the next step towards that. Let us know if there’s any other support/help you need at this stage. Cheers

    1. Stephen Blyth Post author

      Thanks for the reminder… next session coming up 1pm 22 May – details coming out by email shortly.


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