Tag Archives: #net2

What’s on the EYC unConference programme?

A wordle that captures essence of 2010 unconferenceAn unConference is unlike your everyday conference. Until the day, we do not know the details of what is going to be covered.

The programme is co-created by participants at the beginning of the event. Everyone attending can run a session.

These can take a myriad of formats: presentations, case studies, interactive workshops or even inviting others to respond to your particular challenge or problem.

While there is not a pre-determined agenda, there is a structure and a theme. At the EYC unConference, on Saturday 22 February at Massey University’s Wellington campus, we’re splitting the day into five sessions, each 50 minutes long. There’s difference spaces available for each session.

Our theme is: finding and using the best of what the web has to offer for people working to make the world a better place.

It’s a crazily broad topic which could touch on everything from resizing images, creating mobile apps, database selection through to high level social media engagement strategy.

Ahead of the event, people registering will have chances to share ideas of the specific topics they want to cover.

Ideas are already bubbling away. One of our co-organisers wants to run a speed geeking session: he envisages people rotating around 3-4 rapid fire presentations on essential web tools and skills. As we’ve access to a theatrette at Massey University, we could open the doors for people to share a favourite #nptech video.

Feeling a little uncertain about participating? Here are some ideas from Scott Berkun in 2006 about “How to run a great unconference session”.

Presented with a blank agenda, along with gentle encouragement, people don’t actually run a mile. They dive in. I’m sure it’ll be the same again next month. Come along.

Register now!!!

Engage Your Community (EYC) unconference, Saturday 22 February 2014

Details at: http://eyc-unconference.wikispaces.com/
Registration just $30 per person: http://engage-your-community-unconference.lilregie.com/

Organised by Wellington ICT in partnership with NetSquared Wellington and Massey University.

From coffee to 603 chalkle° classes

Silvia Zuur, chalkle° co-founder, presenting to #net2welly meetup

Chalkle° offers proof that if you’re prepared to ask provocative questions, you will get some amazing results.

The question chalkle°’s co-founders Silvia Zuur and Linc Gasking sat down over a coffee to ponder on was: “what does enabling life long learning in all communities look like?”

Just over a year after having that first cuppa, the chalkle° adult learning program in Wellington has run 603 classes with 4,500 people participating.

Silvia expanded on the answer to the confounding question with participants at NetSquared Wellington’s October meetup.

At it’s core Chalkle° connects willing teachers with people who want to learn. Technology supports new ways of unlocking knowledge otherwise inaccessible within communities.

Seven weeks after the now infamous coffee, the pair set up the beginnings of a learning network. The core of this is supporting teachers to run classes. Chalkle° handles all the non-teaching parts of the process, such as room bookings, registrations and promotion. Plus gives vital support and encouragement.

Anyone can be a teacher. Chalkle° leaves it up to the learners to decide whether a teacher knows their stuff.

Anyone can sign-up to receive alerts about new courses. Now 8-10 classes are run each week, with 10 people on average participating. Fees charged are low, to ensure everyone can access learning.

The topics have been many and varied: ukele, new economics, computer coding, makeup for beginners, and Spanish en el restaurant.

Venues are often outside the formal classroom. Learning has taken place everywhere from an organics shop floor (out of opening hours), Deloitte’s boardroom, Innermost community garden and in the Wellington railway station lobby.

That chalkle° has achieved such an enormous amount in short is clearly due to the determination and passion of Silvia and her co-co-founder. It’s also down to the philosophy they’ve adopted: start simple and go for there.

A good example is collecting fees and paying teachers process. It started on paper, moved to a spreadsheet in Google Docs and will soon be handled by a custom-built platform.

Having come up with a working model, the latest provocative question for Chalkle’s chiefs is to find a way of keeping things going. A new software platform is being built, and a social franchise model is being explored.

The NetSquared Wellington meetup session with Silvia was very inspiring and provoked much discussion. In the end, we didn’t talk much about the technology as we were too interested in the learning revolution going on.

Chalkle° on the web:

BTW: the name chalkle° is a made-up word: it’s a verb from “chalk” used on blackboards and street art to share ideas.

A feast of social media know-how

Megan Hubscher presenting at the Sustainability Trust office

Megan Hubscher speaking about how the Sustainability Trust use social media, in their central Wellington showroom/ venue/ office

In the world’s coolest little capital NetSquared Wellington hosted two talks this week. We showcased different approaches to social media as part of a programme of 40 events during the global #SocMedSep themed month.

From the the Sustainability Trust we had Megan Husbscher tell us about they are using to reach out to a broad range of customers, supporters, volunteers and people seeking to have greener lives.

So as not to get tangled in policies and procedures, Megan says the Trust has a philosophy of getting out there and doing it. Their motto is learn as we go.

Reflecting diversity and allowing people across the whole organisation to use social media is what Megan would like to see happening. It’s not as easy as it sounds, as people are busy doing their day jobs.

When asked what makes a good post, Megan said “anything that comes from your heart, that genuinely moves you, will move others.”

Helen Player pointing out sights in Wellington harbour, post talk.

Helen Player from Positively Wellington Tourism sharing the view of Wellington harbour after the #net2welly talk

Getting more people to get out and about in Wellington is the aim of the capital’s tourism agency Positively Wellington Tourism. Talking about their work Digital Marketing Manager Helen Player gave the impression they get to be very creative in how they approach this.

To run with this fresh approach Helen summed up their rules of thumb in these five tips:

  1. Beat print and other newspapers (otherwise you’re too late)
  2. Track what you do
  3. Be relevant – everything has a Wellington angle
  4. Cater for mobile – including any apps
  5. Make it easy to take action.

Competitions are a big thing – theses are used to attract people and encourage them to stay in touch. This included a virtual wishing well that mimicked a infamous fountain in grungy Cuba Street, where people outside the city can win trip. More are coming soon.

It was fantastic that both our #SocMedSep presenters shared fine-grained detail, including statistics.

The two talks were only possible because we had two people step forward from within NetSqaured Wellington willing to help. Thanks to to Justine from Plunket and Eileen from Kites.

We sounded people coming about being able to access personalised advice at a social media surgery. Despite being introduced to the idea by me wearing a medical mask and stethoscope, and wielding a plastic scalpel (though no rubber gloves, just yet!) people seem responsive. We’ll look to organise something before the end of the year.

PS I’ve been appointed one of four global NetSquared regional ambassadors – in this role I’ll support the active groups across region, plus can help if you’d like to set up a group in your town too. THe ambassador role is honorary, though I will be meeting other ambassadors in Washington DC next march, and attend the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference run by NTEN.

Post NetSquared Downunder ‘virtual’ camp wrap-up

Jon from Loomio.org onstage in WellingtonWhen Evan from Adelaide’s voice distorted, warbled and crackled, I thought the show was over. Would our brave experiment bringing together four speakers in from four cities one hour come to an early end?

These sonic hijinks caused the only anxious moment in our NetSquared Downunder virtual camp held last Thursday.

We used free Google technology and standard webcams to successfully share innovative web projects between the four live and online. People watched from venues in Adelaide, Auckland, Melbourne and our very own wee capital city. And beyond in the wider world.

Over the previous four months the event’s four organisers played our way into being relaxed with Google’s online meeting place/ service/ tool. Google+ Hangout is user friendly and robust.

We also depended on uber fast broadband actually working on the night – something only reliably available in big cities for now. Even when one of the venues lost its wifi connection, thus the aforementioned warbling, the broadcast was able to continue using a tethered cellphone to stream in the internet.

It was the sharing the substance of the four projects that made the whole event worth it. People stayed behind talking about each of the four projects showcased.

It’s been really enjoyable virtually working alongside three talented and energetic organisers generously giving their time to make the event happen. I tip my hat to my co-organisers Richenda Vermeulen in Melbourne, Lindsey Talerico-Hedren in Auckland and Ben Teoh in Adelaide.

There’re rumours of more sharing using a similar approach within the regional NetSquared network and beyond. I’m definitely keen to use free tools and my freshly tested knowhow to contribute.

Read some more about NetSquared Downunder ‘virtual’ camp

  1. Photos from the NetSquared Wellington event, 29 November 2012 – thanks Stephen and Mihn
  2. A write up about the topics and tech by Ben Teoh
  3. NetSquared Wellington meetup group – open to anyone interested in using the web to make the world a better place
  4. The live broadcast via YouTube was started early, jump to 58:54 to get to the heart of things.

Photo credit: Aggregatormag

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.