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Do you like toâ€¦
Write or blog about Guyana, Peace Corps and/or related topics?
Learn more about the history of Peace Corps Guyana?
Promote 3rd Goal opportunities?
Learn how Non-Profits work?
How can you help? FROG is looking for individuals interested in participating in Board activities and/or volunteering time to help the organization grow. Participation can include anything from serving as a Grant Program Assistant for a year to organizing a one-time 3rd Goal event in your community to designing a fundraiser flier. If you are interested in dedicating time to support FROGâ€™s mission or would like more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Come to our DC fund raiser!Â This Thursday, November 12th at Garretts Restaurant and Railroad, 3003 M St, NW Georgetown, Washington, DC from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
There will be a raffle with great prizes, drink specials, good people, and great conversation.Â A $5 donation is suggested at the door with all proceeds going to the non-profit.
For more inf0rmation about Garretts please visit, www.garrettsdc.com.
See you there!
Check out this totally awesome organization that is dedicated to connecting the world through music, by providing resources to musicians and their communities. Playing For Change created a documentary film series and are hosting a benefit concert soon. Their “Stand By Me” film show street performers all over the world performing this famous song. Proceeds from such films and benefit show go to projects, like building schools. They also have a great website with more videos.
RFID and the Internet of Things
RFID is a term you’re going to start hearing a lot more about, if you aren’t already familiar with it. What is RFID?
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. The technology requires some extent of cooperation of an RFID reader and an RFID tag.
RFID tags have little bits of data encoded into an integrated circuit and are usually placed on something in need of auditing, like goods at Wal-Mart or more recently US passports. An RFID reader then sends a signal which is picked up by the RFID tag’s antennae and sends back the data that it picks up.
Here’s another example of what they can do: You’re off to the grocery store to pick up some milk, bread, cheese and a bottle of wine. Each item of these items has an RFID tag and when you go to check out you won’t need to scan each item, the cashier will already know the cost. All you have to do is bag your stuff and pay for it.
If your credit card has an RFID chip, you won’t need to take the card out of your wallet, just authorize the purchase with a thumb scan or a signature.
When you arrive home and unpack all your items, putting everything into the fridge, which also has an RFID reader, you refridgerator can tell you which items are about to expire and put in an order for more eggs and yogurt. Your fridge can also tell you what you can make with what you have.
This is happening now.
A company called ZeroG Wireless is producing low-power wireless chips that can be embedded “into any system including consumer electronics, smart energy devices, home and building controls, portable medical sensors, and sensor networks.”
Tikitag is another company that offers a home starter kit with custom software that you can use to program your own RFID chips. These tags are compatible with many third-party scanners like “NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled mobile phones.”
What does this mean to the nonprofit sector?
Imagine having instant auditing capabilities to all the food stored at your foodbank? Or the items for sale at Goodwill? What else could you monitor with these tags? Like the health of rivers or the quality of air? And then having this information accessible from anywhere in the world? And being able to compare this data with other nonprofits?
What do you think?
(Hat tip to Read/Write Web)
There is so much I learned from my years in Guyana, but the lesson which had it’s biggest impact on me – my life, my career – was that youth are absolutely vital to creating and sustaining positive change. Today I read an article from Starbroek News (online) that reminded me of this lesson:
National Childrenâ€™s Conference
Stop the violence, children say
It was only three words ? stop the violence ? but when 120 Guyanese youths raised their voices to say enough is enough and â€œwe canâ€™t take it any moreâ€? it played like a chorus blasting from the Convention Centre at the Ocean View Hotel where the National Childrenâ€™s Confer-ence wrapped up after two full days of youth empowerment.
From the soft-spoken to the outspoken the youths assembled to say how tired they are of being neglected, physically abused, sexually molested, forced into early labour and left unprotected, among other things. They spoke directly to President Bharrat Jagdeo.
â€œMr President, we need more social workers to investigate what is happening with us across the country, we need harsher penalties for child molesters, we are asking you to drop food prices and please, stop the violence!â€?
Rueshanna Boyce of St Roseâ€™s High School captured their feelings in a gripping address on the opening day of the conference, which was organized by EveryChild Guyana in collaboration with Unicef and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.
â€œIf you love us will you hurt us, will you keep us away from school? Will you abuse us and cause us hurts and pains and will you allow us to be victims of child labour? We are loitering on the streets; we are being physically or sexually abused by a stepfather, grandfather, grandmother and worse our own parentsâ€¦Â it is obvious that these very adults who should be protecting us children, instead, protect the familyâ€™s image,â€? Boyce said.
Of major concern to the nationâ€™s youths is their protection. The issue of child protection was a recurring one during the two-day national conference, which drew children from across the country. The children pointed to their parents and teachers as their immediate protectors, but singled out government and their communities as important factors in child protection.
In her address to the conference, Boyce said that children are expected to rise above waking up to violence in the homes, being cuffed, kicked and screamed at, even hearing that they are dunces and good for nothings, and still feel good about themselves. She said that while some put up with it, others leave and live on the streets. But more importantly, she said they are making poor choices.
Where are our mentors? Boyce asked the question as did a host of other children who found the courage to speak up during the conference after initial moments of silence. They unanimously agreed that it is right to first seek out mentors in the home and at school and in their communities.
They are also looking around for role models. The children hope they can find Guyanese with integrity, caring spirits, love in their hearts and intelligence to fill these positions. Their optimism is ripe and according to one child, â€œwe need more role models other than mommy.â€?
Guyanese youths are also calling on the government to make additional provisions in the budget that will give them greater access to education, health care and social services. As they wrapped up the conference and started to present individual views, they called for a stronger education programme and more schools in the less fortunate areas.
â€œWe need more schools in regions nine and ten and not just that, but also better programmes that will allow children there to have the best education,â€? one child said while onstage articulating what he and his group of peers wanted to see happen.
Even the police were considered. The children said they hope for a police force that is more responsive to them, and they would also like to see more honest police officers. They called on members of the Guyana Police Force to stop taking bribes and for them to investigate matters more thoroughly before making arrests. Though this evoked laughter among some adults in the room, the children noted that they were being very serious.
The conference was aimed at empowering children across the country to speak out on issues affecting them and to stand up as advocates for child protection. Some of the children Stabroek News spoke with are eager to go back into their villages and speak out on the issues.
Omattie Seaforth, County Director of EveryChild Guyana, had noted that the compelling factor for the childrenâ€™s conference is the high incidence of violence and abuse that is perpetrated against children in the Guyanese society. She said that the idea behind the conference was that children would leave with a clear understanding of child protection issues and how to safeguard themselves.
Seaforth said she had hoped that the children would bring their dreams, hopes, fears, challenges and enthusiasm to the conference, in the spirit of bringing alive the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Human Services Minister Priya Manickchand, who spoke at the opening of the conference, re-affirmed her commitment to have legislation in place that protects the nationâ€™s children. She said that childrenâ€™s rights must be respected, but urged the youths to know what those rights are.
Friends of a motorcycle- loving computer consultant who was kidnapped with his bodyguards as he worked in Iraqâ€™s finance ministry 18 months ago are launching a campaign to increase pressure for the menâ€™s release.
They say Peter Moore, 32, who took a lucrative job in Baghdad to pay off his student loan after years of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on an allowance of Â£140 a month, is strong-willed and will not be defeated by his ordeal.
However, they fear he and the other hostages â€” two Jasons, Alan, a father of two from Scotland, and Alec â€” have been forgotten because of a virtual news blackout imposed by the government. Their full names have been withheld at the request of the Foreign Officeâ€™s advice to the families.
Mooreâ€™s friends have set up a website â€” www.4pete.org – which explains why they are defying the official line that publicity could jeopardise efforts to help the hostages.
â€œIt is to be hoped that if more can be known about Pete and the ideals he represented, then pressure can be brought to bear upon those in a position to negotiate for his and his fellow captivesâ€™ release,â€? the site says.
It claims that the cases of Terry Waite, the Church of England envoy freed in Beirut in 1991 after four years in captivity, and Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist who was held in Gaza for four months last year, suggest that sustained campaigns can produce results.
Most hard-core web users have either seen or used sites like Digg and Reddit at one time or another. These popular news aggregation services use the vote-to-promote model to push interesting user submitted links to the front of their pages. Users then vote on these submissions and the links with the most votes float to the top.
The model first gained traction with the launch of Digg in 2004. Many other sites are trying to repeat Digg’s success by launching similar websites in specific niches. You can find vote-to-promote in Mixx, Reddit, Shoutwire, Blinklist and VideoSift. The USA Today has adopted the model for use in their articles, an interesting approach to bringing more popular news to the forefront of their website.
Del.icio.us and Magnolia, both social bookmarking services, take a different approach to the vote-to-promote model. These sites allow users to share bookmarked links with other users, promoting further discovery of interesting news while adding more bookmarks to the service. The number of times a specific link is bookmarked the more popular it becomes as people implicitly vote for that link.
Websites can now roll their own vote-to-promote applications though Pligg’s and Reddit’s opensource software. Reddit, who opensourced their code earlier this week, has a slim advantage over Pligg as the technology is more familiar among web-heads.
The vote-to-promote model is an interesting way to aggregate fresh content though it does have its flaws. As the technology matures and developers tweak the underlying source code, websites and services will continue to find novel uses for this idea.
Why a Free Month?
So that anyone, anywhere can try Idealist at no cost.
Usually, job postings on Idealist cost only $60, but this month we are inviting all nonprofit organizations, as well as vendors and consultants who serve the nonprofit sector, to post all their job openings for free. (Volunteer opportunities, internships, and jobs posted outside the United States are always free.)
If you have never tried Idealist, or if you have used us only for entry-level jobs, we hope you’ll try us for all your positions. 60,000 people come to Idealist every day, and many of them are seeking high-level jobs.
And if you are looking for a job, our goal this month is to get you as many job openings as we can, but to do this we need your help. If you know anyone at an organization that is not currently using Idealist, please invite them to join us. And if you have a way to get the word out to friends and colleagues across the sector – through a mailing list, a blog, or any other way – please tell them that Idealist is free for the whole month of June.
Pipes is a web service that allows users to easily build web-based applications from aggregated web feeds, web pages and other sources of content. The drag-and-drop user interface makes it dead simple to quickly create useful applications from various data sources.
Some examples below:
Content Keyword RSS
This pipe will search news sources from multiple sites such as Digg, Technorati, Yahoo News, PRWeb, and Google News, compare content to remove duplicates and output a unique RSS feed full of content related to your keywords.
YouTube tags to RSS
Be alerted when videos on Youtube are tagged with specific keywords that you may be interested in watching.
Social Media Firehose
This is a big, fat, wide-reaching net of social media searches to alert you every time your brand or product is mentioned by anybody on a slew of social media sites, including flickr, twitter, friendfeed, digg etc.
Keep up with the Amazons bestselling booklist. This Yahoo Pipe creation is updated hourly to include the most popular books on Amazon.
GeoAnotated Reuters News
Uses the geonames.org RSS-to-geoRSS webservice to add location information to Reuters newsfeed. The result is displayed using the Yahoo!Maps AJAX API
Nonprofits will find the service beneficial for augmenting their own data, with Pipes geo-location mashups, buzz monitoring tools and data analysis.
Dapper is a similar service, based in Tel Aviv, that also makes it easy to reuse content from any web site.
Gears “is an open source project that enables more powerful web applications, by adding new features to your web browser.” With Google Gears, you can -
- Let web applications interact naturally with your desktop
- Store data locally in a fully-searchable database
Gears is exploring implementing other uses as well:
- Multiple File Upload: Using the File System API, Chris demonstrated a multiple file upload experience.
- Resumable File Upload: He then showed a YouTube mockup that showed uploading multiple files, seeing their status, and after a connection died showing how the file resumes and doesn’t start from 0% All using a ResumableRequest that sat on top of the Blog API and HttpRequest
- Find nearby stuff! A Google I/O demo searched for beer, resulting in local places around the Moscone Center. This example used the Geolocation API which uses GPS, Wifi IDs, Cell IDs, and IP address to work out where you are
1,000 True Fans Theory
Peer-to-peer networks, bittorrent, email and other forms of file sharing have many asking how an artist can make any money when the content they’ve created can be so easily pirated?
The RIAA is trying to address this issue by the suing the bejesus out of college kids and grandparents for using Kazaa, the MPAA is suing the creators of DVD rippers and indie video game makers are having a heck of time getting wider distribution.
Kevin Kelly, a founder of Wired, suggests one solution for content creators to keep some of the profit. His idea is called “1,000 True Fans.” The idea goes like this,
A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat.
If you think about it, 1,000 True Fans isn’t that unrealistic. With the growth of internet usage expanding almost exponentially each year, potential exists for growing an even larger fan base. If each of those 1,000 True Fans spent a paltry $100 US a year on artist produced and distributed music, art, media, whatever, that’s $100,000 a each year. This idea works well for solo artists and will need some tweaking for a band, but it’s not an unrealistic goal.
Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails, has tested this approach with his release of the album Ghost in March and The Slip in May. His success in selling directly to his fans has allowed him to bypass the traditional big label model. Also, the prostitue involved with Eliot Spitzer made over a million dollars over night selling singles she created on the site Amie.st (of course this isn’t quite the norm for this approach).
Spinning this idea for non-profit world, I can bet Idealist has 1,000 True Fans. The question for us and for other non-profits is how we can leverage a devoted community, how do we nurture it and with what content? The problem for most non-profits isn’t content creation or distribution, but a lack of a larger following, limited two-way communication and a failure of creativity.