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Technology Archives

June 7, 2007

Facebook Causes Connects People & Nonprofits

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

2007_06_07facecause1.jpgSocial networking just became socially conscious.

It started when the 24-million-strong Facebook (compared to MySpace's 57 million) launched a new developer's platform that allows third-party companies to create bits of software that plug into Facebook. The result is Flickr photos, music playlists, top Digg news stories and so much more showing up in Facebook. But they don't just appear in Facebook like slapping a graphic into MySpace. They interact with Facebook, allowing users to customize their experience, displaying their most recently played tracks from or viewing a sample of a friend's Flickr photos.

One of the new applications is called Causes (requires free registration, like everything on Facebook). It was created by Project Agape and allows users to start causes and rally their social network to support specific nonprofits. You can invite your friends to join and donate to the cause, and Facebook tracks your recruits and donations. At the time of writing Save Darfur had 62,978 members and donations totaling $5,196. And it was raised in two weeks (Facebook Causes launched on May 24). The One Campaign has raised $2,500 with 11,000+ members. Invisible Children has almost 22,000 members and has raised more than $700.

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March 28, 2007

John McCain's Staff Hacked His MySpace

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Like many presidential candidates, Republican John McCain has his own MySpace page. His staff even used the same MySpace design template we use on our Personality™ MySpace page.

But John McCain's staff made some major mistakes, effectively leaving the page open to hacking. They failed to give the required credit and they didn't follow the instructions and used the sample template graphic instead of creating their own. Even worse, they linked to the original source file, a bigtime no-no among techie folk (it's akin to plugging your extension cord into your neighbor's outlet).

When the creator of the MySpace design template realized what was happening, he decided to pull a little prank, changing the sample template graphic on his server so it announced a major reversal in John McCain's politics: "I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage... particularly marriage between passionate females."

Oops. McCain and company end up looking stupid. If you're going to use new technology, you better play by the rules. And if you don't know the rules, you better learn them.

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January 18, 2007

Top 59 Smartest Organizations Online

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Seth Godin's Squidoo, GetActive and NetSquared have put together a list of the top 59 smartest organizations online. These are non-profit organizations that understand web 2.0. They've got blogs, social networking accounts, online video, e-mail newsletters, online campaigns and so much more. If you're looking to figure out how your organization or business can make better use of the web, here are 59 good examples. (link via Getting Attention)

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November 20, 2006

Putting Usability Skills to Work for a Good Cause

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Marketing guru Seth Godin points us to the UK-based SimpleUsability, which is offering its usability expertise to a different organization every month for free. If you're an eco-friendly, fair trade or sustainable business that needs to maximize its online conversion, you might consider applying.

According to Godin they're doing it "just because they can and because it feels right." Just another example of business and cause coming together.

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November 13, 2006

Online Video Lessons for Non-Profits

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Doing video on the web isn't as simple as repurposing what you create for broadcast media and posting it online. The web is a medium all its own, and you've got to play by the web's rules. Doing so can help causes make better use of online video and get more bang for their viral buck.

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November 10, 2006

Using Flickr for Non-Profits

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Photo by Kresta King CutcherWe always talk about the power of story for causes, but images can be just as powerful (perhaps because a picture is worth a thousand words?). Just check out Kresta King Cutcher's Sisters of Rwanda (this one is my favorite) or Gisimba Memorial Center sets. Kresta King Cutcher talks with blogger Steve Bridger about using Flickr to tell stories:

"Flickr is an effortless and virtually free venue for NGOs to constructively share their message and mission. Through experience, I know that a photograph supported by a well-written story really can inspire a viewer to become a donor."

It's not just for NGOs either. Any cause that can generate arresting imagery should consider using Flickr. Even if you don't have access to jaw-dropping photos, candid shots can still tell your story. A cause could post their own pictures and spread their story, like the American Cancer Society's North Texas Region, Salvation Army in Canada or To Write Love On Her Arms. Or tap into your supporters and start a group, like Oxfam GB. Groups work even better for specific events, like Oxfam's Climb Kilimanjaro 2006, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life or Invisible Children's Global Night Commute. Groups let you tap into the power of social networking and let your supporters share some of the work.

Photographs sitting in a locked file aren't helping to spread the word about your cause. Make your pictures available and let them tell your organization's story. (link via Pienso)

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November 6, 2006

Be Yourself to Make the Most of Social Networking

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

So how can causes make the most of social networking? It's a tough question. Social networking can be a swamp--a massive time suck. It can also be an incredible goldmine. You may have noticed that we've jumped into the swamp known as MySpace. So how do we get the most out of it?

Simple: We stay true to ourself. At Personality™, we're motivated by causes. We want to see the world become a better place. So we've made our MySpace profile all about causes. We're not trying to pimp ourselves--we're trying to talk about causes. It fits for us, and hopefully that will make it work (time will tell).

Continue reading "Be Yourself to Make the Most of Social Networking"

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October 30, 2006

The United Nations Joins Online Video Bandwagon

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

When Google drops $1.6 billion to buy up the online video site YouTube you know the online video craze is just getting crazier. Now the United Nations is joining the fray. The U.N. World Food Programme's Fight Hunger initiative is hosting an online video contest. They're looking for upbeat viral videos that help spread the word about ending child hunger by 2015.

It's a great example of how causes can tap into technology and give power to the people. (link via Pienso)

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September 26, 2006

Public Relations Meets Web 2.0

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Public Relations

Blogs and wikis and Myspace, oh my! The web 2.0 landscape can be a scary place for non-profits. But when it comes to getting the word out web 2.0 can be a cause's best friend. Why? It's cheap, it's easy and it works. Consider the web 2.0 series from Church Marketing Sucks (OK, I wrote it). It's written for churches but the lessons can be applied to any non-profit or cause. You can tap into sites like Squidoo or MySpace to get the word out (and MySpace isn't just for youngesters anymore: 87% of users are 18 or older; 52% are over 35).

For an even more in-depth lesson, check out PR 2.0 Essentials, a 30-page PDF that explains how public relations professionals can use blogs, tags, wikis, podcasts, RSS and more. (link via Getting Attention via Studio 501c via Micro Persuasion, whew)

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December 19, 2005

The Crazy Math of E-mail

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

When it comes to e-mail marketing, less is more. As cheap and easy as e-mail is, it's tempting to jump on success and send out more and more e-mails. But frequent e-mails will often result in diminishing returns, in some cases damaging your brand and any trust you had built up with your audience, leaving you in a worse place. Instead of being more frequent, try to be more relevant.

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November 29, 2005

Realigning Web Sites

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

A List Apart reconsiders the conventional wisdom of web site redesigns and makes the pitch for web site realignment instead. Rather than tossing out a decent design and start over, tweak the current design to improve what's not working and keep what is. Steadily improve your web site rather than starting over all the time.

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November 3, 2005

Top 7 Technologies That Can Save You Time

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

This originally appeared in our e-mail newsletter. If you're not getting it, you can sign up today.

Time is always of the essence. If you could save a little time, you could get a little more done. So work smarter, not harder. Technology can save you time, so put it to work for you. Here are some of the best:

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October 24, 2005

Top 10 Web Design Mistakes of 2005

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen presents the top web design mistakes of 2005 and the top blog design mistakes of 2005. Not everybody likes Nielsen and his intense emphasis on usability over aesthetic appeal, but when it comes to usability the guy certainly knows what he's talking about. Take his advice with a grain of salt, but he does offer loads of wisdom on what to do, and what to avoid.

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September 15, 2005

Free eBooks from Seth Godin

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Knock, Knock and Who's There are two new booklets from Seth Godin you can download for free. Knock, Knock covers web pages and how to convert visits into sales. Who's There explores the world of blogging and offers some tips for how to spread your ideas through the blogosphere.

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August 19, 2005

Digital vs. Print

Posted by Ken Erickson | Filed under: Technology

I remember a professor of mine in college asking us if we thought the print magazine, would be replaced by digital magazine. As a huge fan of magazines I thought, "Yeah right—you’ve got to be kidding!" Right? I mean, any mag lover can't deny there's something about holding and flipping though a magazine, that cannot be replaced.

That may be true, but the digital magazine is growing. When subscribed, Zinio for example will send you your magazine digitally with all the bells and whistles (articles, ads, tear-outs) that its print counterpart has, but will also give you the ease of quick URL links that the print does not. Plus, you don’t have to worry about finding a place to stash your past subscriptions that you just can't part with.

And talk about going digital, this public high school in Arizona takes the cake. They are doing away with text-books altogether, and going wireless, all-laptop!

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May 20, 2005

The Business of Blogging

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

This originally appeared in our e-mail newsletter. If you're not getting it, you can sign up today.

Blogging is big business (if you're asking "what's a blog?"—you better read up). 2005 has been proclaimed the year of the blog (wait, wasn't that 2004?) and stories are popping up everywhere: BusinessWeek did a cover story and launched their own blog. The New York Times covered Nick Denton's blogging empire and was encouraged to start a blog themselves. News even reverberated across the blogosphere when one Australian blogger claimed he'd be making six figures this year.

A forthcoming book by the high-profile Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble and Shel Israel will cover the ins and outs of business blogging. You can get the inside scoop—where else—on their blog. You can read their first chapter and the proposal they sent to publishers for an idea of what they cover. The blog itself also has tons of great content, including interviews with business bloggers.

But their book won't come out until 2006, so let's cover the basics: What can blogs do for your bottom line?

Continue reading "The Business of Blogging"

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May 9, 2005

Internet Advertising Boom

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

Online advertising grew 33% in 2004 topping $9.6 billion, and it's expected to rise as much this year. It still only accounts for 3.7% of the total advertising market, but savvy marketers will want to get into the game now. "Many marketers have applied traditional advertising techniques to the medium, but this is different," says Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO Greg Stuart. "Those doing well are those who are figuring out how to adapt to a rapidly changing environment."

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April 22, 2005

Everyone Needs a Web Site

Posted by Lisa Pileggi | Filed under: Technology

I have a favorite, fairly large, European style bakery and cafe that opened up a few miles from my house over six months ago. There are many positive aspects about this spot, including free wireless Internet access and my favorite Italian coffee (Illy). Now being a part of a fast-growing city located in a metropolitan area, one would think that Wheatberry would have a web site—but no! I was so shocked when I did a Google search and a web site didn't show up. I then called. Yep: no web site! I guess I'm so shocked because my dry cleaner, service salon, local boutique shop, library and even my friends have their own web sites!

Little note: My friends and I love to go out to eat and we spread the word from one to another by sending links of favorite dining locations. For that purpose alone, this place is truly missing out when it comes to filling their dark-stained wood chairs each day.

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January 25, 2005

Blogs: Avoiding the Karmic Weenie

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

“If you fudge or lie on a blog, you are biting the karmic weenie. The negative reaction will be so great that, whatever your intention was, it will be overwhelmed and crushed like a bug.”

So says legendary ad-man and vice chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, Steve Hayden, in the Fortune article "Why There's No Escaping the Blog." His comment proved so popular Fortune followed up with an extended Hayden interview on the more positive marketing potential of blogs.

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January 17, 2005

Beginner’s Guide to Business Blogging

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

A quick (if repetitive) guide to using a blog as a business and marketing tool. Available as a free PDF download until Jan. 25, 2005.

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June 8, 2004

E-Mail Marketing Tips

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

This originally appeared in our e-mail newsletter. If you're not getting it, you can sign up today.

The e-mail newsletter can be the blessing and curse of our technological age. It's a blessing because the same newsletter that costs thousands of dollars to print and mail can be converted to 1's and 0's and e-mailed for a fraction of the cost. But it's a curse because our inboxes are already overflowing with wanted and unwanted e-mail.

The best you can do is be sure any marketing e-mail you send is as effective as possible. Here's three quick tips from the E-mail Doctor to make sure your e-mails are digested, not deleted.

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April 13, 2004

The Blog Bog

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

This originally appeared in our e-mail newsletter. If you're not getting it, you can sign up today.

Despite the media hype, are you still asking, "What's a blog?" Or maybe you have a vague idea, but you don't know what it means for you. Here's a short primer on blogs and how they can help your organization.

Continue reading "The Blog Bog"

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December 5, 2003

Web Sites that Work: The Basics

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Technology

This originally appeared in our e-mail newsletter. If you're not getting it, you can sign up today.

Everyone has a web site these days, but not everyone has a web site that works. A good site should do exactly what it's supposed to do without any fuss. It tells people what they need to know, lets them buy the stuff they're looking for, or simply entertains them. A good web site doesn't waste your time or frustrate you with broken links or hard-to-read text. A web site that works follows the basics:

Continue reading "Web Sites that Work: The Basics"

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