Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Just read a tweet from someone who wanted to find good resources on the Web about vlogging. Thought I would add to that conversation with a list of video blogging blogs and other sites.

NOTE: This is a quick list, not thoroughly explored. We’ve done a cursory looksee, but nothing thorough. We’re not endorsing any of these sites or have any personal connection with the owners. We’re not responsible for any of the information on these sites.

I’m also including a list of my favorite places to find examples of the best video being produced for the Web. Please chime in and let us know about your favorites, too! NOTE: These are sites that we DO know and love, although we’re still not responsible for their content, though we’d love to be contributors.

Links to video blogging sites. How-tos and wherefors:

Some of my favorite sites that feature the Web’s best in video content:

Random Note: MUSIC and vlogs. Three words that you need to be aware of when thinking about using someone else’s music, including your favorite NIN track: Copyright, copyright and copyright. If you didn’t compose it or have explicit permission from the composer and musician(s) to use the music in your public video, you are using it illegally and unethically.

There are many free (or cheap) and legal ways to get music:

  • compose your own, if you play an instrument;
  • become a composer using clips from garage band or other similar software;
  • ask a friend who plays an instrument to let you record and use her/his music;
  • for a small fee, you can buy rights’ free music from many sites;
  • you or a friend can perform and record (most) music created before the copyright law was enacted around 1940.

Here’s a site that goes deeper into the subject: Music Copyright Laws in the U.S.

Hope this helps! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and more ideas to making and watching great online video!


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This topic seems to have boiled over this week! I’ve been quizzed about it personally and seen blogs and tweets exploring the same question. Why should nonprofits use social media? What are the benefits? Why should we pour effort and time into a process of one-to-one relationships?

The value proposition

To my mind, the nonprofit mindset is a form of social media. Simply put, both nonprofit methodology and social media tools connect people with people on a personal, emotional, non-corporate basis. That makes nonprofits a natural fit for online social media. If you compare the benefits of both, it becomes even clearer.

Benefits of social media

Although the ROI is less direct to the financially focused eye, the community building return on social media investment can be golden. One of the foremost proofs of social media value is a marketing tenet: People are infinitely more prone to buy or believe in something based on the endorsement of someone they know over a commercial or spokesperson.

Its easier to gauge the value of any plan if you have a set of clear goals that establish your expectations.

Nonprofits depend on committed relationships with their members – their staunch fans based on a shared passion for a cause. Therefore, goals for connecting with members via social media must reflect that respect for the membership and your shared concern.

The list of goals attainable through social media includes:

  • Connecting with your membership
  • Providing an information source for your membership
  • Giving your members more ways to communicate with you
  • Giving your members more ways to communicate with each other
  • Creating a broader community and increasing membership

Because so many people are engaged in social media, maintaining a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and other sm tools, you are going to your members. You’re offering members ways to connect with you on their terms, where they’re comfortable and active.

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Now THIS is a beautiful, touching and memorable statement on the political scene. Out of the mouths of babes. Leave it to youth to cut through partisanship.

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First post of 2009.

Garrett’s 3 years old. Garrett likes to eat his frosting. And he likes to play the drums.

Happy New Year!

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I met Daisy, 8, at a Saturday morning enrichment program in developed and run by Christian Foundation for Children and Aging in the Philippines. About 50 children from the Lumbangan community go to the four-sectioned, open-air classroom one day a week. For many of the children who attend, this is their only school experience.

Eight-year-olds being eight-year-olds meant that most of the girls sat with other girls, and most of the boys clumbed together on the other side of the bamboo table. The kids were SO excited – figuring out math problems and spelling vocabulary words correctly. They raised their hands to answer questions like thirsty sprouts straining for drops of rain.

That scene was inspiring enough…but the second part of the story was the group of teachers at the school. They were students themselves! Five or six young adults teach at the school as part of their community service requirement through the CFCA scholarship program. As they receive their training, this is a way for them to give back and nurture their community.

Part three was the reality of the Lumbangan community, which is the site of a large city dump. Most of the kids’ parents scaenge at the dump site for a living. THe children, including Daisy, help their parents. The family fypically makes from $2 to $4 per day.

After class, everyone lined up for a hot meal the mothers prepared – rice and vegetables boiled in a huge metal pot over an open flame.

Then the kids ran back to the dump site. They were filled with joy and laughter, even while going shoeless in the muddy, gooey garbage. They played with dilapidated toys they found. The typical face of poverty is not downtrodden, sad and gloomy. The face of poverty is Daisy’s face, smiling, smart and eager, while living with tremendous daily challenges.

Daisy’s mom, Melanie, introduced me to Daniel, Daisy’s dad, who had been working at the dump site all morning. As I put my hand out to shake his, he pulled his arm back. Melanie, said, “He’s been working; his hand is dirty.” I said that was OK. But he smiled and shook his head. I smiled and said how good it was to meet him.

Education is a huge part of what a CFCA sponsorship provides to families. It’s a chance for chldren to gain skills and break the cycle of poverty. Sponsorship helps with food, with health care and with having a decent place to live.

But, here’s the other thing – CFCA’s tagline says that it offers hope and restores dignity. It really does do that. Sponsorship gives parents of sponsored children hope and a strong connection to their community.

Daisy now has a sponsor. I look forward to visiting the Lumangan community again and finding out what a difference the extra support has meant to Daisy’s family. I hope Daisy will share what she has learned, that Melanie will feel more hope in a brighter future for her daughter and that Daniel will shake my hand.


P.S. – I work for CFCA out of the Kansas headquarters. To see a picture of Daisy, please visit www.cfcausa.org/nopoverty. The page includes a video showing the Lumbangan dumpsite.

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This year the world is blogging about Poverty on Oct. 15. Sign up and join the conversation at BlogActionDay.Org.

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