July 26, 2010

A developer’s 5 favorite social tools

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Target audience: Social change organizations, nonprofits, developers, open source advocates, educators. This is part of Creating Media, our ongoing series designed to help nonprofits and other organizations learn how to use and make media.

Guest post by Nathan Freitas

Here are five social tools I use on a regular basis as a mobile technology enthusiast and developer. Many of these deserve wider exposure to the social change community:

Redmine: Open source project management

1Get your project and team organized with Redmine, an open-source “Basecamp on Steroids” solution you can host in any Ruby on Rails environment. The service has tons of plug-ins, themes and a deep set of administrative options.

Appmakr: Build an app for your cause

2SMS campaigns are so 2008. Anyone can build an iPhone app for their cause using Appmakr, a Web-based, configuration driven service. Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Beth Kanter and Newsweek are among those who’ve used Appmakr to build lightweight apps for the iPhone.

Mayfirst/People Link: Building a just world

3Pry yourself away from Google and move your email and hosting to a geeky, movement-oriented cooperative based in Sunset Park (Brooklyn), NY, that will fight Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices, provide you with a secure OpenID and “teach you how to fish,” so to speak. MF/PL is an organization that redefines the concept of Internet Service Provider in a collective, progressive and collaborative way.

Drop.io: Free, anonymous file sharing

4Drop.io offers free, anonymous file sharing that’s quick, easy and temporary, with support for text chat, conference calls, phone-based audio recording and even fax! A great resource for collecting and distributing media from one to one or many to many.

Pbxes: Open-source calling & conferencing

5Set up your own private Skype using open-source software and protocols. PBXes supports VPNs, Win/Mac/Linux, Android, iPhone — any SIP device, including support for audio and video conferencing, as well as making regular old telephone calls. They offer free and premium options.

Nathan Freitas is a mobile developer for the New York State Senate by day and lead developer of Guardian, an open-source privacy-oriented smartphone, by night. He blogs at Open Ideals.
In this series

Change-makers share 10 of their favorite tools

An educator’s 5 top tools for social change

6 productivity tools for social change

A change agent’s top 5 tools for social change

12 open source tools you should be using

Top 5 tools for the entrepreneurial journalist

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2 thoughts on “A developer’s 5 favorite social tools

  1. Thanks so much for the great post! We're glad to have helped so many organizations reach their audience via our fully-native apps for the iPhone!

    Android Coming Soon!