November 18, 2009

eduFire expands its tech curriculum

Learn about social media, PHP & WordPress on the Web

Guest post by Katrina Heppler
envisionGood.tv

We met up with Jon Bischke, founder of eduFire, in San Francisco to learn about the launch of eduFire’s new Tech Channel, an online video learning platform that provides live, interactive video classes in social media, PHP, WordPress and other tech areas.

In this video interview, Jon describes the new Tech Channel’s offerings and tells us how eduFire is using social media throughout the company’s platform. Continue after the jump for a full transcript of the conversation. Continue reading

September 30, 2009

GoingGreen: Innovations in green tech

closeup
Photo by Salem Kimble

By Salem Kimble
East Bay Green Tours

Earlier this month, amid the picturesque backdrop of the Cavallo Lodge in Sausalito, Calif., a flurry of venture capitalists and industry innovators came together at the GoingGreen Conference from AlwaysOn. There were all manner of industries represented, from cement that absorbs carbon (Novacem) to low frequency wireless technology for long range monitoring (On-Ramp Wireless) to completely architected materials (Nanosys) and everything in between.

In fact, there was so much going on, let’s break down a few of the more intriguing elements.

Smart designs for buildings

Project Frog, a slick and friendly outfit from San Francisco, showed off their super quick building construction from partially pre-fabricated buildings that minimize waste during construction, save 50 percent in energy once built, and go up in an incredible six weeks’ time. Their smart designs take into consideration the building process and include things like designing doors and walls to fit the size that the wall material is when sold. Their flagship installation is at Crissy Field in San Francisco.

Buildings are important, but perhaps more intriguing are the people who are re-engineering the building blocks themselves, as Novacem has done. They have an alternative to Portland cement (standard material used in the majority of construction) that has a lighter carbon footprint at the outset and over the long term. Says Novacem’s Stewart Evans, “The big win is that Novacem has the potential to not only remove the 5 percent [of carbon] from creation [of the cement] but to take out 4 percent of carbon [from the atmosphere] over time.” Continue reading

September 15, 2009

Toward a Web of open video

Toward open video on the Web from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaA few weeks ago, before and after the Open Video conference at NYU, I sketched out the proposition that open video is a requirement for an open Web in two posts: The promise of open source video and Boxee and the promise of open media.

By some estimates, 90 percent of the traffic on the Internet will be video by 2013, so this affects free and open discourse online. Above is a 7-minute interview I conducted with Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, who talks about how video is really separate from the rest of the Web in that it’s a much more closed system. “We need to look at how to make video a first-class citizen on the Web,” he said.

Surman said he hopes a concerted push toward open standards will “shift the market away from a black box video plug-in, where the video is separate from the rest of the page, to something where video can interact with Javascript” or other elements on a Web page.

Video today is locked up (technologically) and locked down (legally). In order for video to become part of the Web’s innovation ecosystem, Surman said, we need to be able to play, manipulate, transform and remix video in the same way we can with photos and data.

In the past two years, the vast majority of video hosting sites have settled on Adobe’s Flash as the format of choice because more than 95 percent of desktop computers and laptops can play them. But Flash isn’t an open source system, and video producers have been limited in how they can make video interact with other Web page elements.

“That may not sounds interesting to those who just watch videos, but it’ll be interesting first to video producers who can do all kinds of innovative things that we can’t even imagine now,” he said. Continue reading

May 22, 2009

Helping nonprofits grapple with technology

Nonprofits + technology = NTEN from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaHolly Ross, executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), talks about the organization’s mission in helping nonprofits learning how to effectively use technology and social media.

She talks about three new reports that should be of interest to nonprofits — including the just-released 2009 Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report and Small is the New Big: 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study — as well as We Are Media: Social Media Starter Kit for Nonprofits, a workshop/training series led by Beth Kanter.

All of the conference’s sessions are available as free audio downloads (plus PowerPoint presentations). In addition, several webinars are available as well, such as Using Facebook Pages for Social Good, $30 for members, $60 for nonmembers.

Continue reading

May 14, 2009

Tools galore at Women Who Tech Telesummit

Amy Sample WardThe summit Women Who Tech brings together talented and renowned women breaking new ground in technology who use their tech savvy skills to transform the world and inspire change. We provide a supportive network for the vibrant and thriving community of women in technology professions by giving women an open platform to share their talents, experiences, and insights.

On May 12, 2009 the second annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit (held via phone and web) brought together hundreds of women from across the US and abroad in the non-profit, political and business world for an incredible lineup of thought provoking panels featuring technology change makers such as Joan Blades of MoveOn and Moms Rising, Allison Fine of Personal Democracy Forum, Lynne D Johnson of Fast Company, Charlene Li, Holly Ross of NTEN, Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare, Lisa Stone of BlogHer and more.

I had the great honor of moderating the panel Tools Galore in Online Communications:

From Google Earth to Wiki’s and Twitter this panel will give you the nuts and bolts of the latest tools organizations can utilize to ramp up their next online campaign. Panelists: Natalie Foster, DNC; Rebecca Moore, Google Earth Outreach; Laura Quinn, Idealware. Moderator: Amy Sample Ward, NetSquared

The sessions were short (only 50 minutes!) but packed in a tremendous amount of information.  Here’s a rundown of the Tools Galore session. See the slide deck above and notes from the panelists below:

Continue reading