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Friday Feed - Great resources from the web - June 24, 2011

In order to stay up to date on what's going on in the world of technology - and nonprofit technology in particular - I follow quite a few blogs and twitter feeds. There's a lot of great content out there but if you don't have the time to stay on top of things (and even if you do!) it can be overwhelming. So, for those of you who have less time to do all this "listening" on nonprofit technology, I'm posting a blog each Friday with the top resources I found in the last week.

Five Social Media Myths You Need to Know

  1. A Facebook page can replace your website.
  2. Social Media is a great fundraising tool. Just look at the success of Obama’s last Presidential Campaign.
  3. Build an app.
  4. Social Media is a free way to build your brand and list.
  5. Social Media should be its own department.

SEO Keywords for Small Non-Profits

"SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is simply a matter of helping the search engines, such as Google and Bing, decide when one of your web pages should by highly ranked as a relevant result for a specific search query." A lot of companies are hiring consultants for SEO - basically, if you do a search for a topic related to them, they want their website to dominate the search results you get. This makes you see them as a key player in the area of whatever you were searching for. Fortunately, you don't need to hire a company to do SEO - there are simple things you can do yourself to improve your search engine ranking.

One more note on SEO - it's not magic, nor is it a way to manipulate the search engine to think your site is something it isn't. Fundementally, the key to SEO is to make your site better and more focused on what you do - working on SEO will improve your site.

Say What? Google Works to Improve YouTube Auto-Captions for the Deaf

Did you know that YouTube can automatically generate captions on YouTube? There's still lots of mistakes but it's improving - the most recent version apparently reduces errors by 20%. "In the near term there are other ways to improve caption quality. People posting to YouTube can download auto-captions added to their videos, correct any errors and then re-upload the captions to YouTube. Or they can upload their videos with captions already in place, Harrenstien says, noting one clear incentive—accurately captioned videos get "many, many more views globally.""

Don't Get Stuck in the Cloud

"Like many road warriors, I often catch up with work-related reading on the plane, and on a recent flight to the U.S. from London, I was proud of myself for squeezing the maximum work value per pound out of my carry-on materials, which included e-books and other lightweight techno platforms.

But when I pulled the Kindle from my bag, it looked as though a child had scribbled on it with a black marker. The screen was stone dead. Next out was my iPad: One click produced the cover of the book I planned to read during my nine-hour flight, and the second click revealed that the book had not been downloaded. All I had was the cover art. Out came the trusty laptop, but the battery promptly expired."

Although there are many advantages to cloud computing, it has its downsides as well - in particular that you need the internet to access your information. Be aware of this fact and make sure you have a backup plan (or risk spending 9 hours on a flight with nothing to read!).