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Friday Feed - Great resources from the web - May 6, 2011

Data & Relationship ManagementCommunity & Social Media

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.

Looking back on the top articles, it seems this week's secret theme was how to use data in your organization (or since most of these links are from the NTEN blog, maybe it's not so secret). This is rather appropriate given our theme for the month is Managing Your Relationships - while the first step may be to start collecting data, it doesn't end there. If you don't use your data to inform your decisions then there's not a lot of point in collecting it.

Intuition vs. Data: How VolunteerMatch Uses Data to Change the Way It Makes Strategic Decisions

"We could see that the internet was deluged with "me-too" Facebook implementations, and we lacked clear data on the potential impact of the change. Our discussions at the time centered on the need to "do something". We charged ahead, investing months in the integration... In terms of our key metrics [...] we saw little impact from Facebook Connect. While there was a ton of buzz about Facebook at the time, our particular implementation fell flat with visitors."

Listen to Your Data: Lessons from a Multilingual Text Message Campaign

"We've had the good fortune to work extensively with the nonprofit Reform Immigration 4 America (RI4A) on a mobile campaign that the New York Times has described as "the envy of non-profits." RI4A is almost as committed to rigorous A/B testing as they are to immigration reform. Throughout their campaign, they've tested everything – from what time you should call your legislators to the best way to structure a text message – in English and in Spanish."

Are Your Twitter Efforts In Vain?

"For some reason I thought that whatever I posted will be seen by everyone, every link will be clicked by all followers and at least half of them will Retweet my tweets, because they are so awesome. Turns out, that’s not how it works.

What I learnt that really defines success on twitter is something else. To me it is answers to these questions:

  • How many great conversations have you had today on Twitter?
  • How many people have you helped today via Twitter?
  • Whom have you met or reached that you couldn’t otherwise have reached?
  • How many people have you brought together today?
  • How much truly great content have you provided for your followers?"


Four Ways Nonprofits Can Increase Their Impact with Data

"While we are capturing more stats and indicators than ever before, most of us are still a little befuddled as to what to do with all these numbers. Data management will be one of the most important skills in our sector over the next decade, with implications that reach far beyond simply understanding our own organizations."