Recently a report from a know tech publication was at a conference I was leading. She asked me
“what is interesting that is happening right now.”
I said “the nonprofit technology session.”
She said – “well I cover business issues.”
I shared with her that one of the largest vendor of nonprofit technology Kintera was a publicly traded company AND that there was big business opportunities for providing technology solutions in that sector. She looked at me surprised as if it had never occurred to her that you could make money in this sector. Recently the two other large vendors in the space merged – Get Active and Convio. They became just Convio and are now the largest vendor in the sector.
This month’s theme for NTEN’s Newsletter is Data Interoperability. This is the open Letter the published there.
Gene Austin, Chief Executive Officer, Convio and Tom Krackeler, VP, Product Management, Convio
It is incumbent on all software vendors serving the nonprofit sector to open opportunities for nonprofits to have greater choice and flexibility in pursuing their missions.
To meet the expectations of nonprofits today — and five years from now — software vendors need to facilitate interoperability between systems and enable integration between offline and online data and the new Web. And they should do so with one clear purpose in mind: to open the possibilities for nonprofits to find and engage constituents to support their missions.
The NTEN community has been leading the charge for openness. With Salesforce and Facebook, Convio has embraced openness as a way of doing business.
Software vendors should:
1. provide nonprofit organizations of all sizes and in any stage of Internet adoption the flexibility to integrate with other web or database applications to exchange constituent and campaign data.
2. make their Open APIs available to clients, partners, and a broad developer community.
3. expose Open APIs as part of their core product functionality.
4. proactively use APIs provided by other companies in additional to providing their own.
5. make their API documentation publicly available and provide a forum for sharing and discussing best practices and exchanging code examples.
6. publish a roadmap for their API development and encourage participation in the development of that roadmap.
7. make their APIs accessible to nonprofits at a level that does not require extensive technical expertise to leverage those APIs.
Some of you may know that I have roots in a community called Planetwork that has had an interest in ‘alternative’ currency and the role that digital identity could play a role in a emergent currency systems.
So, today my interest was peaked by this e-mail from Biz Stone at Twitter talking about an interesting new application being built on twitter.
Do You Owe Someone A Beer?
Foamee.com is a fun IOU system built on Twitter that helps you track who you owe beers to (and vice versa). All you have to do is follow the account “ioubeer” and then send it @replies. So, say you owe me a beer for helping you change a flat tire, this is what you’d send to Twitter:
@ioubeer @biz for helping me change that flat tire
Then, your IOU will show up on the front page at foamee.com. There’s even a way to tell it when that beer has been redeemed. I think a root beer version is in the works. Maybe even a latte version? Those are foamy too. Dan Cederholm of SimpleBits design is the mastermind behind this fanciful creation. We think it’s really cool. Thanks Dan, we owe you a frosty one!
From the company that brought you the C programming language comes Hancock, a C variant developed by AT&T researchers to mine gigabytes of the company’s telephone and internet records for surveillance purposes.
An AT&T research paper published in 2001 and unearthed today by Andrew Appel at Freedom to Tinker shows how the phone company uses Hancock-coded software to crunch through tens of millions of long distance phone records a night to draw up what AT&T calls “communities of interest” — i.e., calling circles that show who is talking to whom.
The system was built in the late 1990s to develop marketing leads, and as a security tool to see if new customers called the same numbers as previously cut-off fraudsters — something the paper refers to as “guilt by association.”
This is quite an interesting case and highlights a flaw that can occur when people who use Creative Commons work.
A Texas family has sued Creative Commons after their teenaged daughter’s photo was used in an ad campaign for Virgin Mobile Australia. The photo had been taken by the girl’s youth counselor, who put it on Flickr, and chose a CC Attribution license, which allows for commercial use. Virgin did, in fact, attribute the photo to the photographer, fulfilling the terms of the license, but the family is still suing Virgin Mobile Australia and Creative Commons.
The photographer can license the work under CC (for comercial or non-comercial purposes) but that does not mean that the person in the photo has licensed their image to be used.
They should not be suing CC but instead Virgin Mobile because they failed to get permission from her to use her image.
I actually had this happen to me. An image was taken of me at HollyHock and the next year I went to the site to check out their programs I found out I was their new poster girl. I would have given them permission to use my image had they asked but they didn’t.