December Nonprofit Tech Events in Vancouver

Hey friends, there’s lots of great events for the nonprofit tech community. Check ’em out! Or for the latest updates join our group on Facebook and follow us on twitter at #Net2van.


Most NetSquared events are free, so don’t be shy – come join us!

Better Data Visualization Using Excel: Hands-On Workshop

When: Tuesday, December 6

Better data visualization (using some of the more advanced features in Excel to create graphs and charts that are easy to interpret. We get hands-on, so bring your laptop. We’ll be working together with a shared phony data set.

Understanding the New Top-Level Domains (TLDs)

When: Tuesday, January 10

The way web addresses work is in the midst of a revolution. After 20 years of .com, .org, .ca and a few others, there are now more than a thousand new top-level-domains available for use. Today you can register a web address at .vip, .ketchup or .swiss. What does this shift mean for orgs? How can your organization explore the opportunities that all these new top-level domains represent?


NGO HO HO: A holiday party for Victoria’s non-profits

When: Friday, December 2

On December 2nd join us for the annual NGO HO HO – the holiday party for Victoria’s non-profit community. There will be live music by the Reuben Wier Quartet, drinks, late night bites, face painting, photo booth with Xavier Photography, and best of all – a room full of people who are involved with making Victoria such an awesome city.

Social Media Surgery: Hands on advice & help

When: Saturday, January 14

The basic idea of a Social Media Surgery is that it’s an informal event where anyone in the community with questions about how to use social media (“patients”) can come and sit down with someone who is more experienced in that area (“surgeons”, aka “doctors” as we would say) and get friendly, personal advice.

Creating Integrated Campaigns – Multi-Channel Marketing in a Multi-Faceted World

When: Tuesday, January 24

There are SO many channels to market your organization online and offline. Where do you start? What’s good strategy? How do you put a campaign together? Learn about a holistic, integrated approach to non-profit campaigns that tie it all together: Direct Mail, Direct Email, Online Advertising, SEO, and Out of Home Ads. Create a smooth donor experience and maximize your brand exposure!


Ladies Learning Code: Vancouver Chapter Lead (Full-Time)

As the Vancouver Manager, you will help shape and significantly grow the Ladies Learning Code and Girls Learning Code programs in Vancouver. You will be expected to work hard to reach the goals and objectives set out below. This will require you to be self-directed, creative, innovative and flexible. Because this is a new role, you will help determine what strategies and efforts are required to get the job done.

If you have a job to share reach out on Twitter using the hashtag #net2van.


Got a nonprofit tech event that should be in the next newsletter? Let us know! Tweet at us using the hashtag #net2van.

3 Event Reporting Tools for Non-Bloggers

NetSquared’s local organizers hold over 450 nonprofit technology events annually. The best way to participate is to attend in person but our organizers also create event reports so that they can share the lessons learned with a global audience. You can find many of those event summaries here on the NetSquared blog, but some organizers just don’t like blogging! I’m one of them. For those more visually-oriented organizers the NetSquared community and I have been experimenting with some non-blog ways to document NetSquared local events.

Here are a few tools and techniques that will help you easily create event reports:


NetSquared events create a huge amount of digital ephemera: tweets, slides, videos, links mentioned, photos… offers an online tool that helps you collect your event’s online clutter and shape it into a coherent story using a drag and drop interface. Here’s an example from Vancouver’s January event with Cambridge organizer Mel Findlater.

Google+ Hangouts

Several NetSquared groups have been streaming their events using Google+ Hangouts and then automatically uploading the event to youtube. Amanda in Burlington has been doing this regularly as has Judy Hallman in North Carolina. For an example of a more complex, multi-city event streamed via Google+ Hangouts check out the four city NetSquared Downunder camp organized by our team in Australia and New Zealand.

Live screencast recordings

The newest and laziest form of event reporting I’ve recently discovered is to create a screencast from your event. This is a perfect solution for demos and other presentations that feature slides or a lot of on-screen activity. You use screencasting software (here’s 12 options from free to expensive – I used Screenflow) to record a video of all on-screen activity and record audio using the computer’s built-in microphone. Now you have a file with presentation audio and video that you can upload to youtube or video. It’s SUPER easy as long as you set-up your presenter’s computer ahead of time! Check out this example from Vancouver’s data visualization event.

Visualizing data using maps and other tools – NetTuesday Vancouver from Mack Hardy on Vimeo.

How do you document your events? Please share your favorite tricks and tools in the comments.

NetSquared December update

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last month in my gig as NetSquared Local Community Curator.

NetSquared snowglobe
It’s December, which means we’re on the last page of our calendar. Team NetSquared is working hard to wrap-up some this year’s projects. We’ve now completed all seven of our NetSquared Camps and have just one more Global Leadership Council meeting left. But just because some things are coming to an end there’s no reason for tears – rather let’s reflect back on what we’ve learned over the year and share the gift of knowledge on the Washington DC group’s quora page.

The future of NetSquared

The recent reorganization of NetSquared sees the emergence of a unified content and community team for both the NetSquared and TechSoup brands. Sheetal Singh is our new TechSoup champion, taking over from Billy Bicket who is going to take on platform work.

What does that all mean to NetSquared organizers? I’ll be able to share more by mid-December when Sheetal sends her community update, but in the short-term you’ll start to see a regular stream of new content on the NetSquared community blog.

NetSquared Camps

This fall’s major initiative was the NetSquared Camps, which were seven regional unconferences and workshops produced by our local organizer network. The camps were an amazing opportunity to expand the NetSquared local experience from a brief daytime or evening event into an all-day extravaganza. It was also a great excuse for us to get local organizers together for face-to-face meetings, since the big lesson from the Global Leadership Council experiment this year was that we can kickstart inter-organizer relationships by getting people together in the same room. Which, honestly, shouldn’t have been too much of a shock since that’s the key insight that keeps all of us local organizers doing our meetups from month to month.

Each of the camp organizers has written a blog post sharing their insights, photos and video. There are lots of great ideas to steal for your own events!


The tenth release of the NetSquared platform is now live. Many of the changes were beneath the hood, but you’ll definitely notice the improvements to the community blog. We’re now randomly featuring bloggers from the local network. You may see your face next time you go to!

NetSquared organizers as bloggers

Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest

The Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest invites both new and seasoned developers to create an app for “social good” – and you could win cash prizes to help fuel your dream and keep it going!

There are already five entries in the contest. Check out their project pages and use the social share buttons on the one you think is coolest.

Note: the contest is only open to residents of the USA. But anyone can vote and share!

December events

A quick scan shows ten events happening across the NetSquared local network. That’s a big drop from the 21 in November… Curse those holidays! 🙂

NetSquared: what have I done for the last two months?

It’s been two months since I joined Marc and Anka on the NetSquared community team. But what have I been up to? It’s time to report back.

I started off with a survey to the NetSquared Local organizers, which helped us focus our work initiated by the 100 Day Challenge.

Survey Results and Actions

What you said

You want to bring local organizers together.
connection chart

What we did

We launched the Regional Gathering Fund to fund NetSquared Camps that will bring local organizers together for face-to-face meetings.

What you said

You want event recipes and templates.
Recipe chart

What we did

We’ve been updating the Organizer’s Handbook, have tested the Social Media Surgery format (inspired by organizers in Manchester, Adelaide and Burlington) and will be publishing a new event format called a Tool Jam to the wiki for September 2012. The Tool Jam is a rapid introduction to the software tools used by members of the social benefit technology community, and is inspired by the Ignite and PechaKucha format.

In Progress

You asked for regional Google+ hangouts. We haven’t delivered on these yet, although the NetSquared team has been offering experimental office hours.
Regional hangout chart

Items of less interest

The survey showed that there was less interest in these areas. We’ll ignore them for now!

  • Peer mentorships
  • best practice webinars

What Else?

In addition to following up on the tasks identified in the survey, the NetSquared team has been hard at work on our ongoing project, which is to act as cheerleaders for the amazing work local organizers are doing in their communities. We’re doing that by highlighting NetSquared Local organizers in our monthly Digital Bites newsletter and by launching the new NetSquared platform, which will feature dedicated pages for each of our local groups and automatically import your events into the site.

Complete Survey Data

Taking local to the next level

Taking Local to the Next Level

Strengthening your local group

Strenthening your local group

Eli at the NTEN’s NTC conference

I joined the NetSquared Global Leadership Council at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference. Good times!

But I was ambushed by Vanessa Rhinesmith, who interviewed me and fellow meetup leader April Kyle.

I joined the NetSquared Global Leadership Council at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference. Good times!

But I was ambushed by Vanessa Rhinesmith, who interviewed me and fellow meetup leader April Kyle.

NetSquared Camp 2012

What is NetSquared Camp?

NetSquared Camp is a daylong unconference put on by the friendly folks that host the monthly Net Tuesday meetups in Vancouver.  Net Tuesday brings together social media users and web innovators with social change makers and nonprofits to swap stories, mix ideas, and build new relationships.  The aim is to empower non-profits with emerging tools, trends, and best-practices, allowing them to fulfill their mission statements in new and innovative ways.

The first NetSquared Camp had over 160 people in attendance.  The space at this event is limited to 80, so register early.

Who should come?

  • Non-profit people: learn more about utilizing technology to further your cause.
  • Web developers and social media people: share your best practices and find organizations that need your help.
  • Marketing people: assist non-profits in building strategic connections between their causes and their audiences.


This is an unconference, so you decide what want you want to discuss, share, explore, and learn.  Topics that Net Tuesday has covered over the last year include:

  • Should your nonprofit be selling merchandise?
  • Applications of location-based technology services
  • Managing volunteers with software and soft skills
  • How nonprofits win with word-of-mouth marketing
  • Redesigning your website: what you need to know
  • Flexing Facebook’s civic muscles
  • Delivering services through e-Learning
  • Google Analytics
  • Network organizations create better online campaigns

When, Where, and How Much?

NetSquared Camp 2012 will be held at The HiVE in downtown Vancouver, on Saturday, April 28 2012.  Early bird tickets cost $20; regular tickets are $25.  Register now on Eventbrite!

A video taste of the 2010 NetSquared Camp

Net Tuesday meetup: Network organizations create better online campaigns

Net Tuesday is proud to have Communicopia’s Jason Mogus presenting at our February 7 meetup. NOTE: We expect this event to be very popular, so registration is capped. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance.


There has been a sea change recently creating new models for how social change organizations (or start up businesses) structure themselves to accomplish a social good. Network organizations, typically those “born after the Internet”, are smaller, nimble, less hierarchical, highly collaborative and deeply social by nature. Their leadership, culture, structure, programs, and outcomes are often quite different from those of traditionally structured NGO’s.

As these structures are more aligned with the fundamental organizing principles of the web, done right this enables these organizations to punch far above their weight online. In this session we will discuss:

  • the differences between network orgs and more traditional NGO’s
  • why network orgs are an adaptation to the unique challenges and opportunities of our times
  • why traditional NGO’s struggle with managing digital innovation
  • why network orgs create better online campaigns – including many examples!
  • some fundamental principles of network centric campaigns

Jason Mogus photo

Come with your own examples and expect a fulsome discussion on the benefits and limitations of this controversial hypothesis.


W2 Media Cafe
111 W Hastings, Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Doors at 5:30 PM
Starts at 6:00 PM
Wraps at 7:30 PM

Jason Mogus is the principal strategist of Communicopia, a Gastown based firm that has been leading transformative digital projects for social change institutions since 1993. Jason has worked with some highly successful network orgs, including the TckTckTck climate coalition, Nothing But Nets campaign, and Web of Change, as well as for many large NGO’s, governments, and sustainable businesses both locally and globally. For a full bio:

Suggested background reading:


What is the Internet Help Desk?

Tap the wisdom of Vancouver’s experts in nonprofit technology and marketing!  These NetSquared volunteer consultants will be staffing a desk and are available to answer any question in their field. Don’t miss the opportunity to pick their brains for free.

Internet Help Desk consultants:

  • Ben Johnson, Union Gospel Mission:  Visualizing data
  • Jenny Silver, David Suzuki Foundation –  Customizing Facebook
  • Heather Murray, David Suzuki Foundation – Crafting better emails
… and more to come!

Got a skill to share? Sign-up to be an Internet Help Desk consultant:

Social sharing copy for NetSquared Camp Vancouver

NetSquared logoAlready RSVPed for NetSquared Camp Vancouver? Hooray!

As of this evening 71 people have registered, but we’re got room for more! Please invite your friends to join us at NetSquared Camp. Feel free to use the copy below (or draft your own message.)

Social sharing copy


I’m going to a cool summer camp and I think you should too. NetSquared Camp is a free, one-day event where nonprofits meet geeks to develop practical skills in social media, marketing, communications, design and technology. You bring your questions and professional challenges. We’ll table them with your peers and some of Vancouver’s brightest to workshop actionable applications for social change. NetSquared Vancouver: by sharing knowledge, experience and best practices, we can all make exponential gains for social good. RSVP for your ticket to practical, positive change:


I’m going to a cool summer camp and I think you should too. NetSquared Camp is a free, one-day event where nonprofits meet geeks to develop practical skills in social media, marketing, communications, design and technology.

TWITTER (Our hashtag is #n2camp )

#Nonprofits meet geeks to make gains for social good. #NetSquared Camp #Vancouver is free and fabulous:

>17 characters remaining for reTweets