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Showing posts from 2012

Finally, I'm a Judge - it's Taggie time!

Fair warning: I'm one of the many judges of this year's program! The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards Program (a.k.a. The Taggies ) just opened its fourth awards cycle with the addition of an Advocacy Campaign Tagline category. Nonprofits and libraries everywhere are invited to enter their organizational tagline in the program, plus any tagline they’ve created to advance programs, fundraising campaigns, advocacy campaigns and/or special events. The 2,700 taglines entered in the 2010 Awards were a bounty of skillful messages and this year’s entries are expected to be equally powerful. “A relevant tagline does double-duty—working to extend an organization’s name and mission, while delivering a memorable and motivating message to the people whose help it needs,” says awards program organizer Nancy E. Schwartz. “But our recent Nonprofit Messages Survey showed just 29% of organizations have a tagline that connects and spurs action. “The biennial Awards program is

A or B?

I read the recent Wired Magazine article on A/B testing websites and like many of you, I wondered to myself if it was actually possible to embrace this sort of design philosophy. After talking with my team , we've redoubled our efforts to design core Key Performance Indicators ("KPIs") in an attempt to actually start using A/B testing as a regular process for updating our site navigation, design choices and whatever else we want to change. It's a disorienting thing, removing subjectivity from the design process. My background as a designer makes me one of those people who can look at a screen and make grand proclamations about where things should be and what they should say. It's something I'm determined to stop doing. I will be honest, it is hard to stop. Either way, we've devised a series of "top level" KPIs designed to measure overall site effectiveness - and we've limited it to 5 measurements. Yes, of course we'll design second

1-2-3 TEAM

My older daughter is playing on a high school sports team and frankly, I'm surprised at how little focus there has been on the "team"  as opposed to what seems to be a singular focus on individuals. I know some of it is normal; lots of in-fighting, jealousy and misunderstandings between kids who are all eager to do well. However, the overall feeling I get so far from observing things is that the school and coaches have simply forgotten that they should be teaching "team first" concepts. Most of these kids will end their sports careers in the next 2/3 years, especially the girls. I've been talking to more and more parents and am hearing that girls in particular drop off teams and for spring sports, rarely play out their senior season. I'm unsure if  this is a generalization or a trend but it seems to be more true than false. The chances of playing college level team sports is slim - which is of course why some players continually focus on their indi

Experts, Expertise and Execution

I used to be an expert. I knew HTML. I was a Photoshop Master of the Universe. I learned how to configure an ISDN router (and it worked). I had time to think about SEO, about how the web worked, about file optimization and video CODECs. Remember when the best web designers and coders built pages that were less than 25k... less than 10k... I remember. Stuff has gotten really complicated lately. And even worse, I feel the Glaze . (the "Glaze" as Mark Bowden refers to it in his incredible book "Worm," is THAT LOOK you get when trying to explain something technical to someone non-technical). The Glaze I get is that non-committal, yea dude, keep talking sort of look when I get really excited about some new technology, idea or concept. The problem is that we're in the land of "we don't actually know what will work and what will not work" when it comes to Internet marketing "stuff" and non-profit fundraising. Yes, we're still here som

Hacking Autism

I have been working a lot on a passion project called "Hacking Autism" which has led me down some really interesting roads and led to some very cool conversations. I visited University of Michigan and saw demos of Microsoft Kinect games built for kids with autism. I've talked with game designers about gaming as therapy for autism. I've contemplated social games, social networking, touch technologies and more; all in relation to those on the spectrum. This is an extremely exciting time for autism and technology. The explosion of iOS and mobile apps is literally the tip of the iceberg. Check out for more and get ready to "hack autism." I'm trying to pull off a hackathon in June with the Random Hacks of Kindness folks, and am excited to see what sort of traction we'll get. Are you a hacker? A game designer? A project manager? A parent or a child with autism, or perhaps someone on the spectrum yourself? Get involved at the RHoK s