Archive for May, 2009

Non-Profit Soapbox 2.0.4 rolls off the assembly line

In early April 2009, we launched Soapbox 2.0, a system that allows organizations to enjoy the power of  Joomla! 1.5 without needing to worry about common open source hurdles, like installation, hosting, and full-service support.   It also consists of some awesome new components that Joomla! lacks out-of-the-box, such as our Taxonomy 1.0.

Just 30 minutes ago, we officially launched Soapbox 2.0.4, which gave us an opportunity to improve some key functions within our Taxonomy extension.  These improvements will make our Soapbox clients quite happy, and include key updates like the creation of  hierarchical term (or tag) structure for your content with a slick implementation of RSS feeds per term. You can also change the view of the term to be like Joomla’s Category List Layout or Section Blog Layout.

What does all this mean?  It means that you can now provide several ways for your audience to view an article/page without duplication, maintain a list of terms/tags without overcrowding your tag cloud, and better meet your audience’s hunger for specific tag-specific information.

Enjoy it! I know these folks will – Behind the Green.


PICnet ally, Free Range Studios, hits front page of NY Times

At PICnet, we like working with the best of the non-profit technology community, from CRM providers to graphic designers.  So when our friends strike gold, we’re ecstatic.

This morning, our PICnet DC neighbors, Free Range Studios, received front-page coverage from the New York Times on their video “Story of Stuff“, an acclaimed production with inspiration and direction from Annie Leonard.

From the NY Times’ lead:

The thick-lined drawings of the Earth, a factory and a house, meant to convey the cycle of human consumption, are straightforward and child-friendly. So are the pictures of dark puffs of factory smoke and an outlined skull and crossbones, representing polluting chemicals floating in the air.

Which is one reason “The Story of Stuff,” a 20-minute video about the effects of human consumption, has become a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation.

Congratulations to the Free Range Studios team on this terrific achievement!  Happy hour celebration in DC this week?


Spreading the Joomla word in Brazil

There’s few countries that have embraced the power and promise of open source software as much a Brazil, so I’m more than excited that I’ve been invited to speak at CMS Brasil and Fórum Internacional de Software Livre 10 (FISL), along with my Joomla! colleague Anthony Ferrara.

CMS BrasilThe CMS Brasil conference (June 20, 2009) will be a convening of about 550 open source CMS enthusiasts, with strong focus on the Joomla!, Drupal, and WordPress communities.  While my Portuguese is only as good as my Spanish (not that great), you can check out the schedule as well as keep in touch with the event messaging on Twitter.

Fórum Internacional de Software LivreThe FISL is kicking off on June 24, 2009, in the hip Porto Alegre.  I’ll be speading the word about Joomla! and sharing insight into our growing community.  Additionally, I’ll be sharing some insight from research and future thoughts on the Joomla! community from my Open Source Matters seat.

With more than 3,700 registered attendees, I’m sure it’s going to be an awe inspiring site of open source at work.  You can follow the conference’s events on Twitter.  Of course, with the co-founder of Pirate Bay and Richard Stallman in attendance, you can expect some interesting discussions on the conference floor.

Looking forward to seeing our Brazilian (and worldwide) Joomla! friends at these great events.  Ping me if you’ll be there.


OneWorld hosts conference call on the best of NTC 2009

OneWorld LogoIf you didn’t get a chance to make it to the Non-Profit Technology conference (NTC), or were too busy schmoozing in the hallways during the sessions, OneWorld’s got you covered.  Roshani Kothari, a good friend of PICnet for many years, is leading a conference call this Thursday (May 7, 2009) at 4pm ET to share some key takeaways from the popular non-profit techie event.

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the following topics:

  • 2009 will go down as the year integration really took off in the NPO sector;
  • A great technology conference where the developers and technologists actively listened to the users’ needs;
  • Open source software is needed more now than ever…and is more popular than ever before.

My fellow panelists include:

The teleconference is free open to staff of OneWorld partners.


The making of the PICnet Science Fair booth

Each year, the Non-Profit Technology conference (NTC) provides vendors and consultants an opportunity to stand out and show their true colors.  We tend to find ways to stand out a bit more than others, and thought we’d share a little behind the scenes look at our work.

Remember, your goal is to be memorable, so push yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Don’t make a booth, make an experience

You want your visitors to feel your booth.  Literally, give them something to touch.

Shed the typical corporate schwag, focus on something fun

You can give away pens and buttons, but sometimes, going a little further is helpful.  How about a 3 foot tall inflatable penguin that can make anyone a hero for their favorite kid?

Penguins rock the PICnet booth (credit: Chad Norman)

Penguins rock the PICnet booth (credit: Chad Norman)

Dress the part

If you’re going to show up with a penguins, you’re probably not going to be able to arrive in a button-down, embroidered company shirt.  Take it to the next level, and shed the corporate duds.

Catching a cab to the NTC 2009

Catching a cab to the NTC 2009

Make an entrance that stands out

There’s no better way to complete the full science fair booth scene than to make a strong entrance to your booth.

So there you go, a little wrap-up of the making of the PICnet Science Fair booth.  Looking forward to seeing your ideas in 2010!


PICnet and penguins enjoy NTC 2009

In what was a terrific non-stop event, PICnetters from across the country descended on the 2009 Non-Profit Technology conference (NTC), April 26-28.

The events started with the Science Fair on Sunday, an opportunity to share with the community the offerings different companies and organizations have for the sector.  We at PICnet have tended to avoid the typical corporate booth, and instead opted for a little spin on the event.  Penguins, traveling more than 20,000 miles to make it to the NTC to remind folks the power of Joomla! and open source software!

PICnet NTC 2009 Science Fair Booth

PICnet NTC 2009 Science Fair Booth

It’s not an NTC with some help from our flightless friends from Antartica.  Despite the recession and the macro economic woes in their way, the penguins pushed north to San Francisco for another year of hijinks.  Nice to have Eben Moglen speaking to the NTC crowd the day of the penguin mass arrival.

PICnet penguins hold court at the NTC 2009

PICnet penguins hold court at the NTC 2009

With our focus on Joomla!, CMSes, and integrations, I wanted to make sure we had a chance to spread the word at a variety of sessions.  While at the NTC, I spoke at the following sessions (more follow-up soon!):

  • Joomla, Drupal, and Plone comparisons
  • CMS sewing circle
  • CRM sewing circle
  • CMS pain points session (great wiki information forthcoming)

We’ll be posting more of our feedback on the different sessions we attended and participated in shortly.  The NTC 2009 was yet another example of the terrific work of the NTEN team and the great leadership of Holly Ross!