Posts Tagged ‘Conference’

Memories of 2012 inaugural Soapbox User Summit

Can you believe it? It’s been one year since we had our inaugural Soapbox User Summit, but I still remember April 19, 2012 like it was yesterday. We had all the PICnetters together from near and far. We had Gunner from Aspiration Tech facilitate and clients attend from DC, Maryland, Connecticut, and New York.  

We voted on our own session ideas, broke out into small groups, mingled with the Support Department at PICnet, had a gorgeous location and beautiful weather, and got to learn from accidental techies about their successes and struggles with technology for their own organizations.

Soapbox User Summit session ideas

It was certainly a productive, worthwhile way to spend a day in Washington, DC. Read more »


Our Clients Rock: Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council – Valentine’s Day edition

At PICnet, we love what we do. Deeply. And the prime numero uno reason for this is that we work with great clients who are rocking the world for social good.

Here is the first in an occasional series of personal little love notes from a PICnetter to one of our clients. Consider this inaugural post a celebration of Valentine’s Day on our blog with our own Julie Dennis sending this the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s way.

Who is the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council?

GPAC logoGreater Pittsburgh Arts Council, or GPAC, is a membership-based organization that represents more than 2,500 individuals in the Pittsburgh area.  Using a three-pronged approach of obtaining political, financial, and professional support, they provide a space for artists to post jobs, attend classes, seek legal and business advice, and network.

Why Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council rocks

Read more »


And the #1 Reason to Attend the Soapbox User Summit Is…

The Soapbox User Summit is dangerously close, but it’s not too late to throw your hat in the ring. At long last, we’ve come to the end of our countdown for the top 7 reasons why you can’t afford to miss this whopper of an event. This is without question the most critical and compelling argument we could muster …

Reason #1: Everyone goes home with their own penguin

You’ll walk away from SUS12 with a new best friend and accidental techie, Phil Penn Gwynn, who can be that inflatable birdie on your shoulder as you tackle the latest and greatest updates to your website. What more could you ask for?

We can’t wait to welcome you on April 19th!

If you haven’t already, register now (while supplies last hehe).


Reason #2 for crashing the Soapbox User Summit party

One week until the entire PICnet team descends upon DC for the Soapbox User Summit! Why should you join in?

Reason #2: Offer your ideas for improving Soapbox

One of the biggest benefits of working with PICnet is that you are teamed up with folks pushing the envelope of non-profit technology and developing cutting-edge tools to keep your mission on track. We’re always glad to hear from you on how we can improve Soapbox so you can better meet your mission. Soapbox User Summit attendees will get a chance to chime in with their suggestions while picking the brains of the engineers and designers behind the product. Talk about tapping the source!

Don’t miss the Soapbox User Summit on April 19th, register today!..

Stay tuned for the #1 reason why SUS12 should be on your calendar.


Reason #3 to Attend the Soapbox User Summit

Only two weeks until the Non-Profit Soapbox event of the year!  Why should you attend?

Reason #3: You’ll get to meet Brad, our Support Developer Guru

To know Brad is to love him.  You’ve had the pleasure of engaging with the charming Brad Grochowski via email.  Some of you might even be lucky enough to chat with him on the phone.  Put a face to the name and meet the man behind PICnet’s smiling support desk.

Brad will be around to let you know how to get the most out of PICnet’s support service, which is really the cornerstone of the Non-Profit Soapbox model.

You’ll also get to meet the rest of the PICnet team, so register today!

Stay tuned for the next 2 reasons why you shouldn’t miss SUS12.


Dreaming of Dreamforce

While Tony and I held down the DC PICnet “fort,” four PICnetters attended the Salesforce conference, known as Dreamforce. This three and a half day conference offered Tim, Ryan, Lauren, and Mel the chance to learn more about Salesforce (the leading CRM solution for non-profits), while also sponsoring a booth and networking with other conference attendees. Furthermore, Melanie passed the Salesforce Administrator Certification test which means PICnet can now be officially identified as a Salesforce Foundation partner! Congratulations, Mel!

The way the conference worked was this: each participant chose a different track that best fit his or her interests (sales professional, developer, non-profit) and attended sessions based on those interests.  But the best part of the conference had to be the social gatherings which included performances by Metallica and tunes spun by Will.I.Am.  I can’t wait until everyone is back in the office on Tuesday of next week to hear more. Until then, I can only dream of how awesome Dreamforce was!


We Make Penguins Fly

What can we say? We’re a sucker for a little penguin humor – especially being fresh off the 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference packed with our 75 3 and 1/2-foot tall inflatable penguins that filled the grand ballroom and achieved a bit of music video star status (2:14, 2:33).

So when Paul Wessel with CT Parent Power passed along today’s comic strip from Mother Goose and Grimm by Mike Peters , we just had to share:

Mother Goose Penguins Flying

Want your organization’s website to do more than dream? Learn how we make penguins fly, enabling our non-profits’ sites to take wing and soar to meet their needs.

Thanks for keeping us smiling, Paul!  We look forward to your new site taking flight with us in the near future!


Where in the world is Ryan? Mongolia

Conference dates: September 30-October 1 Where:  Joomla!Day, Ulan Bator, Mongolia

One of the most exciting trips I’ve been able to make this year was earlier this fall when I traveled around the world to Mongolia for their Joomla!Day. There was a great mix of attendees in addition to the usual Joomla! Enthusiasts; including B. Dolgor, the head of the cabinet secretariat for the Mongolian federal government; USAID Mongolia; Mr. T. Altansukh, leader of the Mongolian translation team; and university students.

I was pleased to give one of the keynotes again at this conference and emphasized the impressive achievement of the Joomla! community in Mongolia translating the entire project into Mongolian. I also celebrated the successful adoption of Joomla! across all federal agencies with B. Dolgor. After sharing information from the Joomla! leadership team on the future of project, we highlighted the community’s  potential to make an impact on the global Joomla! community now that they had overcome their biggest obstacle: language barriers.

Next steps for Mongolian Joomla! Community users is to help small businesses through this powerful open-source software, as well as to increase transparency in the federal government. Joomla! Can be an empowering tool that leads to a new way of life – and that’s something we can all be proud to be part of.

Read more about the conference here.

Check out a video interview of me in Mongolia!


Open-source devving it up in Oakland

Non-Profit Software Developer Summit 2009A few weeks ago I previewed Dev Summit here on the blog, extending an invite for you to go west and learn from some of the best of the best.

There are few events where I get such a great opportunity to meet key individuals in the community, and learn as much hands-on information, and this year’s Dev Summit came through once again. The event was held in Oakland, Calif. from Nov. 18-20, attended by non-profit software developers, evangelists, and technology users.

I was fortunate to speak with Nate Aune from Jazkarta and share stories about building successful businesses around open-source software and the non-profit sector.  I  also had a chance to engage in discussions with Michelle Murrain of OpenIssues, who shared her thoughts on the open-source CMS landscape for the non-profit sector. Ron Severdia, a member of the Joomla! leadership team, also spoke to the group about  design principles and the upcoming Joomla 1.6 user interface.

There were so many more great folks there that I want to give shout outs to, but there is so little time to say thanks to all of them! Aside from hearing from some of these great people, I spoke on a number of key topics, including open-source CMSs, utilizing cloud services, the Joomla! project, and open-source business models that could support our sector. I was most impressed by the terrific feedback and engagement in the open-source business models session, where participants helped share lessons learned and best practices in achieving success while also building sound business models.

You can visit the event wiki to see all the great notes taken during the sessions.


Where in the world is Ryan? … Brazil

Conference dates: September 12; 14 Where: Joomla!Day Brazil; DevinRio

In September, I had the great opportunity to attend two different conferences in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and once again, both were amazing experiences. First up, I went to Joomla!Day Brazil to meet up with Joomla! enthusiasts from a wide range of backgrounds, businesses, the government and nonprofits. I was especially excited to meet Paulino Michelazzo, the president of Fabrica Livre, an open source consulting firm in Sao Paulo.

Similar to what I said in my keynote speech for Joomla!Day South Africa, I gave an update to conference attendees on Joomla! leadership and the drive toward increased transparency in open source matters, and I shared lessons learned from outside the Brazilian community. And then I had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of NGOs in Brazil and how they use Joomla! It’s pretty cool to hear about all the various ways that this software is being utilized around the world.

A couple of days later, I attended DevinRio, a conference specifically for developers with a focus on open-source software. Among the people I had the chance to meet were Guilherme Chapiewski of, a large media conglomerate; and my buddy Rodrigo Spillere, the young developer I met earlier this year at FISL 10. At this conference, I shared lessons learned from building an open-source community around an open-source project, while keeping in mind the user and community experience when writing code – because usability and constituent feedback are key to providing the best experience possible.

Dev in Rio 2009 – Ryan Ozimek e Coding Dojo from Guilherme Chapiewski on Vimeo.

In a nutshell, I was able to explain, as one attendee said, “the secret sauce of the Joomla! community success and show how open-source projects are improving the landscape of technology and helping to change the world.”