Webinar – Transforming Communities through Apps – 2012-10-25

Webinar – Transforming Communities through Apps – 2012-10-25


Crystal: Thank you for joining
us today for our TechSoup webinar, “Transforming Communities through
Apps.” Welcome to everyone who’s here. Today we’re going to be exploring
the wide world of apps, what they are, how nonprofits and libraries can use them,
and what strategies your organization can take in using and developing apps. Just a little bit of housekeeping before
we begin. I will be using chat for questions and comments today. The chat will go
to those of us who are presenting only, but if you put any comments in the chat
we will re-post them up to the group. We’ll also be tracking the
questions that you put in there, and we’ll have two question-and-answer
periods during the webinar. So go ahead and ask your questions as they
come up and we will keep track of them. If you happen to lose your connection
either by phone or by Internet, just rejoin either using the link that we
emailed to you, or you can redial the phone number and rejoin. Some of you may be
listening on your computer speakers, but if that quality is not good in audio,
then you can also call using the number that’s listed at the very bottom of
the screen right now, or in the chat. If you’re having technical difficulties, you can
also call the ReadyTalk support listed on this slide. Now also a warning that you are being recorded
today, and this seminar will be available on the TechSoup website. It will be archived
along with other previous webinar presentations. Now all of you will receive
a link to this presentation, including the presentation materials and
links, so in case you have to leave early, you’ll be able to catch
up on all of that later on. Now, also, after the webinar
we’ll have a community forum posted where you can ask follow-up questions.
We’re also posting answers to any questions that we’re unable to answer
during the session today. If you happen to be on Twitter,
please use the hash tag #techsoup. So with that, we’re ready to begin
Transforming Communities through Apps. We’ll be talking about a wide variety
of apps today and how you can use them, and why they might benefit your community. I’m
Crystal Schimpf and I’m facilitating the webinar today. I’m a guest webinar producer here at
TechSoup. And we’ve got Ariel Gilbert-Knight as a presenter today. She is
our tech analyst at TechSoup. And she spends her time researching tech and
writing about it for nonprofits and libraries. And we have Becky assisting
us on Chat, so thanks to Becky. And now I’ll go ahead and
hand things over to Ariel. Ariel: Thank you, Crystal. I’m very excited
to be here today. We have a lot to talk about. Quick overview of our agenda,
I’m going to introduce TechSoup and the Transforming Communities project, talk a
little bit about your organization’s app approach. We’re not going to be focusing in depth on
app development, but our next webinar coming up on November 29th will focus on that in detail.
This will be more of a high-level overview of how to approach apps within your organization.
The bulk of the webinar will focus on cool apps you can use right now. And as Crystal
mentioned we’ll have opportunity for questions and
answers from participants. So who is TechSoup? TechSoup is a
501(c)(3) nonprofit. As of June 2012, we’ve served more than 183,000 organizations
and distributed more than 9.7 million software and hardware product donations, total savings
of more than $3 billion in IT expenses, and we’ve done this in 40 countries around
the world. We have over 50 donor partners including Adobe, Cisco, Microsoft, and Symantec.
And there are 469 technology donations available through the TechSoup catalog. TechSoup is part of TechSoup Global, and we’re
working towards the day when every nonprofit, library, and social benefit organization
on the planet has the technology, resources, and knowledge they need to operate at their
full potential. So that’s a little bit about us. Next, I would like to get to know you a little bit.
We have a poll, if you could just answer: Who are you? Do you work for a nonprofit? Do you
work for a library? Do you volunteer? Do you do something else entirely? We have mostly nonprofits, a couple
of libraries, a couple of volunteers, a fair representation from other. It
looks like we had most everybody answer, so I’m going to be closing the poll in a couple of
seconds. So five, four, three, two, one. Alright. The next question I wanted to ask you is to get
a sense for how much you’re already using apps. So do you use apps at your nonprofit
or library, use them all the time, or a little bit, or not
so much, or not at all? Interesting. So we have, well, the largest number
of responses so far are not using apps at all. Hopefully that will change after today, after you
see all the awesome apps we’re going to show you. And then most of everybody else is somewhere in
between, using a little bit or not a whole lot. And we have a few app experts
who are using them all the time. Alright. I’ll be closing the poll
in five, four, three, two, one. My goal is for that not-at-all number to
go down a whole lot after this. Alright. So before we get much further, I
figure we should define what an app is. App is short for application, which basically
just means software but generally apps are smaller pieces of software with
limited and targeted functionality. So we’re not talking about a
full Microsoft Office Suite, just a little bit of software
that does something interesting. Mobile apps are usually what we
think of when we think of apps. These are the stand-alone apps that
you download onto your mobile device, so things like Foursquare or a search
app. And the examples we have here, we have the Bing search app shown.
But apps can also be plug-ins that add on to an existing tool’s
functionality, like a browser plug-in or widgets that you add to your website, like a widget
that shows your organization’s live Twitter feed on your website. They can also be
templates, like a SharePoint template that allows you to more easily create
and manage content for your website. So it’s not just mobile apps, though that is
often what we talk about when we talk about apps. I also wanted to tell you about the
Transforming Communities Project. Transforming Communities is a
Microsoft-funded initiative here at TechSoup that builds on what TechSoup and Microsoft
already learned through a previous project called App It Up, which we wound
up at the beginning of this year. Through App It Up, we learned what
apps nonprofits and libraries are using and the apps they wish they had. And
now, with this next stage of the project, we’re working to make that wish list a reality.
This next stage of the project is focused on creating a scalable approach to understanding
the needs of nonprofits and libraries and supporting the identification and development
of technologies that can address those needs. It’s an awful lot of words.
What exactly does that entail? There are a number of different
components to the project. One is app curation, so that will involve identifying
and sharing interesting apps that nonprofits and libraries can use, talking about
how organizations are already using apps, giving case studies of the practical day-to-day use
of apps, as always, discussing app best practices such as your organization’s
app and mobile strategy. We’re going to be doing this on the
App It Up Transforming Communities page which is what’s shown here, on the TechSoup
site, as well as on the TechSoup blog. And we’ll send links to both of those
in the follow-up email after the webinar. The other cool things that we’re going
to be up to are actually developing apps, so we won’t just be talking about
apps. So we really do love doing that. We’ll also be helping to create new ones,
and we don’t want to just help develop apps. We want to help create a sustainable model for
nonprofit and library app development, distribution, and adoption. So we’re not just going to create an
app at hackathon or for a particular organization, but we want to help create a way
to develop and broadly share apps that address pressing needs
for nonprofits and libraries. The first app we’re working on is called Safe
Night. It’s being developed in partnership with the nonprofit technology
organization AidMatrix, and in cooperation with the Domestic
Violence Prevention Community in San Diego. So Safe Night is a cloud, mobile, and web-based
service that will allow domestic violence shelters to find discounted hotel rooms and
crowd-source funds to pay for the hotel rooms when shelter space is unavailable.
It’s really very, very cool. The other things we’ll be doing are
transforming communities via Hacking for Good. So hackathons and challenges are
designed to identify social needs and create technology solutions to meet those
needs. And we’ll be running a series of events designed to engage the community in
identifying, developing, and creating apps. We had a hackathon, our
first one, back in September that was focused on identifying
technology solutions that support youth. And a lot of really great ideas
came from the community there. We’ll also be holding a Windows 8 Apps
for Good contest starting in November, so stay tuned. We’ll be sharing more
information about that soon on TechSoup. We’ve also developed some tools to help support
community leaders, nonprofits, libraries, and civic-minded techies do good more efficiently.
We’re doing this in conjunction with NetSquared which is a platform to connect people
and projects for the common good. What I’m showing here is a Hacker
Helper wiki which we developed. This provides resources in support of
community technology for good events like the hackathons and challenges I mentioned
earlier. So if for example, there’s a hackathon around civic engagement issues, community
leaders and hackathon participants could use the Hacker Helper to
get a quick briefing on the issues, as well as to see what other technology efforts
are already out there addressing these issues. The hope is both to inspire participants of the
possibilities and to avoid duplication of effort where there’s already a good solution
that might address a particular need. So that’s what we’ve been up to.
Clearly we’re really into apps, and we want nonprofits and
libraries to share our enthusiasm. So here are just a few reasons why
nonprofits and libraries could use apps. You could use apps to be more productive, to
engage supporters, funders and stakeholders, to get your message out, to get your work done,
and sometimes we hope even to have some fun. But how do you get started using apps? There are a lot of great apps out there already, and
we’ll be talking a lot about those a little bit later in this webinar. But many of you are
probably wondering if your organization should be developing an app. Again, app
development isn’t the focus of this webinar but we will be covering that topic in
our upcoming webinar on November 29, but I did want to share a
few key things to consider. First, whether developing an app is right for your
organization depends on a lot of different factors, but the first thing to keep in mind is
that you don’t want to develop an app just for the sake of having an app. You also
don’t need an app just to provide information about your organization. People
can get that from your website. What you want if you develop an app is
for it to serve a particular purpose. And if you want people to use your app,
they need to have a reason to use it. So I have a couple of quotes on here. One from
Heidi Massey on Beth Kanter’s blog, which is, “If it’s mission-based and
serves the needs of the audience, then an app might be
a worthwhile solution.” The other one, from Amy Sample Ward,
is a little more direct and says, “Unless you have information or data
that people will want to access regularly and will actually help them in their
day-to-day life, an app probably isn’t a fit.” The example Amy Sample Ward
uses in that blog post is if you’re an organization working on clean
water access and conservation, for example, an app that shares facts about
water isn’t interesting or helpful to your audience necessarily, but
an app that helps people geo-locate using their phone’s GPS and navigate to places
where they can refill their water bottle for free is helpful and reinforces
an organization’s mission. So if you do decide to build an app, there
are a number of different things to consider. First, your goals and objectives.
What do you want the app to do? What purpose does it serve as part of your
organization’s overall technology, communications, or fund-raising strategy? Also,
your budget. How much an app costs depends on how sophisticated you want it to be.
I’ve heard estimates of everywhere from $10,000 to well over $30,000 to develop
a professional, high-quality app. There are app tools out there for creating a simple
mobile app that is you want to experiment with and do it yourself, that
would be much less expensive. But in general if you want a sophisticated and
professional mobile app, it’s not going to be cheap. The other thing to think of are your
priorities. Don’t try and overload your app. In most cases, you’ve got about
three inches of screen to work with, so you really need to focus
your app on key actions. You also want to think about your target audience
and get their input on what they want from an app, what they think of your ideas, and
how well your finished app is working. You also have to make decisions about what
platform you’re going to build your app on. There are a couple of pieces, bits of
terminology that you’ll probably come across, which is a “native app,” a
“cross-platform app,” or a “web app.” So just like computers, mobile devices
run on different operating systems and there are different operating
systems for Windows phones and for Apple devices and Android
phones and for Blackberries, etc., etc. A native app is one that’s designed to work
on one specific platform, say, Windows phone or Apple devices. A cross-platform app is designed
to work on a variety of mobile operating systems. And a web app is like what it sounds like.
It’s an app that operates from the web. And a mobile-optimized web app, meaning a web
app that’s designed to look good and work well when used via a mobile device, can
look and feel a lot like a mobile app when it’s used on a mobile device.
So those are just a couple of options in terms of what you’re
planning to build your app for. And then there are advantages and
disadvantages to each approach, which we won’t be getting into here,
but it is one of the decision points, in the app development process. You’ll also need to think about
how your app would be marketed and how it would managed
and supported going forward. You’ll also want to consider how
you’ll define and measure success. What does it mean to have a
successful app for your organization? And lastly, just a reminder not to
overlook your website and email marketings. Those are other crucial
components of your mobile strategy. Don’t get too wrapped up in a focus
on apps. As much as I love them, there are other important pieces of technology
that you should be focusing on as well. Some quick examples of apps created
by nonprofits and libraries — We won’t talk through all of them, and again, the
link will be included in the slides that you’ll get after the webinar and in a follow-up blog post.
So People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has an action alert app where supporters
can get action alerts, take action, and earn points and badges in the
process for taking those actions. The American Red Cross’s First Aid app
provides First Aid training and resources. The Audubon Society Birds app is a mobile
version of their popular field guides. Youth Radio’s Mobile Action Lab
created an app called Forage City that allows you to find and share local
food that would otherwise go to waste, like from gardens and
over-producing fruit trees. The Orange County Library System’s app Shake
It! is a fun library resource discovery app. You give your device a shake and OCLS Shake
It! finds a title for you in the catalog. And the San Jose Public Library’s Scan
Jose is a mobile walking tour of San Jose. SO, what all of these have in common is that
they give a user a chance to do something, whether it’s take action, discover nearby areas
of interest, or identify that funny-looking bird they just saw out in the woods. It’s
not just providing basic information about your organization that is available
in other ways, it does something extra. And ideally, it’s something the user is
interested in enough to continue using your app. A quick note about other approaches to going
mobile besides, or in addition to creating an app, there’s creating a mobile version of your website
which is again, not the focus of this webinar. But as mobile usage increases, you may find
that more and more of your constituents, and supporters, and funders, and patrons are
using mobile devices to access your website to donate, to read email, etc., And they’ll be
expecting your website and email to be easily read on a mobile device without a lot of
pinching and scrolling to see everything. So a mobile-optimized version of your website
may be something worth considering as well. There are also a number of interesting
SMS or text-messaging-based solutions, and it’s another mobile strategy to think
about, no fancy smart phones required. So Front Line SMS is a free and open source
software that allows you to distribute and collect information via text messages. And
the next couple are just one of many, many, many examples of interesting ways to distribute
information and in some cases, money via SMS. M-pesa is the hugely successful, mobile-based,
money transfer and micro-lending service in Kenya. I read somewhere that something like
30% to 40% of all financial transactions in Kenya are done through M-pesa which is basically
mobile banking, but on feature phones, no smart phones involved. Snapfresh
is another nifty SMS based solution, which is a locator for nearby
retailers that accept food stamps. So someone can text a location to the
number, the Snapfresh phone number, and you’ll get a text back with nearby
retailers that accept food stamps. And a similar way of providing information as
an example, is Blue Ocean Institute’s FishPhone which helps users make
sustainable seafood choices. They can text the word “fish” and the
name of a particular fish to a number, and get a quick sustainability
evaluation back via SMS. So another way to think about your approach
to apps is also through curation and education. You could engage by curating apps
and/or educating people about them. Libraries in particular are often
doing a great job of this already. For example, the Greenwich Library in Connecticut
offered an eight-week All About the Apps series, teaching their patrons how
to use apps on their tablets. Topics included things like social networking,
travel apps, lifestyle apps, food apps, etc., etc. An app education can also take the form
of teaching people how to create apps. Youth Radio’s Mobile Action Lab, the people who
came up with Forage City that I mentioned earlier, is a great example of this. They teach
youth real-life app development skills. So that’s a lot of different ways to think about
not just apps, but your broader mobile strategy. And again, this is a very high-level,
very fast overview of the topic, and we’ll dive a lot more into app
development in our next webinar, But for now, let’s check
if anybody has questions. Crystal: Great. Well, thanks for this
great overview to start us off, Ariel. And you know, I think what you were just saying
about app education and kind of curating apps is really a great approach. And
you know, I’m wondering if — you know, you talked about a hackathon
and people coming in to develop apps. Do you need to be like a heavy-hitting programmer
in order to do that or can you develop apps with a minimal level of just kind of tech
knowledge and knowing how computer programs work? How much expertise do you
need in programming for that? Ariel: Well, as I mentioned earlier,
there are some simple app development tools that don’t require a huge amount of app expertise,
but the resulting apps are pretty simple. In terms of participation in hackathons, usually the
people who are creating the solutions are in fact, ha rd-core developers but you don’t need to be
a hard-core developer in order to participate in a hackathon. You could be there
to offer ideas and offer solutions. And that’s actually a very important way that
nonprofits and libraries and community members can participate in
these kinds of events. Crystal: That’s great. It’s nice to
know that you can really get involved even if you’re not a hard-core programmer.
So it’s great to know that there’s another way to get involved with this type of development.
You also shared a lot of nice examples for different types of apps, and I think you’re
going to share a few more in a few minutes. But we have one question about the
types of apps that take donations. And I don’t know if you might know the answer to
this, but aren’t there typically costs in those like royalty payments or types of like maybe a
service fee for those “text to donate” services, and do you have any idea what those run? Ariel: Yes. “Text to donate” services as well as
any of the other mobile payment gathering solutions, which I’ll talk about a couple of them
under payment gathering solutions later on, do typically have a fee associated with
them. I’m not sure off the top of my head what the price structure is
usually for “text to donate,” but that’s something I can follow
up on and provide more information. Crystal: Maybe that’s something we can
include in the community forum afterwards. We can get some more information about that.
Now we’re also getting some questions in about specific types of apps
designed for specific audiences. And I might hold this to see if we talk
about some of those in our second half, and we’ll come back to that
later in the second section. But one person asked, you’re
emphasizing mobile apps, but what about examples of web-based apps. Do
you have any examples of those you’ll be sharing? Ariel: I do have a couple of
web-based apps that we’ll be sharing, though it is skewed pretty heavily towards
mobile apps. But there are a lot of great web apps out there and we can certainly share
some more of those in the follow-up. Crystal: Great, and we’re
just about ready to move on. I see some more questions coming in and
we’ll try to continue to answer those. We have one more question-and-answer
period at the end. But I do want to remind everybody that
we will be sending out a follow-up email, and that we also will be sharing all of the
links to these apps that we are talking about, and there will be more to come.
So as you get that follow-up email, you can check through the resources that we
send and you will also have follow-up questions in the forum for this webinar. So there will
be lots of conversation continuing with this. So just to kind of stay on time, I’m
going to hand things back over to Ariel to continue her presentation. Ariel: So this next section will focus
on mostly free apps you can use right now. Where the apps are not free, I’ve
tried as much as possible to note that. In general, they’re not super
expensive even if they’re not free. So we’ve got apps for productivity and
collaboration, data gathering, monitoring and reporting, mobile donations and fund-raising,
photo and video, and much, much more. Just a reminder. We’re going to be going
through a lot of apps fairly quickly, so the slides will be sent out afterwards including
all the links and there will be a follow-up post including all of these
in the TechSoup blog. Also there are tons more apps out there than we
could possibly cover in the amount of time we have for this webinar, so we know this won’t be
a comprehensive list so please also share. If you have an app you
love, share it in the chat. A couple of apps for productivity and collaboration;
many of us, if not all of us, use presentations and slides at some point. And it’s nice to be
able to show and if possible, even update those on your mobile device wherever you
are. So PowerPoint Mobile is available for Windows phones. And you can open and
view Microsoft PowerPoint presentations as well as update them straight from
your mobile device, which is pretty cool. If you’re not using Windows phones, SlideShark
is an app that allows you to download, view, and show PowerPoint
presentations on IOS devices. The nice thing about having your
presentations be available on a mobile device is that it allows you to kind of show
your presentation wherever you are, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a scheduled
presentation. But if you have a great presentation about what your organization does, and
you just happen to run into somebody who would be interested in it, you can
show it to them on your mobile device. The next couple of apps are for note
taking, and the first one is Evernote, which most people I think have heard
of, or many people have heard of. When I first discovered Evernote last year,
I wanted to run up to people on the street and tell them how awesome it was. It’s a
way of saving your ideas and notes and links and more importantly, organizing them so you can
search your notes and links by keyword, by tag, by texting them. And a very cool thing is that
it works with nearly every computer, phone, and mobile device. So I can use the
desktop version on my work laptop and have access to all the same information on
my mobile devices as well as on my home laptop. Microsoft OneNote is another handy note taking
app, and it’s available for Android and IOS devices as well as obviously, the
desktop version for Windows. This free version allows you to
create and edit up to 500 notes, and you can upgrade to unlimited
use with an in-app purchase. And it’s also another good way to not only store
your notes but keep them very well organized and searchable, which is a big
advantage over a paper notebook. Next on the list is Expensify. Their motto
is, “Expense reports that don’t suck.” It’s a nifty app that’s available on
most mobile devices and via the web that takes some of the hassle out
of expense reporting and tracking. So if you do a lot of expense tracking and find
the process painful, it may be worth checking out. The next batch of apps on the list are
file storage, sharing, and collaboration. The big ones are Microsoft
SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive. They all offer some amount of secure, free,
cloud-based storage with optional paid plans if you need more storage. I think SkyDrive is 7G
Bfree, and Dropbox and Google Drive, slightly less. These kind of tools really shine when you need
to have access to a certain file wherever you are and whatever device you’re using. SO you can
save files to a SkyDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive folder on your computer, just like
any other folder on your hard drive, and they’re magically saved to the cloud
where you can access them from any web browser or via mobile apps on various devices. They’re
also really great for collaboration and sharing with others. You can avoid things like
constantly emailing a file around to people. You just pop it in SkyDrive, Dropbox,
or Google Drive, and share it, and then everyone has access to
the same version of the same file. If you’re using Microsoft Office, one
of the really nice things about SkyDrive is that it’s really deeply integrated with Microsoft
Office so you can create, edit, and share Word, Excel, PowerPoint files, etc.,
using a variety of devices. So you don’t actually have to be using
Microsoft Office on that particular device in order to edit them through
SkyDrive, which is pretty cool because sometimes it’s difficult. If people
are using different productivity software, they can all kind of use the same
thing if you’re using SkyDrive. And you don’t sacrifice the Microsoft Office
formatting or features that you’re used to, if you’re using Microsoft Office. So next on the list are tools
for mobile data gathering. FormMobi is a mobile data gathering
tool for IOS, Apple devices, and Android, which allows you to create customizable data
collection forms and then gather that data in those forms through your mobile
device. If you don’t have a smart phone, there are other SMS-based data gathering options
that use very basic non-smart phone features. So RapidSMS and Datadyne are
a couple examples of this. I know Datadyne, I’m fairly sure Datadyne
isn’t free. And off the top of my head, I’m not remembering about RapidSMS, but these
are very sophisticated ways to gather data of whatever kind you like that are being used
for health surveys, for environmental surveys, and they’re particularly good in situations where
Internet access is either unreliable or unavailable, because you can gather data without actually
needing to have access to the Internet. And it also replaces paper forms, so you
don’t have to go through the extra step of gathering data on a paper form,
and then keying it into your database. It just goes into the
database automatically. Ushahidi is a pretty awesome tool for
crowd sourcing information and mapping it. So it gathers information from multiple channels
including text messages, emails, Twitter, and allows you to map it. And I’ll show you in
just a second a couple of Ushahidi power projects. One, up on the right here, is Harrassmap
which uses Ushahidi to gather and map reports of violence and harassment
against women in Syria. So this takes a social problem that often goes
unreported and it allows people to report incidents anonymously through Ushahidi and makes
it visible in a really compelling way. Yo! Philly Votes is another
Ushahidi-powered initiative. It’s a poll monitoring initiative
for the U.S. elections in Philly. It gathers and maps voting incident reports
such as voter intimidation and long lines, and it allows people who
are monitoring the elections and protecting voter rights to
understand where issues are occurring and to respond accordingly.
Or it will, come Election Day. Another very interesting app that’s still
a work-in-progress is called ObscuraCam, and this one might be of particular
interest for Human Rights organizations or any other organizations that are interested
in documenting sensitive subjects or events. It’s an Android app developed by the
Nonprofit Witness and The Guardian Project. What it does is it hides the identity
of subjects in your photos and videos. It automatically identifies faces and it
gives you the option of blurring them out, and it also automatically deletes metadata which
is things like the location and the camera type and the time the picture was taken, to help protect
the anonymity of the photo or video subjects. Another interesting app is
the notification app, J!ResQ. It was developed in response to
the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on the Windows Azure platform, which is a cloud-based
platform for building and hosting web apps. J!ResQ allows anyone in a disaster
situation to easily record and send a message and email from their mobile phone telling
friends and family about their status, and it includes a GPS-based
location, photos and videos, and concerned parties can then search J!ResQ
for information and updates about them. The next topic, I know, is near and dear
to nonprofits’ and libraries’ hearts. It’s donations and fund-raising. A couple of
solutions that allow you to gather donations on the go are PayAnywhere, which is available
through TechSoup donations, and Square. Both of them are very similar. They’re
a combination of hardware and software, so the hardware is a little credit-card
swiper that plugs into your mobile device, and the software is a mobile app that after you
swipe the credit card through the swiper plug-in, processes the payment securely. And
in both cases, PayAnywhere and Square, there’s a small percentage deducted from each
swipe that you do. So these are pretty cool and allow you to take donations wherever you
are. So if you’re having an event or a fundraiser, you can just gather
donations right there. Another interesting app is
from The Foundation Center, which is a nonprofit that helps
nonprofits and others research, identify, and connect with potential funding
sources. The Foundation Finder search provides basic information on U.S. Grant-makers
and you can search for information by name, geographical location,
or Federal tax ID number. So it’s a handy way to get
information on the go if you need it. Next up are a whole bunch of fun, photo,
and video apps. Photos and video are great for telling your organization’s story. The old adage
that “A picture is worth a thousand words” is true. A great image can be a very powerful way to show
the great work that your organization is doing. So many of you have probably
heard of or seen Instagram photos. Those are square photos that look
like they were taken in the ’70s. So it’s basically an app that allows you to easily
add kind of fun, retro filters to your images, and there are other similar apps like
Pixlr-o-matic and 100 Cameras in 1 that allow you to do many of the
same things, and they’re all free. So if you do a fair amount of work with
images, they’re fun things to check out. Another cool photo app is Pocketbooth
which basically turns your mobile device into an old-school photo booth where it
takes a couple of pictures in rapid succession and then the image is those four little
snapshots on the long skinny strip, and it allows you to easily email them and share
them. And in fact, Pocketbooth also has a way to get prints of those images so
you can actually send those images as real, actual
photographs in real life. If you want to do some more serious work with
your photos, Adobe Photo Shop Express is available for IOS and Android. It’s not quite
as overwhelming as real Photo Shop, so if you want to do more serious
editing, that’s a good option for you. And since you’ve got all these great photos,
there are a lot of fun things you can do with them. One of my personal favorites is called
Wordfhoto, which allows you to turn your photos into word collages. The example
over here on the right I got from the Young Adult Library
Services Association or YALSA’s blog. And this is a picture of the librarian’s library
and you can see she created a word collage with exciting library words like read,
create, discover, learn. It’s really fun. It’s really simple to use and I enjoy it a lot.
It’s not free. It’s $1.99, but it’s a lot of fun. Other fun things you can do with
photos are creating photo collages. This is especially nice after an event. You
can create a photo collage that really captures the spirit of what occurred. So
Layout, Pic Collage, Diptic, PhotoGrid, all offer basically the same functionality, allowing
you to combine multiple pictures into one collage. They do have various differences,
but they’re all either free or I think the most expensive one is $2.99.
So if you’re interested in exploring that, those are a number of options for you. Fantasia Painter for Windows phone or Skitch
allow you to draw on and add text to photos so you can annotate your photos if you want
to, or just draw mustaches and double horns on everyone, whatever you’re into. And if
you’re doing a lot of stuff with photography, eventually you’re going to have a lot
of photos and organizing and storing them may become a challenge. I personally am a big
fan of Flickr for organizing and storing photos. Flickr is also available through
TechSoup donations Pro account. But the nice thing about Flickr is that
it allows you to tag all of your photos and organize them really well. So you will never
be digging through your email for that one photo a volunteer sent you from
that one event way back when. You’ll be able to easily find it in Flickr
because it will be beautifully tagged and you’ll be able to search for it. Next on the list are a
couple of cool video apps. Vidi and Socialcam are free social video-making
apps. And basically what they are is they allow you to take video using your phone’s
camera just like you normally would, but then add effects and background music
and voiceover and then easily share those with your social network, thus the social
aspect of it. So both offer similar features, but Vidi is more focused on very, very
short, 15-second, high-quality videos whereas Socialcam allows
you to take longer videos. Vyclone is an app that allows you to co-create
videos with other people so you can combine, so you can have up to four people, I believe
it is shooting video with their mobile device. And through Vyclone you can combine
all of those separate pieces of footage into one single video clip that shows the event or
activity in all different ways from different angles. So for example, you’re holding a walkathon.
You could have several people shooting footage at the event, and then use Vyclone to
easily combine it into a single video clip. And the last of the video apps is Cinemagram
which allows you to create animated images. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the results
are awesome. So you film a short video clip, and then you select part of it that you want
to animate, and the end result is a static image with a moving section in the middle of it. So
for example a library could create a Cinemagram with a static image of someone reading, but
the pages of the book would turn in the image. Next on the list of exciting apps are
widgets and plug-ins, not just mobile apps. So these are just a couple of examples of the kinds
of things you can accomplish with little bits of code. So the aVOID browser plug-in helps shoppers
avoid buying products that were produced by child labor. It covers major
shopping sites like Amazon and Target, and blocks out items produced by
brands that employ child labor. And another example is the Canton Public
Library created catalog search browser plug-ins and desktop widgets. So people who
download these plug-ins and widgets can search the library catalog while in their regular
web browser without going to the library website. So say they’re on Amazon, they see a book.
They can easily search the library catalog and see if it’s available in their local
library, and same through their desktop, without actually opening the library website.
So these are just a couple of examples. There are many, many more out there. But
both of these, what these have in common is that they’re helpful to the end user and they
also help reinforce the organization’s mission. So they’re kind of a win/win
with a little bit of code. Alright. I’m going to skip over this next
one because we are five minutes away from Q&A, and I do want to get to
the reminder about security. So we love apps, but we want you
to use them safely and securely. So things that can go wrong with your
mobile device are basically anything that can go wrong with your computer, so viruses,
spyware, malware, etc., as well as data theft and device loss. The mobile devices are small
and they’re easy to lose, and they’ easy to steal. So depending on what you’re storing
on your phone or tablet device, security becomes a
very important concern. So tips for keeping your devices secure. The
good news is that many of the same things you do to keep your computer secure are what you
need to do to keep your mobile devices secure. So have a strong password. Be careful
what you download and what you click. Only download content and apps from trusted
sources, and don’t click on unknown links. Do some research before downloading apps.
Check out the app publisher. Read user reviews. Keep your software up to date. Updated
versions of your device’s operating system help close security holes. Pay attention to strange
behavior. If your device starts behaving strangely, you get unexpected incoming text
messages or charges on your mobile bill, you have very slow performance all of a
sudden may all be signs that your device is having some issues
with malware or viruses. You could also use security
software to help protect your device. So there are a couple of different
kinds of security software. One that I’m kind of fond of is
password management apps like LastPass. There are a number of others. That’s
just the one I particularly use. And what password management apps do is
take all the hassle out of actually creating and using strong passwords. Everybody
knows you’re supposed to have this long, complicated password, and it’s supposed to be a
different password for every single site you log into and every single application, and mostly
people don’t do that because it’s a huge pain. But if you use a password management app,
all you need to do is remember your one, s uper-strong password for the app, and it takes
care of storing all of your other passwords for you. There are also mobile versions. Those are kind of
anti-virus and anti-spyware software you would use on your computer, which add an extra
layer of security to your device. There’s Lookout Mobile Security
and Norton Mobile Internet Security. Lookout is for Android and IOS,
and Norton Mobile is for Android. So those can give you a little
extra bit of peace of mind. So that’s enough about the sometimes scary topic
of security. And now for the sometimes scary topic of Halloween. A couple of Halloween-themed
apps in order from least to most educational. Zombies Run is a game-based fitness app
that helps you get fit while surviving a Zombie apocalypse. This is not cheap. It’s $7.99
and is really geared towards very athletic people but the idea behind it of making a game
out of something that would otherwise not necessarily be so enjoyable is kind of
cool. Plus who doesn’t love a Zombie apocalypse? Another Halloweenish app is I Love Drawing
Monsters. It’s an IOS app, and it’s a dollar, and it’s a cute drawing app that teaches
visual skills and hand-eye coordination, and also is chock full of cute
monsters. And a much more educational app is the Day of the Dead Experience,
which was created by Notre Dame students and it shares photos, videos, and information
about the Day of the Dead tradition. So if you’re interested in learning more
about the upcoming holiday, check out that app. So that was a lot of apps really fast. If
you’re overwhelmed, as you may be, you’re in luck There are apps for that, too. ReadWriteWeb
published a little while back a list of apps to help you deal with too many apps.
Mostly they’re apps that help integrate between different kinds of apps so for example, an
app that pulls photos from both your Twitter feed and your Facebook feed and puts them
in the same place, things like that. We’ll include the link to the list in the follow-up.
But one example of a web app that does that in an interesting way is If This, Then That
which allows you to set up these simple formulas to link between various apps and
automate the way they interact. It sounds kind of complicated but it really
isn’t. I use it in the simplest possible way, which is that it sends me a text
message if it’s raining tomorrow because I’m perpetually forgetting my umbrella.
So that’s the example that you see over here on the right. You could also do much more
complicated and interesting things with it. We recently had a blog post about this very,
very cool thing that TechSoup Sweden did, which is that they set up an automated
Instagram printer for an event. So all of the pictures they took with
Instagram during the event printed automatically to the wireless printer they had there. It was
really fun. People were really excited about it and it used If This, Then That, the web
app, to automate the flow of pictures from Instagram to a Dropbox folder, the
cloud-based storage I mentioned earlier, and to the wireless printer. So you can do
very simple things with If This, Then That, or you can do very complicated things. But
it’s pretty cool, and worth taking a look at. So we have reached the Q&A. A reminder, too, that if we don’t get to all of
the questions, I will happily answer questions in the forums after the webinar. Crystal: Well, we do have some good questions,
Ariel, and I think that for some of us that feeling of overwhelm, maybe the questions
will come up later. And so posting them in the forum will be a great avenue for that, and also
of course the webinar coming up in November, which we’ll give more information
about that at the end of this session. But let’s see how many questions we can get to
in the next few minutes before we have to go. Now one person recommended going back
to the security options you presented. Would you recommend Lookout as
the free or the paid version? So is there — what’s the advantage
to getting the paid version, I guess is maybe part
of that question as well. Ariel: I don’t know specifically about
Lookout. I could dig into that a little more, but in general the free versions of security
software are intended for individual use versus business or enterprise use, and the
paid versions will often include more features. And it just depends on whether those features
are something that are important to you and your organization. Crystal: Great. And we just got a question. Is
there an easy way to find apps that are out there? You gave us several ideas to use and to look
for, and of course we’ll send those links out, but is there an easy way to find more? Ariel: Yes, to the point of it being overwhelming.
There are tons of people writing about and talking about apps. I personally like the
way Mashabo and ReadWrite Web talk about apps. They do it in a fairly
accessible and interesting way, but any of the big kind of technology publications,
so PC World, Mac World, Computer World, that whole family often does things like
the “Five Best Apps” for various platforms that have come out recently. So if
you want to keep updated on new things, and they also have searchable indexes of
their app reviews and information about apps. There’s also Applicious, which is a web
site that’s dedicated to app reviews, and of course the TechSoup blog where we’ll
be talking a lot about cool apps going forward. Crystal: Great. And maybe to kind of piggyback
on that, we have several people asking for apps for specific purposes apps
designed to help homeless people, apps for the medical organizations
and the medical world. One says, “If I wanted to send a text message
to a thousand people, what do you recommend?” Now, we don’t have time, unfortunately,
to take all of those recommendations today, but could you maybe, if you could
think of one off the top of your head and could we put other
recommendations on the blog? Ariel: In terms of a source
for finding these kinds of apps? Crystal: Well, we may be putting you on the
spot here. You know, if you happen to know any off the top of your head, but I think
more like, is there a place people can look for these types of apps,
or do you know of any? Can we continue that conversation
maybe on the forum then? Ariel: I think that might be a
good one to continue of the forum. I do know that there are a number of SMS
solutions that will allow you for a certain charge to send text messages to a large group of
people, and I would have to look up what they are. But I can point you to, actually it might
just be easier to do it in the forums. We do the blog post about mobile solutions
based on nonprofit technology conference that includes recommended mobile solutions
for our group text messaging like that. Crystal: Great. Well, that gives us a little bit,
one little teaser of what we might find out more about in that forum. Now I’ve got one more question.
We’re getting close to the end of our time here, and we have several questions we’re not
able to answer, so I want to remind people that you will receive an email following this
session within the next day that will give you a link to the forum for this webinar where
we can continue to answer questions that we have not gotten to. We can also,
you can ask additional questions there, and we can continue that conversation. It will
also include all of the links and the slides from what we did today, did here today,
and also a link to the next webinar. We’ll give you that information as
well on a slide in just a minute, but it will have a link to that
registration for the App Development Webinar that’s going to be taking place in late November.
So I know there were quite a few questions coming through about app development,
so you might be interested in that. Alright, so the last question we’ll take today,
and I think this will maybe tie into our wrap-up, is Luke asks this: Is TechSoup providing
training in this area at a reduced cost, or is this just awareness? And I think you might be
able to give us a little bit of information on that because I know you’re going
to tell us what comes next. Ariel: Yes. We are not currently providing any
formal training like a Lynda.com kind of thing on apps or app development or mobile, except
that we are having this exciting webinar coming up in November on app development. And we
do plan to continue producing content on the TechSoup blog and the
Transforming Communities page, addressing the kinds of questions
that have been brought up today, like is there an app that does this? It’s actually been really great
having these questions come in that I may not know the answer to now, but it does
help us learn more about what the questions are and what people are interested in finding
out more about, and we’ll be doing our best to address those questions and provide the
knowledge and information that you’re looking for. So in terms of what’s next, you already
mentioned a couple of these things. Just a reminder to check out the TechSoup
blog and our Transforming Communities page for more on cool apps as well as TechSoup’s
upcoming hackathons and challenges, including the Windows 8 Apps for
Good contest and the Safe Night apps that we mentioned earlier. If you have a great
idea, I encourage you to take a look at NetSquared, which is netsquared.org, and post your app
ideas. It’s a great way to connect with people who might have the resources or knowledge
to help make your app idea a reality. And also to talk with us in the TechSoup forums.
We’ll be sending a link to the forum thread where we’ll be following up on a lot of
the questions that we didn’t get to today, and to attend our upcoming webinar on November
29th to learn more about app development, including organizations who’ve
done it and lived to tell the tale. Crystal: Great, Ariel. Well, thank you.
We’ll look forward to that next webinar where we can learn more and some of
these other opportunities to connect. So thank you for sharing all of your
ideas and expertise with us today. And thanks Becky, for being on the
chat and answering so many questions and helping us keep track of them. Also thank you
to the Transforming Communities project sponsor Microsoft. And our next Transforming Communities
webinar will be Thursday, November 29th at 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. You’ll receive a
registration link to that in your follow-up email, and you’ll also find it on our TechSoup blog
and newsletters coming out in the next few weeks. Also one last thank you to our webinar sponsor
ReadyTalk for sponsoring this webinar today, and thank you to all of you for coming. We hope
to see you again at another TechSoup webinar soon, and we’ll see you on the community forum for
this topic. Thanks a lot, and have a great day. Ariel: Thanks, everybody.

Dereck Turner

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