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ICT E-Bulletin - March 2012

By Lasa Information Systems Team

A source of technology news, resources and advice for small to medium sized third sector organisations.


Technology manufacturers must be accountable for e-waste cost

Computer Aid has said it worries growing e-waste problems will prevent technology being reused in poor areas according to this BBC report. The charity, which distributes donated tech to communities across Africa, said laws should be put in place to ensure that firms "deal with the consequences" of unwanted equipment.

Raspberry Pi launched

A credit-card sized computer designed to help teach children to code has gone on general sale, the BBC reports. The Raspberry Pi is a bare-bones, low-cost computer created by volunteers mostly drawn from academia and the UK tech industry. However, the first batch sold out in seconds, according to The Register so you’ll have to wait a while.

New strategy for online centres

Online Centres Foundation who won the tender to run the UK online centres service, have launched their new strategy Developing Communities through Technology (pdf, 1.27Mb).

Theft of memory sticks lead to breach of Data Protection Act

Civil Society reports that the learning disability charity Enable Scotland has signed an undertaking promising to improve its data security after two unencrypted memory sticks and papers containing the personal details of around 100 individuals were stolen from an employee’s home.

Guardian Media Network launches

A new online Guardian network for those working in media and technology has launched.

Events, training & learning

London Events Calendar

For London technology events please see our Events Calendar. Forthcoming events include Charity Comms Social Media Congerence, the Future of Information Governance, Essential Email Skills training, Westminster IT Support Forum and the regular monthly Foss Friday drop-in open source workshop. 

Soundelivery’s free social media training

Sounddelivery has been commissioned by the Family Strategic Partnership to run 9 free social media workshops around the country during March and April for organisations working to improve the lives of families.

Spring Online 2012

Digital Unite’s campaign to give older people a taste of computers and the internet Spring Online is running this year from April 23rd - 27th.

How to choose and use technology for outcomes

This one-day Charities Evaluation Service course (11 May) will provide participants with a head-start in making the most of databases to support their monitoring and evaluation, particularly around outcomes.

London website builders

A new MeetUp group has started for beginners to web building.

Nonprofit Technology Conference online

If you can’t make this years NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco from 3rd - 5th April, you could still register for Online NTC.

Funding and awards

Technology4Good Awards

Nominations are now open for this year's awards programme organised by AbilityNet. The Technology4Good Awards celebrate the many ways that technology contributes to the greater good in categories such as innovation and community impact, volunteering and fundraising.

Resources, legal and accessibility

New tech blog launches at CTK

Community TechKnowledge has just launched its new guest blog which includes a look at the state of circuit riding by Lasa’s ICT bulletin and knowledgebase editor Ian Runeckles, what software you can use to support your program(me) evaluation by Idealware’s Laura Quinn and Deborah Finn’s What Technophobic Social Workers Can Teach Computer Geeks.

The State of the NonProfit Cloud

A new, free, report from NTEN highlights that 91% of respondents reported using some kind of cloud-based software solution, staff email is the most commonly used cloud solution (69%) and once a nonprofit starts using one cloud solution, it's likely to use more.

Accessible apps report published

OneVoice for Accessible ICT have recently produced a report "Moving
together Mobile apps for inclusion and assistance

New NTEN Change magazine out now

The March 2012 issue of NTEN’s quarterly publication for non-profit leaders is now available. It includes articles on the 5 communications myths that EDs (CEOs) believe, social media policy development and confessions of a non profit IT director...

CharityComms Guide to Social Media for Charities

Charity Comms has issued a two-part guide to social media - the first is for newbies, the second for those organisations. wanting to make more of their existing social media use.

Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?

Justin Davison on the Spiceworks blog takes a light hearted look at the serious subject of disaster recovery...

Practical tips

Tips for Outlook users

Susan Harkins on TechRepublic provides the ten most important things to teach your Outlook users.

MS Office Quick Reference Guides

Have you recently upgraded to Office 2007 or 2010 and had problems finding your way around? Mouse Training have useful free Quick Reference Guides available on their website for each of the Office applications (about half way down the page).

Visualise your data

Louise Brown explores ways of presenting data and explains the difference between a visualisation and an infographic in this excellent blog post prompted by the 2012 NCVO conference’s Go Visual workshop.

Open Data

From last year’s NCVO conference, but very pertinent is this blog post and presentations from a workshop on how open data will change your organisation and what you can do about it.

Lessons learnt from building iKnowHow

KnowHow NonProfit rounds up the experience of building a wiki for voluntary sector learning ahead of the launch of iKnowHow.

Hiring a web developer?

Deborah Elizabeth Finn chats to Paul Gassert of the Boston Foundation in this audiocast on how to take on a professional to build your web site.

Pin ups

Robin McIntyre, the social media Bird Brain, examines Pinterest, the online pin board.

More things to worry about...

David Rogers over on the Guardian Media Network looks at how stories about mobile security, particularly on Google's Android, have made headlines - but how real is the threat to phone apps?

Tools and applications

A Few Good Tools for Video Editing

Idealware has written a guide to the tools available for editing video from the basic to more advanced pro tools.

Seven for Seven

Ed Bott on TechSoup looks at essential Windows 7 utilities for setting up new PCs.

OneNote™ Mobile arrives

You can create notes, lists and to-dos no matter where you are as OneNote is now available as a free download for the Android, iPad and iPhone.


Another blogging tool gaining popularity - find out 30 reasons to use it.

Mapping tools and open data

Batch Geo, OpenStream Map, Esri's Arc GIS and Google Fusion Tables are all tools you can use to create maps of your data and / or open data from a range of sources. The Open Data Cookbook is a good place to start with ‘recipes’ and how to guides of what’s possible.

Storify app for iPad launched

Storify “lets you curate social networks to build social stories, bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative.” You can now download it from the iTunes store (free).

HTML is not dead...

The inexorable rise of CMSs (Content Management Systems) for websites may make you underestimate the need for an education in good old HTML. But if you do need to knock up the occasional bit of code, then KompoZer is a free html editor which is also available as a portable app. Another editor to look at is Textile which allows you to input text and output HTML online.


The ethics of social media

Reach Further looks at what, when and whether you should tweet...

Mobile - apps vs sites

What’s your strategy? Jakob Nielson argues that currently apps are the most accessible way of delivering a mobile solution - but websites are catching up.

Social media needs a plan to make it work

Social media should be integrated into a wider communications strategy, argues charity communications expert John Suart on the Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network blog.

Why you need a mobile-enhanced email template

90 million Americans read their email with their phone. So that probably means that about 15 million Brits do... Brett Meyer at NTEN explains why it’s a good idea to make your marketing emails readable on a mobile device.

Does social media really empower local communities?

Social media can help to connect communities but it is not a shortcut to higher participation, says Mandeep Hothi on the Guardian Voluntary Sector blog.

And finally

The unhyped new areas of the internet

Vinod Khosla, the “legendary investor” looks at where he thinks there are opportunities for growth in the “post PC, always/everywhere platform” world.

Things you’ve always wanted to know department

Why is the time always set to 9.42am in iPhone adverts? Also how to avoid be followed in a car (OK, not ICT related but you might thank us for it one of these days). And thank you, Quora.

About the author

Lasa Information Systems Team
Lasa's Information Systems Team provides a range of services to third sector organisations including ICT Health Checks and consulting on the best application of technology in your organisation. Lasa IST maintains the knowledgebase. Follow us on Twitter @LasaICT


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Published: 15th March 2012

Copyright © 2012 Lasa Information Systems Team

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