Report from Nonprofit Technology Conference & Penguin Day

Spent most of last week joining over 1,000 nonprofit techies from across the US as well as other countries at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington DC.  I also spent the following day at Penguin Day, a celebration of open source software.

As usual, the educational sessions at NTC were great.  Despite the large crowd, the many sessions planned concurrently helped keep the crowd size small – but made it harder to select which session to attend.  Some takeaways:

  • much to my surprise, many sessions focused on the challenges of data integration and using APIs.  I have joined NTen’s affinity group to help further these efforts
  • an interesting summary of how web 2.0 tools (e.g. blogs, wikis, SecondLife etc.) have been ‘smuggled’ in to organizations that originally resisted them
  • a ‘nonprofit soapbox’ that allows nonprofits to take full advantage of open source content management with some technical assistance
  • importance of the IA (information architecture) in web project management
  • open source software has become more mature – and is even more of an attraction for nonprofits, although having a relationship with a consultant or other support network is essential.

I also moderated a session on online registration tools.  Thanks to Mark Becker (Event 360), Cary McQueen Morrow (Center for Arts Management & Technology) & Eric Leland (Leland Design) for joining the panel.