2010 NTEN Recap

Well, I am back from Atlanta and I really enjoyed last week’s 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference. If you didn’t check out the agenda for the conference when I posted it last week, it’s still up online. There were over 1450 people who came together from all over the non-profit sector. Although this was my first year attending the conference, I didn’t feel too overwhelmed mostly because of the great structure of the conference and how well organized it was.

Andrew Sullivan, journalist and blogger for The Atlantic gave a great keynote speech on Friday morning, in which he talked about the changing nature of technology, and what it means to be a blogger in the 21st century. Tech Soup has a great video with Sullivan from after his speech about what it’s like to take criticism that comes with putting yourself out in the public space on a daily basis. Once the full video from Sullivan’s talk becomes available I’ll be sure to put it up online.

I also attended some really great breakout sessions; two in particular that I thought were useful. The first was called “Got Gov? Why You Should Care About Technology Policy” and had speakers from both Free Press and ZeroDivide. The session focused on how media policy issues at the federal level will affect how nonprofits engage with technology in the future. It included both an overview of the key federal policy issues and how the world of nonprofits could be changed, depending on the outcomes of these policy initiatives. The other sessions was titled “Expanding Broadband Access and Adoption in Undeserved Communities” and focused on how organizations are building capacity of organizations to support community technology providers. We discussed capacity building work including some of the best practices and challenges for increasing technology and broadband adoption.

I also got a sneak preview of Beth Kanter and Allison Fine’s new book titled The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change. I’ve read the first chapter and can’t wait until the whole book comes out in June. I’ll be sure to blog about the book when it becomes available as well as my thoughts after reading it. I didn’t get a chance to attend their session, but if you’d like to follow up, here's a bit more about the session.

I was also glad to see that NTEN made a great effort to “Green the Conference”, cutting down on the printed size of the conference guide (the iPhone app was a great idea and kept me up to date on the schedule and speakers), and offering totebags made from recycled materials, to name just a few of their efforts.

The 2011 Conference is already scheduled so save the dates on your calendar! The event will take place March 17th -19th in Washington DC.