We spend a lot of time here at Aspiration and here on the SSC Blog talking about online communications best practices, trying to help nonprofits and social justice organizations find ways to use technology cheaper and more effectively for their missions.
As part of that effort, I put together some interactive tools around eAdvocacy Readiness on Answr. In a nutshell, these tools are designed for organizations just starting out online to begin to get a sense of best practices when it comes to communications. We sent the link out to our email list and tweeted a bit about them, but I wanted to throw you all a link here on the SSC blog in the hopes that you’ll give me some feedback. The tools are obviously in “beta” form and I was hoping to gather up feedback from users before I dove back in to make them better. Any feedback you could send me through email or in the comments of this post would be most appreciated.
Check them out:
Designed as the first of a collection of Readiness Assessments, the Internet Essentials Assessment is a set of questions that walks an organization through the foundational online infrastructure necessary for an effective online presence. Definitely for the very base user, Internet Essentials asks the basic questions necessary for any organization to even begin to think about an online presence. The hope is that this tool will not only identify weaknesses for organizations just starting out online, but also give them easy steps to remedy any issues that may adversely affect their online presence in the future.
Topics addressed in Internet Essentials include domain name, web site, and the services used to deploy them. I’m hoping to roll out more Readiness Assessments around things like Email Advocacy and CRM but wanted to get some feedback first on both the current Assessment as well as what topics people would like to see. HINT HINT.
The Online Audience Assessment, designed for those with a web site and some type of analytics (i.e. software that tells you information about the visitors to your website), is a questionnaire meant to initiate intentional planning and consideration around those that are interacting with your web site content.
Again, geared toward those just starting out with analytics, the Online Audience Assessment is designed to introduce some of the ways to think about the audience interacting with your web site. A lot of organizations may have some sort of analytics on their web site but don’t know where to begin to think about how to use it to their advantage. Once you’ve got data rolling in, what do you do with it?
Those already familiar with Aspiration’s Publishing Matrix process know that it can be an effective way for an organization to coordinate messaging across online channels. The Publishing Matrix Builder produces a lightweight Publishing Matrix for users to start thinking about the broader messaging of their organization as a whole. This skeleton of a communications plan can then be used not only as a place to index your organization’s communications but also as a catalyst for the conversations on intentions and agreed-upon usage within the organization.
I tried to keep this as simple as possible offering basic content types and channels but I’m thinking that it would useful to be able to insert your own content types and channels. Is that something that you think would be useful? The awkward part of this tool is the transfer of the matrix. Right now, it can be emailed to you, but I’m looking into how we could make it so that the tool produces a download-able spreadsheet. This has proven to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but optimism is high!
The Social Media Dashboard Builder walks people through the process of setting up a Social Media Dashboard with the Netvibes tool. Many organizations focus on getting information online and focus less on how it is propagating and resonating. Social Media Dashboards are a great, relatively easy way to find out who is mentioning your organization and your issues online. Scouring online channels like Twitter, blogs and Google searches, the Builder provides an easy way to create the baseline components of a dashboard and start intentionally listening to what people are saying about you online.
Because this tool interacts with so many outside web entities (e.g. search engines, Netvibes), its functionality is limited sometimes to what that outside source will allow. Do you use search engines that you’d like to see in the RSS feed auto-generation functionality? Let me know
Check out the tools, play around with them, cop an attitude and let me know how I can make them useful for the work that you’re doing at your org! Thanks, everybody!