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

Uploaded by TechSoupVideo on 31.10.2012

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.