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Amy Sample Ward

Amy Sample Ward's Articles

  • SXSW: Embracing Social Media Failure, Innovation

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2013

    SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas this week is, inevitably, packed with people launching new applications, cool mobile tools, and big brand campaigns. With thousands of people all in one place, it can actually be difficult to find your peers.

  • SXSW: Tips for Nonprofit News Groups

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2013

    As for-profit news organizations struggle to maintain previous levels of reporting, nonprofit news gathers are proliferating to fill the gap in coverage. “These new nonprofit media outlets are experiencing the same problems that longtime nonprofit publications such as The Texas Observer have been tackling for years,” said Cherilyn Parsons, director of development and strategic initiatives at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

  • SXSW: New York City’s Data Hacking for Good

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2013

    More and more city governments are working to share data and engage citizens in creating information systems and solutions that support engagement, access to resources, and much more. At SXSW Interactive, Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, shared an update about the city’s attempts to open up data and collaborate with developers and the public.

  • Hot Button Issues at SXSW: Kony and Homeless Hotspots

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 15, 2012

    We’ve all experienced videos, blogs, photos, or topics “going viral” online before our eyes – the number of views increases, our Facebook timeline fills with reposts of the story, or a hashtag rises up the trending charts. At SXSW, there are enough people and enough conversations taking place that hot topics go viral in a similar way, spreading through lounges, parties, and coming up as questions in session after session. This year was no different, and those viral conversations included the Invisible Children “Kony 2012″ campaign and video, and the Homeless Hotspots.

  • Crowdfunding Social Ventures at SXSW

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 14, 2012

    Start Some Good, a platform for social good groups – whether nonprofit organizations or not – to raise funds and build community, highlighted eight diverse projects working for social impact at an evening event hosted by Center61 at SXSW. Each project was given five minutes to pitch to a packed room before each attendee had the chance to vote for their favorite project. The winner received $1,000 from rackspace and a free organizational membership to NTEN.

  • Personal and Professional Identity: Social Media Policies for Nonprofits

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 13, 2012

    I was joined today for a panel at SXSW to discuss the blurry or blurring lines of personal and professional identify online. With me on the panel was Debra Askanase, Jess Main, and Vanessa Rhinesmith. This topic was especially relevant at a festival like SXSW where many attendees are representing themselves, their organizations or companies, and even side projects or local groups. Most of the people in the room said they represent both themselves and their organization through their personal profiles online, like Facebook and Twitter. The panel shared a few key directives for nonprofits working to support staff with social media.

  • Tendenci Released as Open Source by Schipul

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 13, 2012

    Schipul, a web marketing agency based in Houston, Texas, announced yesterday during the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive festival that Tendenci, a content management system (CMS) will be released as an open source solution. Tendenci was developed by Schipul especially for nonprofit organizations and associations over the last decade as a proprietary Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. The platform is currently supporting hundreds of nonprofit and association websites around the world, with over one million users. The open source solution will be available to download at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference, taking place April 3-5 in San Francisco.

  • Tech Talk at SXSW

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 13, 2012

    South by Southwest Interactive is a major hotspot for new tools to launch, applications and platforms to find early adopters, and those looking for ideas or suggestions to get recommendations from others already exploring the newest, shiny toys. I’ve been taking notes on the tools, whether brand new or just new to some, that have people talking.

  • Stand with Planned Parenthood: Lessons from Crisis Response Campaigns

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2012

    Just over one year ago, on February 18, 2011, Planned Parenthood Federation of America launched the largest integrated campaign in its history. The threat to defund Planned Parenthood was bundled in a larger packaged proposal of funding cuts to be voted on in Washington, D.C., though the exact date of the vote was unknown. Planned Parenthood launched a multi-channel campaign to ask supporters to stand with them, and at the 2012 SXSWi festival, they shared the three biggest lessons they learned as an organization from the process.

  • Social Philanthropy: Raising Money on YouTube and Twitter

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2012

    Money is always a hot topic of conversation at SXSW from new start-ups looking for venture funds to nonprofits looking for philanthropic support, all for innovative ways of changing and shaping our communities and the world. One panel, moderated by Cheryl Contee of Fission Strategy, focused on the conversation from the social philanthropy perspective; that is, what are various kinds of organizations doing to raise money though socially engaged channels like YouTube and Twitter. Contee framed the conversation with a great question, asking if we see social media as democratizing voices, giving anyone with connection to the Internet the ability to share a message, how do those same tools make money just as freely accessible?


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