What's New

With Jayne 

& Coyote Communications
like me on Facebook The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
available as a paperback & an ebook
from Energize, Inc.

If you work with volunteers online, or want to, this book for you.  Susan Ellis and I wrote this in-depth guidebook for anyone who believes in mainstreaming use of the Internet in the recruitment, engagement and support of ALL volunteers. It covers high-responsibility, expert tasks, long-term commitments, micro tasks (microvolunteering), risk management, and more.  It represents well more than a decade of research and experience. Whether you are brand new to virtual volunteering or you are already working with online volunteers, you will find this book packed with helpful information.

I'm Available!

I am available for short-term consultations, long-term projects, part-time positions, and, for the right role, a full-time permanent position. Here's what I can do for your organization/initiative. I'm available for interviews on Skype or your preferred video conferencing tool, and, of course, by phone - I'm on West Coast time (the same as Los Angeles). I'm available for in-person, onsite interviews in and around Portland, Oregon (the area where I live), and am willing to travel most anywhere as part of a short-term consultation.

My Blog, updated weekly (or more!), provides commentary, invites discussion, and features announcements and info about new resources. Your comments on any blog are welcomed!

Latest Resource: Civil Society Capacity Building: Why?
My favorite kind of professional work is building the capacities of civil society organizations, especially in transitional and developing countries, to communicate, to change minds and to engage a variety of people and communities, through communications, dialogue and volunteering. But the term civil society isn't used in USA as commonly as it is elsewhere, and many don’t understand exactly what I mean when I talk about my favorite type of work. This new resource explores exactly what is meant by the phrase civil society capacity building.

May 2017 blogs

April 2017 blogs

March 2017 blogs

January & February 2017 blogs

December 2016

United Nations Tech4Good / ICT4D Initiatives, a list of the various United Nations initiatives that have been launched since 2000 to promote the use of computers, feature phones, smart phones and various networked devices in development and humanitarian activities, to promote digital literacy and equitable access to the "information society," and to bridge the digital divide. My goal in creating this page is to help researchers, as well as to remind current UN initiatives that much work regarding ICT4D has been done by various UN employees, consultants and volunteers for more than 15 years (and perhaps longer?).

Preventing Folklore, Rumors (or Rumours), Urban Myths & Organized Misinformation Campaigns From Interfering with Development & Aid/Relief Efforts & Government Initiatives
Folklore, rumors and urban myths / legends have interfered with humanitarian aid activities and government initiatives, including public health programs, even bringing such to a grinding halt. They create ongoing misunderstandings and mistrust, prevent people from seeking help, encourage people to engage in unhealthy and even dangerous practices, and have even lead to mobs of people attacking someone or others because of something they heard from a friend of a friend of a friend. With social media like Twitter and Facebook, as well as simple text messaging among cell phones, spreading misinformation is easier than ever. Since 2004, I have been gathering and sharing both examples of this phenomena, and recommendations on preventing folklore, rumors and urban myths from interfering with development and aid/relief efforts and government initiatives. I've updated this information with new information per the organized misinformation campaigns targeting Ukraine and the elections in the USA. Now, with fake news sites set up specifically to mislead people, as well as crowdsourced efforts by professional online provocateurs and automated troll bots pumping out thousands of comments, countering misinformation efforts has to be a priority for aid and development organizations, as well as government agencies.

What Was NetAid?
A history of the NetAid initiative, part of which became the UN's Online Volunteering service.

November & December blogs 2016

My top blogs of 2016
Volunteers Along Immigrant & Refugee Journey
Folklore, Rumors & Misinformation Campaigns Interfering with Humanitarian Efforts & Government Initiatives
Did Facebook hurt the Syrian Revolution?
20 Years Ago: The Virtual Volunteering Project
How did volunteers impact the 2016 USA Presidential election?
fake news, folklore & friendships
Nonprofits & NGOs: you MUST give people a way to donate online
How Will Trump Presidency Affect Humanitarian Aid & Development?
2017 National Summit on Volunteer Engagement Leadership
To Do List the Day After the USA election
Why I still don’t like “International Volunteer Manager’s Day”
When “participatory” & “consultation” are just words
Gossip’s toll in your workplace
Research Explaining How Websites Encourage Volunteering & Philanthropy
papers on cyberactivism by women in Iran & Azerbaijan
Some Truths About Volunteer Retention
Volunteering & social cohesion in a post Brexit world
Song of frustration re: volunteering

November 2016

Tech Volunteer Groups / ICT4D Volunteers
A list of tech volunteering initiatives, some defunct, some still going strong, that recruit tech experts to volunteer their time support either local nonprofit organizations or NGOs in developing countries regarding computer hardware, software and Internet tech-related tasks.
Updated: PDX-area Organizations Involved in Overseas Development / Aid / Relief & Volunteer Efforts Or Educating People Re: Other Countries/Global Affairs
Some are nonprofits, some are university programs, and some are for-profit companies / businesses. Some are focused exclusively on aid and development, some are focused only partially on such. There are more than 35 such organizations here, mostly in Portland, but a few in other places in Oregon.

Al Gore Campaign Pioneered Virtual Volunteering
Back in 2000, when Al Gore ran for president, his campaign championed virtual volunteering by recruiting online volunteers to help online with his election efforts. I was getting ready to leave the Virtual Volunteering Project then, to work for the UN in Germany, and was not able to document these pioneering efforts at the time. I remembered this effort recently, per the current (and seemingly never-ending) Presidential campaign in the USA, and went digging on archive.org to find the original materials from that campaign regarding this work with online volunteers. He even had a site for users of personal digital assistants (PDAs), the precursor to the smart phone. ( Somewhere on the site is also a mention of either online volunteering or virtual volunteering, but I can't find it anymore...

October 2016

University-Level Instruction - Course Options
I have lectured as a guest in several classes at various universities, and I am very interested in creating and delivering undergraduate and graduate-level courses as part of an MBA program, a nonprofit management or public sector management degree, a social work degree, a public health education degree, a marketing or public relations degree, or international affairs, among others. I've detailed my research, university teaching experience, teaching philosophy and course development interests here.

Research needs re: virtual volunteering
What would NGOs and nonprofits love to know about virtual volunteering? What would be great, even ground-breaking research regarding virtual volunteering? Here are some digital volunteering research topics in dire need of exploration (and that really need to be undertaken by people that are NOT me).

September & October 2016 blog entries
August 2016 

Lessons from onlinevolunteering.org
Some key learnings from directing the UN's Online Volunteering service from February 2001 to February 2005, including support materials for those using the service to host online volunteers.

Updated: Where to Find Online Volunteering
My work is focused mostly on nonprofits, government agencies and other mission-based programs, but a lot of individuals that want to volunteer contact me as well, often about where to find online volunteering opportunities. I created this page for anyone looking to quickly get into virtual volunteering, whether it's a long-term, high-responsibility commitment or a micro task.

2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 & 2010 Blogs (index of titles, by reverse date, latest to oldest)
What was new (things prior to the last entry on the "What's New" page you're reading now


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