Evergreen Apps Challenge winners announced

Over $75,000 in prizes was awarded in the Evergreen Apps Challenge on October 1 at Seattle City Hall. See the list of winners and try out their apps at http://www.evergreenapps.org/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-evergreen-apps-challenge/

Entries were reviewed by a panel of expert judges, including Francis Benjamin, of Washington State University; Adam Gentz, of BizXchange; Mónica Guzmán, of Geekwire; Susannah Malarkey, Executive Director of the Technology Alliance; Manny Medina, CEO of GroupTalent; Jason Preston, co-founder of Dent the Future; and Bill Schrier, Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Government.

Read what judge Monica Guzman had to say in her Seattle Times blog at  http://blogs.seattletimes.com/monica-guzman/2012/10/02/living-voters-guide-whichbus-win-top-honors-in-state-app-contest/#.UGtfv6ts8hM.twitter

The apps were assessed against a range of criteria including innovation, user experience and design, potential impact on Washington State, King County, and/or Seattle residents, visitors and businesses. They also had to be available for public use for the next year.

More than 100 people joined dignataries at the awards event, which  included Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (via video).

Twitter releases “10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010″

Yesterday, Twitter released its list of the ten most powerful tweets of 2010.  The chosen tweets, according to the Twitter Blog, “represent the dynamic ways that people use Twitter in the political world, for disaster relief, and to add commentary to news events, sports and entertainment.”

Some might wonder how Ann Curry, an NBC reporter tweeting a plea to the US Air Force to allow Doctors Without Borders to land their plane in Haiti after the earthquake, instigated any real action.  According to the Smart Blog on Social Media, the story began when Curry saw a tweet from Doctors Without Borders about their frustrating inability to land in Haiti.  This caught her attention, and not only did she tweet about the problem herself, she was able to contact Pentagon officials and solve the problem.

Interestingly, Doctors Without Borders also issued a press release about the problem.  But it was a humble little tweet, less than 140 characters in length, that got the attention of those who actually took action.

Many local governments and agencies, the City of Seattle included, are increasing their use of online social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook.   For example, Mayor McGinn tweets frequently, and King County Metro has an amazingly thorough Twitter feed.  Cities and counties are finding new ways to communicate with citizens — beyond  carefully crafted and vetted press releases — and Twitter remains on the forefront.

Many City of Seattle departments and elected officials have Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Check them out!

Have you tried Storytelling?

Remember the saying that “a picture tells a thousand words?”  Well, the same goes for using stories to let others know what your group is accomplishing.  One of my takeaways at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (10NTC) was a session on how to better use your website (or blog) to tell the story of your group’s mission and values to leave a lasting impact. 

Many websites make the mistake of writing lengthy articles on recent accomplishments or explaining the details of offered programs, that readers get “lost in the words.”  Check out these websites (presenters from the 10NTC conference) Mercy Corps and Equality California as great examples of how to compose & promote your groups by telling YOUR story.

“Brandraising” to increase your visibility

Every nonprofit organization faces the same core challenge: how to demonstrate their value and win support with limited staff, budget, and communications experience.  I attended an excellent session on Brandraising at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (10NTC) last week, where Sarah Durham shared their expertise for increasing your visibility using technology and social media tools. 

Brandraising is a model created by Big Duck to help nonprofits communicate more effectively in order to advance fundraising, programs and advocacy goals.  Check them out at http://www.bigducknyc.com/brandraising or follow their blog at www.bigducknyc.com/blog.