New Media Think Tank New Media Think Tank (NMTT) comprises senior figures from across the new media industry, including members of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) who work towards developing practical cost-effective solutions to issues. NMTT meets every other month and Media Trust will publish findings from the meetings in the form of reports, articles and online guides. Use this information for ideas on new media solutions. ICT Hub Think Tank meeting: Monday 30th October 2006 Attendees Wendy Stewart, Media Trust (Chair) Ian Gilbert, Ethical Super Store Julia Gorton, UNICEF Amelia Knott, Industry and Parliament Trust Branislava Milosevic, CAFOD Diana Quay, Media Consultant Discussion: Free online tools For organisations wanting free open source software to help create an online learning community, try Moodle. Moodle is a course management software that's often available on ISP packages as an option. Moodle's website: http://moodle.org/ Discussion: RSS feeds BBC website has a comprehensive guide on what RSS feeds are, how to use them and how to create your own. With RSS feeds people can get the latest information from your website delivered to their computers without them having to keep checking for information on your site. Everyone is alerted when you update your website with new content therefore you don't have to contact them directly each time. BBC website on RSS feeds: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/rss/3223484.stm Discussion: Automate functionality For organisations that may already have someone with technical knowledge, there is a free open source software available called Apache OFBiz. Apache OFBiz is only suitable for certain types of businesses at the moment. It allows you to automate certain types of functionality to suit your business needs including the following: content management (for websites, general content, blogging, forums etc) promotion and pricing management order management (sales and purchase) accounting (invoice, payment and billing accounts, fixed assets) general office management (events, tasks, projects, requests, etc) Apache OFBiz website:http://www.ofbiz.org Discussion: Recommended software to purchase or trial. If people need to build a website without knowing HTML, try Macromedia Contribute 4. It's a simplified web page authoring programme that allows people to create and publish web pages. It will enable you to keep your website content and blog entries fresh with a single application. Macromedia Contribute 4 website: http://www.adobe.com/products/contribute/ Discussion: Where to start before you build or revamp your website Do the following: make sure you have decided upon a good strategic model get to know your target audience and the needs of your user base (before you start making decisions on what to offer them online ) do not flood your website with too much text heavy information. Be as concise as you can in order to encourage people to come back keep your information relevant to your audience and do not bury your website with excessive detail about your organisation's structure . Useful links The Notprofit Communications website offers advice on topics, such as social networking tools, and support for not-for-profit organisations. http://www.writing911.com/blog/carnival-of-nonprofit-consultants/ A-Z of Networks and Networking - a wiki aimed at helping people learn how to communicate through networking. There’s a non-technical glossary of terms about how to approach this. http://www.commonspace.org.uk/wiki/ Your ICT questions Do you have any online ICT queries to put to the ICT Think Tank? We want your feedback. Email your information, communication and technology uses, benefits, barriers and case studies to the team at email@example.com then discuss ICT in the forum.