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This month’s round-up includes tips for improving your organization’s Facebook page, measuring your social networks effectiveness, an introduction to Salesfroce Chatter, and a few good tips for writing an email. I am also including good tools from Google that may help you consider moving to the “cloud”. And there is a fun surprise at the end 🙂

  1. Everybody is on Facebook (did you Join Cloud for Good on Facebook?), but how do you create a Facebook presence? Debra Askanase, Community Organizer 2.0, has five good tips. Her bottom line is: get creative, collaborate, and be aggressive.
  2. However, attracting new fans is not enough. What Does Your Facebook Funnel Look Like? Here are a few good ways to measure the effectiveness of your online communications?
  3. Salesforce.com’s Chatter is here and everybody is talking (and writing) about it. It is definitely number 1 in my Top 5 Salesforce.com Summer ’10 Release Features.
  4. Here is a post that I would really like to forward to a few colleagues (and family members), it’s called “I don’t have time to read your email”. We all know that this is a very painful issue! She has a few good tips to help improve your organization’s newsletter.
  5. Google released many new features this month, however, my favorite one is the ability to try Google Docs without a Google Apps account. They made my life easier! Explaining Google Docs can be a challenging task: they have great video tutorials but people need to “play” with it in order to really understand “real time collaboration” and “the cloud”. Google launched a new site that allows users to try full-fledged versions of its word processor, spreadsheet, and drawing tool without a Google account.
  6. Still not sure why you should move to the cloud? Google created the Go Google cloud calculator that lets you explore your potential savings in an easy-to-understand way. I love it!
  7. With your extra time you can play some vintage video games online, like Supper Mario and the King’s Quest.
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Salesforce Summer 10 Logo

Salesforce Summer ’10 release is here and is even better than before. Here are my top 5 favorite features from the new release.

1. Chatter

What is Chatter? Chatter is a collaboration application that can help you join forces with your co-workers, the applications in with which you work, and the content on which you work, in real-time. For example, your development team can use chatter to share updates and exchange information directly on the Donations records – no more endless email exchange (did you send the thank you letter? Did we receive the donation? Etc…)

To enable Chatter:

Setup | Customize | Chatter | Settings

Note:

  • To turn on Chatter, the new user interface is required.
  • All users have Chatter profiles with a personal photo, contact information, and professional experience.
  • The People Tab provides a list of all users.
  • Feeds provide real-time information (just like Facebook…i.e when a person changes a status on Facebook, you get notified. For Chatter, when collaborating on a document and your coworkers complete a thank you email, you get notified with a status update immediately. )

2. Cloud Scheduler

Wow! This will make my life easier! The Cloud Scheduler allows users to propose multiple meeting times – this should reduce all the back and forth communication when scheduling a multi-attendance meeting. You can let Salesforce propose meeting times, based on the Salesforce users’ calendar (it should be up-to-date!), or select your own meeting times.

To enable the Cloud Scheduler:

  1. Setup | Customize | Activities | Activity Settings  and click on Show Requested Meetings in Calendar Section.
  2. Add the new Meeting Request button to the page layouts for Contacts and Leads.

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3. Campaigns

More control over the Campaign Members object. For example, with cross-object formula fields it is now possible to display information from Leads, Contacts or Organizations on the Campaign Members object.

4. Answers Available in Force.com Sites!

Force.com Sites allows people create public websites and applications that are directly integrated with your Salesforce database. We have already delivered several Site based solutions for nonprofits, such as a fully featured university admission process (we also used Salesforce Customer Portal) and program enrollment forms.

Now, it is possible to expose the Answers community on Sites as well! The new release even enables the moderator to escalate a question into a case or promote a reply to an article. Salesforce has been using Answers for a while now. Check it out!

5. Last but not least, Drag-and-Drop Dashboards

Dashboards are great, but they can take time to create. With the new release most dashboard customizations happen on a single screen, therefore, it makes it easier for administrators to edit dashboards and minimize the time that it takes to create a new dashboards. The builder layout is a completely new way of creating dashboards and was very much-needed.

Note: Your profile should include “Drag-and-Drop Dashboard Builder”

Release Resources:

Summer ‘10 Release Preview
Summer ‘10 Release Webinar
Summer ’10 Release Notes
Developer Preview
Spring ’10 Release
Summer ’10 Release Training
Information about the release dates

I would like to start a new tradition and share with you some of my favorite readings from around the web. So, a few days late, here are my best March findings:

  1. Google Voice transcribing system enables all men to now give birth to a child.
  2. This is a good resource from one of my favorite nonprofit technology organizations, NTEN. You should definitely download the 2009 IT Staffing & Spending Report .
  3. A great video on how to embed a YouTube video in Power Point from Beth’s Blog.
  4. A must read for every organization with a website, 10 tips to improve your “about” page (visit Cloud for Good‘s website)
  5. 4 ways nonprofits can use Google Buzz and 5 ways nonprofits can increase engagement with YouTube.
  6. Do you follow me on Twitter? You should! Here are 10 Twitter tools for your organization.
  7. Foundations and donors are online, are you?
  8. Hook Memphis Up! Check out my interview for the Memphis Commercial Appeal: Leaders say Google Fiber Network could transform Memphis.
  9. If you ever wonder why your organization should float in the clouds, this is another great read from NTEN.
  10. Does your organization blog? Here is some good advice on how to create a successful blog.

Fan Us

I just opened a Fan page for Cloud for Good in Facebook, fan us!

A storm of applications is coming… Google unveiled their Google Apps Marketplace today. With 25 million users in more than 2 million businesses, there is clearly a need for more collaboration tools than Google Apps can offer today. Sound familiar? Unlike Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, developers don’t need to build their apps on Google’s platform (with Salesforce.com you have to develop on the force.com).


The big advantage of these applications is that they will integrate with your Google Apps so you can better share and collaborate with your team. Once you download an application into Google Apps, it will appear on your main Apps Dashboard alongside all the other Google applications you use. It will even appear in the “more” drop down across the Google properties.

I could not resist the new Marketplace and had to download an application – Manymoon. It is a cool project management/team collaboration solution. Manymoon allows your team to attach Google Docs to tasks, projects and events; add project information to shared Google Calendars and much more. For nonprofit organizations this is a great tool to manage educational programs, fundraising campaigns or even advocacy efforts. Best of all it is free!

To add an application to your domain from the Marketplace:

1. Click “Add it now
2. Agree to the vendor’s Terms of Service
3. Grant access to the data that the app is requesting
4.  Turn it on and start enjoying your increased productivity

Did you find a useful application? Please share your experience in the comments.


Here’s a short clip that explains what the commotion is all about:

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The new Buzzzzz….

02/10/2010

Google officially announced today on Google Buzz, a real time status and filtering feature for Gmail.

“Today, we’re launching Google Buzz, a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting and share updates, photos, videos and more. Buzz is built right into Gmail, so there’s nothing to set up — you’re automatically following the people you email and chat with the most.



Unfortunately, there is no Buzz for Google Apps yet. Google plans to make it available for businesses and schools only in a few months, with added features for sharing within your organization (by the way, no news yet about the Salesforce Chatter release…)

Will you use it?


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