About six months ago (give or take a few months) Marnie Webb got together with a few other people as interested as she was in del.icio.us, flickr and the possible intersections of RSS, social networking and non-profits, and started an experiment. What if they all, started tagging del.icio.us bookmarks of interest to non-profit technologists with the tag :nptech”? The idea picked up. People joined in. The attribute expended to flickr, furl and other tag-based information systems, and to technorati‘s stab at pasting tagging functionality on top of the blogosphere.
The best way to see the result of this project (until yesterday) was to go to Technorati and search for nptech. The resulting list of blog entries, flickr photos and del.icio.us links are all on subject.
So, on Monday, Marnie and I had lunch, and we decided to do something that, once we mentioned it, seemed kind of obvious. What if we were to set up a site that aggregates all of this information and allows us to communicate and collaborate around it? A very logical next step. We have the nptech tagging presence; we have a google group about it, but a web community puts the information and the people all in one place, with forums, blogs and other tools available to support moving beyond research sharing into collaborative action.
So we dove right in. CivicSpace is a customized repacking of the Drupal Content Management System – the one developed to support Howard Dean’s presidential run. It’s a great fit for this, because it has powerful aggregation and communication features — I’ve set up Drupal sites at Goodwill and for smaller communities. I put up a copy on my server (entry to follow on my recent server upgrade, which has kept me pretty quiet here) , And Marnie and I have started pulling information in and inviting alpha-testers on board.
So, you’re invited to alpha test at nptech.krazy.com.
It’s pretty raw right now – we will be improving the appearance and tweaking the functionality. that’s why it’s alpha. But there’;s no reason why you can’t jump right in and read the aggregated nptech information, post some thoughts, suggest some feeds, or, if you’re artistic, send me a much better logo for the site than the one I put up there last night.