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Tools & Software

The Voter Information Project

It's election day in the Commonwealth of Virginia -- the state in which most Forum One staff call home. Today we'll elect a governor, a lieutenant governor, attorney general, and 100 house delegates. Thousands of people woke up this morning seeking answers to these three questions:

Forum One's Experience with SlideShare

SlideshareWe recently described how we use social media at Forum One. Today we'll talk about the category leader for posting and sharing PowerPoint presentations, SlideShare.

Vote For DataMasher in Apps For America 2

datamasher imageOver the past month, I had the privilege of being the Forum One Project Manager for a fun, open-source web application development contest: the Apps for America 2: Data.gov Challenge.

The Revolution is Twitterfied

Five years ago, CNN and 24-hour news channels and personal blogs captured US citizen dissent at the 2004 Presidential election results (or lack thereof). In 2008 TwitterVoteReport attempted to provide real-time election monitoring as US citizens posted voting experiences to their Twitter feeds. Concurrently the Obama campaign leveraged every social media tool in the book to engage US citizens, empower them with ways they could help, and ultimately contributed to winning the next presidency.

Data Going Mobile - We MAY Be Moving Beyond the "Nifty Idea" Phase

I had the great fortune last week to get to Mobile Tech 4 Social Change barcamp here in DC. The event was organized by Katrin Verclas of MobileActive.org, hosted by Google DC and sponsored by Forum One and Mobile Commons. The small-but-high-value crowd included a nice mix of mobile techies and non-profit professionals (mostly in international development or global health).

Publishing Research? Move Beyond the Book with a Web Application

Many readers of this blog work for influential organizations that produce top-tier research. Chances are still pretty good that these organizations capture their work, first and foremost, in formal reports that appear as hard-copy books and, in online form, PDF files. To be clear, I don't necessary fault this move - there is still nothing that says "important" and "credible" like a book (not to mention: who isn't looking for a nice think-tank tome to take on their mid-Winter beach get-away!).

Strategies for Visualizing and Sharing Policy Content

This is a cross-post of an article written for the NTEN newsletter and blog.

Policy-oriented organizations have long produced dizzying amounts of statistical content. In the past, rows and rows of data would die a quick death in thick policy reports or inscrutable spreadsheets. Don't let your data fall victim!

Want your own Google Map interface? Try Google Maps' My Maps

I love maps - love reading them, analyzing them, staring at them - anything. I can spend tons of time doing this. When Google Earth came out I played with it for hours - [ahem] not on company time, of course - and when Google Maps interfaces started coming out, I wanted one. Alas, I had not the technical skill to create a mash-up with the Google Maps API. What was a cartographically-inclined-but-technically-challenged guy like me to do?

Scott Berkun On Why Designers Fail

Scott Berkun at The Berkun Blog recently posted the results of an informal study he did on why designers fail. While he doesn't say it anywhere that I could find, he seems to mean "designers" in the narrow sense of "graphic designers." I think the conclusions probably map reasonably well to any sort of designer, i.e., technical architects, information architects, etc. The survey went as follows:

KaBOOM! "Playspace Finder" - Great New Service and Widget

Our friends at KaBOOM! have launched a new version of their "Playspace Finder" service -- a very cool map-based database to catalogue playspaces for kids.

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