Day 1 at NTEN 2011: So Many Sessions, So Little Time!

Posted on

By: Raji Mohanam, Knowledge Management Specialist, MHTF

Almost 2,000 people converged in Washington D.C. today to attend the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference. The conference, which runs today through Saturday, brings together professionals in the nonprofit sector who are interested in how technology, especially the internet-based kind, can help them achieve their organizations’ missions.

It’s my second time at an NTEN conference, so I already know I am going to learn a lot. For days, I’ve been following #11NTC* on my TweetDeck and reading conference tips and announcements from speakers and attendees alike. I have a pretty good idea of what the “hot” sessions will be, like the plenary tomorrow featuring Dan Heath, co-author of Switch.

Still, as I page through the conference program book and see the vast number of sessions available to me over the next few days, I can’t help but feel slightly overwhelmed. There are literally hundreds of interesting topics being covered (definitely more than last year), and a number of ‘tracks’ like Social Media, Communications, Advocacy, and Fundraising. To me this signifies the growing demand in the nonprofit sector for timely and good information on how new technologies and online tools can help accelerate and improve the important mission-driven work that we do.

So, I need to identify the sessions that will most benefit the Maternal Health Task Force. During the past few months, we have been taking a closer look at our site’s Google Analytics and discovered a steady increase of visitors coming from Facebook (it has become the second or third highest source of traffic to our site next to direct visits or Google searches!). We have a community on our FB page of about 620 people. In our universe, that’s a pretty big group! It’s a group that is vocal, interested, and partly comprised of those who work in resource-poor settings trying to save women’s lives every day! We obviously want to continue growing and engaging this audience. So, it makes sense for me to attend the session on the new Facebook features. However, there’s a simultaneous session on community mapping. With the MHTF interactive maternal health maps growing in popularity among our new and returning members, this is also on my ‘do not miss’ list. What’s a Knowledge Management Specialist to do?

Luckily, I’m here with my colleague Chris Lindahl. We will divide and conquer!

More updates tomorrow….stay tuned.

*You can follow NTC Tweets on Twitter using #11NTC