Technology Tips and Tools from NTEN

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By: Raji Mohanam, Knowledge Management Specialist, MHTF

The 2011 NTEN conference came to an end on Saturday and I came away with a lot to think about. It’s going to take a few days to digest and share all the interesting information from the conference. So for now, I’m highlighting a few ‘take-aways’ that I hope you will find helpful!

1. Figure out Facebook. If you haven’t given much thought to your organization’s Facebook page, you need to! In the past few months, there have been a number of important updates on Facebook that directly impact how you engage with your audience (who used to be your ‘fans’ but are now your “likers”!). Spend time with your tech team going through the various new features and applications available to you as ‘embed codes’. You can start here.

Some new features worth looking at include: the improved “like” button; the social graph ap; remote commenting ap; and the new ‘recommendation’ feature. Facebook is known for its uniform look, but it has also been revamping its page features lately to better suit its users’ and advertisers’ needs.  This could be due to the pressure on FB to increase revenue before it goes IPO. Bottom line: you can take advantage of all FB’s free aps if you know which ones really align with your organizations’ mission and goals.

Here are some examples of how some folks are exploiting the new photo banner on their FB profile pages. And, see here and here for some great examples of how customized you can get with your fan page. So, get creative!

2. Twitter is not trivial! If you organization is serious about using social media to help meet some of its goals, then you are probably already on Twitter and Tweet often to raise awareness of your programs and activities. If you are that next level and use Twitter to help drive traffic, create a community, and engage your audience every day—then you probably use TweetDeck. The MHTF uses TweetDeck and we’ve found it to be an amazing tool for tracking our ‘universe’ of maternal health Tweets. However, for those of you who are ready take the next leap in your social media strategy, I suggest you take a look at Hootesuite. There was so much ‘buzz’ around this tool at NTEN, but with good reason. Hootesuite actually let’s you schedule tweets for later! If that weren’t enough, it also lets you track what happens to your Tweets once sent, and provides a number of analytics about the influence of your Tweeting! I hope I’m not the only one who is blown away by this! Check it out.

3. Clouds with character. If you take a look at the MHTF “tag cloud” to the right of this page, you will see that it rotates and spins when you mouse over it. Neat, huh? Not only is it visually stimulating, but due to the size of various phrases and words– you can see at one glance the topics that have most relevance on our blog before you even read anything. Well, now you can go one step further and customize your tag cloud’s image as well! Go to Tagxedo for examples. Amazing, right?

4. Data doesn’t have to be dull! Data visualization and Infographics are here to stay, and according to many experts speaking at NTEN, it is actually the route data-rich websites need to go in order to engage their audience and sustain interest. Here are some great examples. Look out for a new spot on our site later this month that will be devoted to maternal health Infographics!

5. Find the funding. For those organizations interested in getting better data on who funds what, where, when, and why….take a look at It’s an interactive, next-generation geographic mapping tool to find philanthropic data.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Be sure to stay tuned to the MHTF Blog for the latest information on how technology can help meet your mission.

If you found any of these tips useful, be sure to Tweet about it using our Twitter handle #MHTF!