Understanding the Size of Gen Y

A quick post today that should help you understand why you should care about what Generation Y cares about, in particular when it comes to your website.

First, definitions. Here are the four main generations we’re sharing the US with, as defined by the book Generations by William Strauss and Neil Howe:

  • Silent Generation (born between 1925–1942)
  • Baby Boomer (born between 1943–1960)
  • Generation X (born between 1961–1981)
  • Generation Y (born between 1982–2001)

And here’s how they number, in millions:
Numbers of Generations

Do you see that big bar on the right? That’s Generation Y. They’re huge, and they’re addicted to social media. One very persuasive reason you should reconsider your website strategy.

If you’re wondering where you rank in regards to social media compared with others, participate in our survey and you’ll receive a copy of the report when it comes out early next year.

Excellent Tool for Identifying Fonts

There are billions of fonts out there, which makes it darned difficult to identify one by sight. That’s doubly difficult if someone presents you with a graphic of a font. You can’t exactly look that one up in the font drop-down menu in Word.

Instead, you plug it into What the Font?! In their words, “Upload a scanned image of the font and instantly find the closest matches in our database.”

And it works amazingly well for identifying a mysterious typeface.

Notes from a Nonprofit Conference

Just off the chute of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network conference in Boston – great networking with some of the charitable organizations in the area. A few quick tech takeaways:

  • No one knows the term “microblogging,” but they’ve heard of Twitter. (Hint, Twitter is a microblogging app. Same with Plurk. Follow me.)
  • Few organizations are happy with their website as it stands.
  • Everyone’s interested in social media but have no idea where to begin learning about it (Hint: if you’re a Massachusetts congregation, here’s your chance.)
  • The older generations are in a totally different place when it comes to being online than the younger generations, but at least they know it.

Gadget Monday: Tiny Pocket Projector

3M Pocket Projector

Move over pens, it’s time to make room for a pocket projector. Yes, projector, not protector. The 3M Pocket Projector is a dinky $359 projector that takes the place of hyper-expensive LCD projectors that can run in the thousands.

Plug the projector into your laptop to access DVDs, presentations and photos, and project them onto your desk or wall or another blank white space. It’s definitely limited to a smaller room application in bright light – it displays around a foot across – but in a dark room, you can use it to project a much larger image on the wall.

Perfect tool for taking on the road for seminars or doing quick displays.

Intro to Social Media Optimization

As you know, we’re sponsoring a benchmarking survey of how nonprofits are using social media. That made me think about how many questions float my way about social media optimization, although people rarely phrase their questions in that way.

Search Engine Guide has a great primer on SMO, which I recommend reading. It’ll give you an idea of how you can expand your network through social media.

How Do You Use Social Media?

I’m not alone in telling you how social media can help your nonprofit because the tools are free, powerful and help build community. According to a survey released this September, 60 percent of Americans use social media, and of those, 59 percent interact with companies on social media websites. One in four interacts more than once per week.

That’s why Talance is launching the Massachusetts Nonprofit Social Media Survey, whose objective is gauge how Massachusetts nonprofits are using social media and how.

The results will help delineate where nonprofits fall in social media adoption rates, how that varies (for example by the size of the org), and what kind of benefits they’re receiving from their efforts. Our findings will provide solid practical value for nonprofits that want to benchmark their own practices.

The survey will be open until Nov. 21, 2008, and we are seeking one response per organization.

This survey is more useful the more people who respond, so please take a few minutes to share your experiences – it’s short.

Anyone can receive a free executive summary of the survey results when they become available this winter. Every organization that submits a completed survey will receive a complimentary copy of the full survey report, available in February. We’ll all learn a little more about nonprofits are adopting this technology.

Take the survey!

Meet Me in Massachusetts

Good news! I’ll be making an in-person appearance at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network conference on October 24 at Bentley College. Talance will have a table, and I’ll also be giving a mini-presentation on Web Mistakes That Could Cost You.

Let me know if you’ll be there (the comments box below is handy for this), and we’ll connect.

Gadget Monday: Super Cheap Phone Calls with magicJack


Phone bills can quickly carve a big chunk out of a budget, thanks to base rates and unending fees, so ditching the land line is an attractive idea. That’s one of the reasons I like Skype so much (see these postings I’ve tagged with “Skype”). MagicJack is another gizmo that makes nearly free phone calls a possibility.

This little doohickey is about the size of a pack of gum that plugs into your computer and household phone and offers unlimited local and long distance for the US and Canada. It’s $40, which is easily earned back within the first month of use. It also offers free directory assistance, call waiting, voice mail and caller ID.

Installation is easy: you plug in both ends and let the software automatically load itself onto your computer. Register and receive unique phone number (or port your existing numbers), and you can start to begin making calls.

Easy Scheduling with Doodle

I recently had to coordinate a series of meetings among a large group of people who live far away. You can probably imagine how frustrating that was.

Enter my new friend Doodle, which lets you create a poll, forward the link to the poll to the participants and let them vote on their choice. It might be anything from what day of the week works best for a meeting, to choose the turkey or veggie sandwich for lunch.

Creating and Building Community Online

I mentioned earlier this week that nonprofits should think more carefully about web marketing, not only because they should think of marketing as a way to build and sustain their community, but also as a relatively inexpensive ways to do so.

One of the best examples I’ve seen for creating online community that makes a difference is the We Campaign, the project of The Alliance for Climate Protection — the nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Al Gore.

I love the action alerts, the blog, which they call “What’s New,” and the get-active, community-driven effort, which is online.

Think about your organization and how you might reconfigure your online presence to build community. Can you offer up your own action alerts? Can you start a What’s New blog? What about Facebook or MySpace – is there a way you can increase your reach by starting a group there?