I’m back on twitter

Okay, we’ll give this another shot. I started on twitter in 2007, but dropped it as a time sink that didn’t have a high enough signal to noise ratio. I also figured that anyone who cared much about what I said was my friend on Facebook and would see notes there. So for the last several months, my twitter use was pretty much limited to following @kim_gandy and @cnnbrk on my phone (though it’s sometimes surprising to see what CNN thinks folks need to know RIGHT NOW.)

The Fem2.0 conference brought it back to my attention (though I still think scrolling the #fem2 tweets on the screen behind the panelists was more distracting than valuable, and the twitter based meetings were *really* low on signal to noise). Also that meeting helped put twitter on the AAUW radar, so there’s now an “official” @aauw twitter stream and a few of the staff chime in on their own. I’ve still no evidence that AAUW members in general are into twitter — I expect (as I found in 2007) that the number of AAUW twitterers compares to the number of AAUW Facebook users about the way twitter/facebook has penetrated the general population. That might be down from the 1:100 ratio to more like 1:30 — but with only on the order of 1000 folks on Facebook who identify with AAUW, I’m not convinced there’d be a big payoff for twitter. [But then, I remember crying as I was leaving the “younger members session” in Phoenix in 2007 — the panel said “use text messaging” but my note about twittering the convention was rejected as  inappropriate for the Convention Daily.]

We’ll see if I stick with it (and can control the time sink). Two new tools may help:

  • The Firefox add in Shareaholic. Almost a one-click tweet of an interesting link. Let me know if you find those annoying. I still do use del.icio.us for things of lasting value (particularly tag aauwtech).
  • Web interface tweetree.com. This is something like twitter.com on steroids —
    • gives additional info on links including showing  the media links as pix or videos,
    • has a box to do a search directly (instead of moving over to search.twitter.com),
    • shows (as best as it can figure) the original message when a friend posts an @reply,
    • supports retweet directly (without copy/paste),
    • and more.

I’m still being circumspect about following other folks – so don’t take it personally, just consider my borderline ADD and twitter @nes49 to get my attention (or, as my twitter profile still says, find me on Facebook).

Questions on changes to LAF

Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:19:07 -0400To: Jill R. Birdwhistell
From: Nancy Shoemaker <nancy.shoemaker@aauwnc.org>
Subject: Remaining LAF questions

Jill –

I think you’re the right person to receive these remaining questions about LAF from AAUW NC. If not, please forward.

I’ve read all the information sent to the state presidents at least twice –
o April 4 Q&A
o April 9 LAF Express
o April 24 Updated talking points

I understand the new focus moves from “sex discrimination in higher education” to the broader “sex discrimination in the workplace.” I agree that the shift from plaintiff support to support for “world changing” cases makes sense and may allow us to increase our impact. I also agree that, for instance, the 4/4 Q&A discussion of “why we still need donations to LAF” needs to be reframed, but I think that can be done by concentrating on what’s being accomplished rather than highlighting that it will be staff who will accomplish it.

Questions whose answers might help bring members support:

1. What, specifically, will be funded under the new model? [It’s somewhat easy to see that there are costs involved in mobilizing the members to support the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but if her case had still been in the courts, what expenses would we have to demonstrate/publicize our support for the case? ]

2. What is AAUW’s added-value in the coalition of groups that form around a particular case? What expertise do we need to bring to the table? our research? will we have any legal staff (or contractors) preparing briefs? is this support an expense in #1?

3. It may have been a minor part of the LAF program, but under the plaintiff-support model, there was always the possibility that members would be asked to sit in court rooms to demonstrate the organization’s support. Would this be part of the new model, or is there any way for the “average member” to expect to support these cases other than through donations?

4. How will the advisory board that determines that a case is of national significance be selected? [I heard staff and ??? — making recommendations to the board. Certainly one would expect that outsiders would be needed — but are there a few folks from our current membership to be involved? as on the model of the EF review panels? Will there be an open call for volunteers for the panels? I’d suggest that transparency in selection of cases — though it may be less of an issue than when selecting plaintiffs under the old model — can be an excellent complement to transparency in financial reporting.]

5. Are there other ways that members will participate in the new model?

The AAUW NC Summer newsletter will go to press at the end of May — I’m hoping to have a few crisp paragraphs to explain this change to the members. I’ve probably got the information I need, but will look for other information that engages the “community” part of the value promise (as well as the “breaking barriers” piece).

Thanks so much for all you’re doing to advance equity!


Question on Named Gifts

Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 18:42:14 -0400
To: development@aauw.org

Dear AAUW Development:

“Named gifts” are an old idea, but the CA Online branch has given them a new twist — posting information about the branch honorees on their web site — http://www.aauwcaonline.org/ef/namedgifthonorees.asp

That may seem like an obvious way to “update” the old ways of publicizing those folks — but I hadn’t thought of it. With the structure of the AAUW NC web site, it will be easy to create a new category of “Named Gift Honorees” and encourage the branches to forward paragraphs about their honorees. But before I do that I’d like to check:

1) Are named gift certificates available through you still? Does a simple e-mail from a branch officer suffice to request them?
2) In the Glossary, http://aauw.org/member_center/branches_states/2006leaderconf/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=4277, it says the amount for a named gift is $750, while in the 101 Ideas document, http://aauw.org/member_center/branches_states/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=11571, it says $500. Is the $750 correct? [Do you really check?]
3) Is there a recommended process (e.g. request named gift certificates based on the total from the last fiscal year) or any changes in the works (extending this to a more general program rather than just EF) that you’d like to share before I roll this out in North Carolina?



PowerPoint for Finance section of Leadership DVD?

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 12:59:23 -0400
To: allfinance@aauw.org

I’m reviewing the Leadership Development DVD in preparation for the April 19 AAUW NC Convention.

I can see that module 7 of the DVD, Financial Accountability, would lend itself to a webinar format, particularly for incoming branch presidents and finance officers.

o Could you send me (or post) the PowerPoint for that presentation?
o Is this module going to be available from the web by mid-May?

With the PowerPoint, I’d hope to be able to do at least an audio version of the presentation to a group of AAUW NC officers via webinar. I think most folks would need the notes of the slides to be able to internalize the information — and I didn’t find that content on the accompanying CD. If the info is available as notes, rather than PowerPoint, I think it would be a good supplement to an online version of the DVD module.



Flyer for AAUW Call for Vita

Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 10:53 AM
To: Travis, Roberta

Have you got this in a “flyer” format that we could use to distribute at our state conventions this month? Thanks. -Nancy


Date: 12:48 PM 4/1/2008,
Unfortunately, I don’t – would a copy of the initial memo distributed work (see attached). It has all the detailed information.

Roberta Travis


Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2008 15:16:38 -0400

Actually, no. The original memo is even more internally focused than the Reminder you sent out. What I mean by that is the memo is written to be read by someone who already considers herself part of the inner circle — or at least someone who understands what these committees actually do.

What I’m looking for is a 1-page flyer which is more of a marketing piece (with many fewer words, a graphic or two, etc.) and engages those who might not have considered applying for these positions — and highlights skills that the Association needs and that our members might be willing to share, with links to “learn more”.

But perhaps in this year of flux, it’s not the time to worry about it.