Randal Moss

Working to change the real world by hanging out in a virtual one. That’s pretty much how Susan Tenby sums up nonprofits’ use of the 3-D, online, virtual world known as Second Life. Tenby is senior manager of online community development for San Francisco-based nonprofit technology information provider TechSoup.org Tenby, also known as her Second Life avatar Glitteractica Cookie, says SL can be an extremely valuable tool for nonprofits in terms of collaboration and learning. Launched by the San Francisco-based software company Linden Lab, SL is a place where nonprofits can raise awareness and dollars and reach new audiences while having

Web 2.0 tools and social technologies — blogs, social networks, widgets, videosharing and photosharing sites — all are cost-effective ways to build participation, sharing and collaboration into the core of what organizations do. But they’re different than traditional nonprofit efforts online. They require organizations to go to areas that they can’t control, where potential supporters are gathered. And though they offer the ability for increased engagement, it doesn’t just happen on its own. Here’s a look at how a few nonprofits are using online social technologies in their outreach efforts.

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