Most of this week I spent at NTEN's National Technology Conference (NTC) in New Orleans. I participated in the Day of Service, providing free consulting to a nonprofit, participated in a panel on nonprofit consulting with my distinguished colleagues Beth Kanter, Robert Weiner and Eric Leland (we missed the original moderator Michael Stein, who was absent due to illness), then presented two session, one on online engagement and the other with Beth Kanter on Web 2.0 options and techniques. As always I learned a lot from my co-presenters and the audiences. This is a great event that I encourage any nonprofit technology professional to consider attending. In 2009 it will be in my neck of the woods, San Francisco.
I really enjoyed New Orleans, seeing and hearing about how the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts are progressing. I toured parts of the city that were hard hit and a lot of work remains. I am not alone in feeling that the government reaction to this disaster was generally a disgrace. A consistent theme I heard from people here is how great the impact has been from all of the volunteers who have come and donated their time, expertise, equipment and skills. It is a tribute to the volunteer spirit that still thrives in the US. So even if I am disheartened by the lack of government action, I am encouraged knowing that ordinary citizens of all backgrounds and beliefs will pitch in and help people in need.