Your voice re: IT is important: share it on TechSoup

Jayne Cravens
Posted July 29, 2020 from United States

TechSoup is a nonprofit based in San Francisco, California, with affiliates all over the world. TechSoup has a lot of different programs, and one of them is an online community for discussions about all aspects of computer and Internet tech, from hardware and security topics to digital ethics, online reputation, keeping ICT4D projects focused on the beneficiaries, and more. I've been involved in the community since its launch 20 years ago - I don't at all consider myself a "techie", but I use computers and the Internet SO MUCH in my work and I want to get out there and make sure user perspectives are discussed and addressed! When the TechSoup community first began, there was a really excellent gender balance in terms of most active contributors, and it had women from different parts of the world posting. But now... it's very North American male-dominated. 

So many of you have great things to share on the TechSoup community - your favorite app to use in your work, how your program is engaging with people online because of COVID-19 fears, how you address online attacks, how women stay safe online, challenges you face in doing anything regarding computers and the Internet, and on and on. And what's nice about sharing on TechSoup is that: 

  • it raises both the profile of your program and YOUR profile (there are a lot of tech funders who read the forum).
  • it's a great way to get answers to tech-related questions and concerns.
  • it can help you network with people that are good to know, including potential partners.

You can view the list of different TechSoup forum subjects, you can view the list of most recent posts, you can see all of my posts so you can see how I use the forum, and you can do searches on topics you are interested in, like accessibility or ethics or Africa. A good first post is to introduce yourself, your program/affiliations and how you use computers (including smart phones) or the Internet in your work. And I would love it if you would post in the digital engagement branch specifically and talk about the challenges women in your country face in having access to both the Internet and careers related to tech.  

Would love to see you there! 

Comments 16

Log in or register to post comments
Chi8629
Jul 30
Jul 30

Thank you for sharing.

Nini Mappo
Jul 30
Jul 30

It is valuable information Jayne. I am not in tech-anything but I hope that people in tech on this platform find this and benefit from it.
Good on you for sharing.

In sisterhood,
Nini

Jayne Cravens
Sep 02
Sep 02

"I am not in tech-anything"
But you are! You post to World Pulse. You have a profile here. That means you know how to participate in an online community. That means you are connected to the Internet. And you are on World Pulse, and that means you understand how tech can connect our thoughts and build support for our causes. All of that makes you VERY tech everything!

Hello, Jayne,

TechSoup is a great online resource. I just browse the site right now, and there is a vast of info and even tech-related volunteer opportunities.

Thanks for sharing this with us. I hope our Tech Savvy sisters check this out, too. It might be helpful to post this as an OFFER to our the Resources Page here.

Jayne Cravens
Sep 02
Sep 02

I hope that you , as a tech savvy sister, will consider posting to the TechSoup community. What social media do you use to connect with partners, staff and volunteers in your causes? What collaboration tools do you use? What challenges do you face in using tech? All of that would be welcomed on the TechSoup community!

Millynairi
Jul 31
Jul 31

Dear Jyne,
Thanks for sharing. I have searched through the net and seen Tech soup and it looks great!

Jayne Cravens
Sep 02
Sep 02

I so hope you will go there and share your use and challenges of using social media, email, any online tools at all, to promote the causes you care about, to build partnerships, to support volunteers.

Vanora.Lee
Jul 31
Jul 31

Thanks for the information and sharing.

SanPatagonia
Aug 02
Aug 02

Such an interesting tech node! Thank you for sharing!
San

Beth Lacey
Aug 03
Aug 03

TechSoup is very helpful

Kirthi Jayakumar
Aug 06
Aug 06

How exciting! Thank you for sharing about TechSoup! I am definitely going to look it up!

Jayne Cravens
Sep 02
Sep 02

I hope you will post to the community! Your voice is important there - there are so few women's voices there, and there needs to be more!

Thelma obani 2020
Aug 08
Aug 08

Thanks for sharing dear.
I will read about your initiative

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Aug 24
Aug 24

Hello Jayne
How are you doing.You have an interesting writ-up here about TechSoup.I have heard about TechSoup in Cameroon by a young guy.His ideas were good but after one workshop,I never heard from him again.Its a good thing you are giving us this information and will love to know more and how inclusive it is for persons with disabilities and also how I can participate an get involve.
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

Jayne Cravens
Aug 26
Aug 26

Hi, Veronica. It's wonderful to connect. I'm sorry that the TechSoup person in Cameroon that you interacted with "disappeared." I know that TechSoup does have representatives in other countries, all locally-recruited, but I'm unfamiliar as to which countries have that. The TechSoup main office has free webinars every month and you are welcomed to attend - though the timing may not be good for you (and I will feel for you, as I have had to get up at 3 a.m. sometimes for webinars in other parts of the world!).

The main TechSoup web site does not meet accessibility standards, I'm sorry to say. It's frustrating, because it's something I've advocated for for years. I know that it is not designed to be navigated without a mouse, for instance. But the forum area, which is what I'm involved with, can be navigated with a mouse: http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/community/f/

If you do a search on words like accessibility or disabilities on the forum, you will see lots of posts about these subjects, most by me - while I am not an accessibility expert, I am a passionate advocate for equal access online for people with disabilities.

You asked how you can participate - as I said in my essay, you can join the forum (it's free) and share anything you like. You can write a post about:
-- How your employees and volunteers help people with disabilities access technology and the challenges they face, tools they use, etc.
-- What tech tools you use to work with your employees, volunteers and clients when they are remote to the office (WhatsApp? Microsoft Teams? Zoom? Something else?) and what you use the tool for.
-- How you access hardware and what hardware your clients and staff are in need of most.

Really, anything to do with computers, smart phones and the Internet in terms of using it to do your work and deliver your services.

Hope you and others will share. The forum really needs more women's voices talking about tech - I am the only forum moderator that is female and I feel so alone!

lemonadelemon
Aug 30
Aug 30

Wow..great sharing. Now only i know about the TechSoup.