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Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~ November 2004 ~ Topics

RSS: Really Simple Syndication

The newest Web innovation has been compared to TiVo, the television program recording system that is totally personalized. RSS is a system that allows all types of Web sites to broadcast their site updates to any user that subscribes to the RSS feed. This would mean that instead of getting "junk" notices in your email, the information would be that which you requested.

Imagine a system that would spend the day scanning every TV channel you designated, and then provides you a listing of the shows you might want to watch, because the system recorded it too. That is how RSS works, only with Web sites. It is the ultimate in "on demand," your sites, in your time frame, and where you want to get information. Control is the main advantage of RSS.

Newspapers are moving quickly into this new technology. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, most notably. They provide an index of their paper on a daily basis to RSS sites like Feedster.

Feedster, the RSS search engine has seen a growth in the number of sites it indexes of 10% per month since its launch in April 2003. By July of 2004 it was indexing 737,000.

The current users of RSS are "bloggers" and aggregators (Google, Yahoo, Newsgator are aggregators), but the expectation is that the service will soon be available to the average citizen.

The value of such a service to a busy administrator is to reduce the time looking for information. Scan the listings on sites you value and read only what you need. Sorta like one-stop-shopping, without leaving your chair.

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International Resources On Volunteering

The Volunteer Today Bookstore has two new offering for readers interested in the volunteer movement in Brazil and Arab countries.

by Dr. Lobna M. Abdelmagid and Mr. Izzat Abdul-Hadi
by Monica Beatriz Galiano & Barnabe Medeiros Filho
No region of the world has received as much attention in the last five years as the Arab World. But virtually nothing has been written about the work of volunteers from those nations and their role in building civil society. Al-Tatawae helps us understand the social, religious, and cultural forces shaping volunteering in the Arab World. It is a seminal study, combining quantitative and qualitative research to paint a fascinating picture of a part of the volunteer community unknown to most of us. Corporate volunteering has exploded across Brazil in less than a decade of strategic national and local effort. Now, distinctively Brazilian models have begun to emerge, marrying global practices with the realities of Brazilian communities. The book does three things very well. First, it describes the social, political, and historic context for corporate volunteering in Brazil. Second, it tells the stories of what companies are doing and how they are doing it. Third, it lays out the direct, no-nonsense approach that has been used successfully to develop volunteering in companies throughout Brazil.

Visit our online bookstore for more information and to buy our new books on international volunteering: Al Tatawae: Volunteering in the Arab World, by Dr. Lobna M. Abdelmagid and Mr. Izzat Abdul-Hadi, and isto da samba, Corporate Volunteerism: The Brazilian Way, by Monica Beatriz Galiano & Barnabe Medeiros Filho.
Order Volunteering in the Arab World Book Order Corporate Volunteerism the Brazilian Way Book

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Volunteer Management Certificate Course in April

Washington State University is offering its online Volunteer Management Certificate Program in a face-to-face format April 26-29, 2005 in Port Hadlock, Washington. Participants will study Recruiting, Training, Management, Supervision, Evaluation, and Recognition in highly interactive sessions. Teams will work with case studies, simulations, nominal groups, in addition to lectures by experts on managing volunteers. Deadline for registration is January 31, 2005. To learn more about this exciting training visit: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer.

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Macduff Conducts Basic and Advanced Workshops in Seattle in January

Nancy Macduff, Senior Editor and Publisher of Volunteer Today is conducting two workshops on the management of volunteers, in Seattle, Washington, on January 24 and 25, 2005. Topics for the first workshop include the basics of recruiting volunteers, including episodic volunteers, and working with corporate volunteer programs. The advanced training, for those with two or more years of experience managing volunteers, involves supervision strategies, empowering volunteers, and a primer on risk management planning. For more information contact: Patty Igo at PattyI@UWSC.ORG.

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Time Line

We are looking for your memories. Were you at the President's Summit on Volunteerism and Citizen Service in Philadelphia? What do you remember? Send us a short note and we will post on the Volunteer Today time line. Do you remember the first days you had as manager of volunteers in 1992? Talk about that. This is your opportunity to share your experiences in this field and become part of its history. Send your remembrances to editor@volunteertoday.com.

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