VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
with Scott Merrill
Three Sites I Can't Live Without
The Internet makes me smarter than I normally am, and I've grown increasingly accustomed to turning to the Internet to help me solve problems, rather than more traditional off-line avenues.
I think by now most people appreciate the Google search engine. It's my first stop whenever I need to find information. I also use Google when trying to find out information about a person (search Google for your own name, some time, or the name of your organization, to see what comes up). Google has become such a necessary part of my life online that I literally don't know how I'd get by without it. I use Google so often that I often put my search terms directly into the URL so that I get right to the results:
Google has a lot of other features you may not know about:
The second website I can't live without is dictionary.com. I'm not the world's best speller, but proper spelling is important to me. A quick visit to dictionary.com ensures that I get right all those words with which I always struggle. As with Google, it's possible to access dictionary.com's results directly from the URL:
The third site I find myself using more and more is wikipedia.com, the free online collaborative encyclopedia. It has up-to-date, topical information about a great many subjects, and is a great starting point for in-depth on-line research. And of course, Wikipedia allows me to get to the content I'm looking for directly from the URL, saving me time:
The truly great thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can contribute to it, either by creating new pages or by editing existing pages. In addition, Wikipedia provides a space for "out-of-band" conversations about a particular issue without cluttering up the main entry area. For example, take a look at the entry for "Volunteer":
At the top of the page is a link labeled"discussion", which contains some thoughts on how to better define "Volunteer":
Any one of you could edit the main Volunteer page with more information and links to other resources! Or you could ask a question in the Talk section to try to gain more clarity from other contributors. There's currently no entry for "Volunteer Management", so that might be a nice starting point if you're really interested in contributing.
If you do decide to contribute to Wikipedia, be sure to check out the guidelines for "Your First Article":
and the Tutorial:
Scott Merrill is an information technology professional with demonstrated success in a variety of diverse environments, including healthcare, for-profit, and non-profit. He has participated in large-scale deployments for national and international corporations, and has successfully managed the introduction of a complete technology solution for a mid-sized nonprofit mental health facility. Scott lives in lovely Columbus, Ohio with his wife and twin daughters. He occasionally blogs his thoughts at http://skippy.net. You may reach him by email at email@example.com.
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