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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~ November 2008 ~

Legal Issues and the Internet

What is the “fair use” doctrine related to the Internet?  Can you use material from the Internet or Web without the person’s permission?  These and more questions come up when one is creating a Web page, writing a newsletter, or keeping volunteers up-to-date.  There is a clever site that is designed for high school students that asks these questions and many more.  Answers to the questions are there, also, to guide you as you design online resources for volunteers in a legal framework.

To visit CYBERBEE- http://www.cyberbee.com/cb_copyright.swf

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Check Your Technology Habits

The old books of etiquette still apply.  The impression you leave with people can come from their experience with you and technology.  Here is a checklist to see if you have some “bad” technology habits.  Check the ones that apply to you.

 _____  1.  I talk on the cell phone in inappropriate locations

The dining room of restaurant, child’s teacher conference, dentist or doctor, churches, synagogues, or mosque are all locations that are taboo for proper etiquette.  So is your pharmacy or grocery store, unless the call is directly related to the purchase of food or drugs.

_____  2.  I will interrupt a personal conversation to answer the cell phone.

If you are talking with a volunteer or paid staff member, is the caller on the cell phone more important than the person standing in front of you? Probably not. Answering the phone is not only is it rude, it is insulting.

_____  3.  I have a wild ring tone

A ringing phone is the midst of a meeting is bad enough, but having it play the most recent offering from Prince is crazy.  It is not professional and can be off-putting to those in the room forced to listen to your choice in music. If you expect calls, learn to put the phone on vibrate to avoid people hearing your musical favorite of the week.

_____  4.  I hide behind voice mail or caller ID

Some people hide behind voice mail. The person waits for voice mail to pick up, he/she listens to the caller’s identity and his/her message before answering. Too quick on a call back makes it obvious that you hid behind the call, and too late may have lost a potential volunteer. In reality this wastes everyone’s time.

_____  5.   I am constantly checking email

Time is wasted when you stop what you are doing to check your email when the little “beep” or tone souncds.  Often the message is unimportant or spam. Check messages in batches several times a day.  If you cannot resist looking, turn off the sound notification feature.  You will be more productive.

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