News You Can Use- January 2014Posted by: admin | Posted on: January 15, 2014
As we begin the New Year, you look back and reflect on the all of the amazing things your organization has accomplished. You have numbers and stories and many lives changed. You know this, but how do you share it with your community, especially when you have no budget? CBISA helps you collect the data, but what do you do with it after that?
Well, I hope Lyon’s “News You Can Use” can help. I have scoured the internet looking for free or close to it, tools you can use to put together amazing publications or websites. Every quarter I will review at least three resources that will help you edit images, make charts, infographs, newsletters or even to make a great website. Get your story out there and show the world how your organization works everyday to better your community.
PIXLR is the “most popular online photo editor in the world.” Sounds pretty impressive, right? The site has three different tools. Unlike Instigram, it has both a desktop and mobile app. The first tool, PIXLR editor, is a lot like Photoshop. Personally, I’m not a fan of Photoshop and I feel the same about the PIXLR editor. I find the options to be limited and somewhat confusing. The other two tools are splendid.
Pixlr Express is a photo editing tools to improve photos such as cropping, red-eye reduction, and similar tools. It has text, sticker options and also lets you make pretty cool collages. I played around with a few images and made this:
It was really easy to do and took about 5 minutes. There were also several filter and background options.
Pixlr-o-matic is about filters, effects, frames and backgrounds. This one reminded me a lot of Instigram but cooler and more useful. I used one of the sample images provided and created the picture on the right from the one on the left.
What I really liked about PIXLR is the fact you can save your images to your computer, phone or other device without sharing it with the world. You decide when your images are available to others. No sneak peeks before they are published with the rest of your content. I felt as if I had more control in general than I do with Instigram. You don’t even have to create an account to get started.
With CBISA’s ability to attach files to your Narratives, a collage would be a great medium to use. Keep the images right with your story. Just remember to keep the file size under 4mb.
I don’t know about you, but I have a love hate relationship with graphs and charts. I love the way they look and a visual representation will always grab more attention than rows of numbers on a spreadsheet. Infogr.am helps you create rather fantastic interactive infographs. That’s right, interactive.
CBISA provides a plethora of data, lots and lots of data. I know there is some magical way you can create pretty graphs and charts with excel, or so I’ve been told. Infogr.am made the graphing process easier. Not easy, but easier. You still have to do a bit of work cleaning up your excel file and in the end, if you are using the free version, you are only able to view your graph online. You can embed it to your webpage, post it to facebook, twitter, pinterest or link to it by a url. Unless you go “Pro”, your graphs are also going to be public. Pro is rather pricy for my taste but if you use it often enough, I guess it would be worth it.
I exported CBISA Plus Menu I report for special needs population; cleaned it up to just show me the totals for each population. This is what I was able to make:
Rebekah’s first go at Infogram | Create infographics
For this tool, you do need to create an account.
I have tried out many different email marketing services. At Lyon, we use SwiftPage and that has to do with our CRM software. I highly suggest Mad Mimi. Mad Mimi does integrate with several CRMs, just not the one we use. Oh, how I wish it did.
“Mad Mimi is the easiest way to create, send, share and track email newsletters online. Mad Mimi is for people who want email marketing to be simple. Every day, over 40 million emails are sent, shared and tracked using our delightful and powerful service.” I really couldn’t have said it better myself. It also lets you design a webform for your website or Facebook page and then it keeps track of who signs up. You can also import existing lists.
The user interface is clean and sleek. No frills, but the site is upbeat and fun. It is super simple to use; drag and drop pictures and banners. With a free subscription you get, up to 2,500 contacts and send 12,500 emails. You are limited to only one webform though. If you need more or would like to have support, you can start a monthly subscription.
Mad Mimi would be a great tool to share your data, stories and images with your stakeholders. Keep them up to date with what you’ve been doing to improve the community you share.
Have any feedback or a tool you’d like me to review? Let me know in the comments below.