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Tech Talks-part 2: interviewing Digital Sisters founder & community tech leader Shireen Mitchell

by Jill Foster on December 31, 2008

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Shireen Mitchell, Digitalsistas

Shireen Mitchell: from media, politics, & tech strategy
Shireen blogged both political conventions this summer, including this RNC audio interview about Gov. Palin’s acceptance speech. But her experience goes beyond the blogosphere. She’s a social media and technology strategist, founder of Digital Sistas/Sisters, Chair of the Media and Technology Task Force of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO), and president of the Community Technology Centers’ Network (CTCNet) Board of Directors.

A strong technology advocate for underserved communities
Shireen Mitchell talked recently with Solutions Are Power on topics ranging from tools for small business, technology access/forecasts, President-Elect Obama’s technology agenda, and on! It was an idea-packed conversation that I didn’t want to end.

On social tools, cloud computing, & shoe string budgets

Small businesses and other organizations I work with usually look to technology for a couple of things:

1. Marketing on a shoe string budget and with that, managing printing costs, are common: When advising, I find people want a process that’s more efficient and cost effective — especially if they print 1000 copies of a collateral piece that later reveals a typo. Technology helps them manage that process more effectively.

2. Tech can practically be used for another staff member, especially with nonprofits. [Smaller organizations especially] are able to dedicate small tech-centric tasks like content management for their website; content management is the main one I see organizations needing.

3. And with the marketing push lately [in this economy], people are wanting social media tools. They don’t want to officially retain a PR or marketing person.

4. Economically, opportunities now in cloud computing are becoming more central i.e. using web word processing tools vs spending a ton of their budget on software licenses (more on small business and cloud computing tools).

On forecasting chat tools & social content
I think it’s going to be interesting to watch the crossover between social media tools like Twitter; Twitter is based on old models like bbs boards. It emerges as a new technology because many [users] don’t remember the old stuff. As Twitter ages we will come up with new creative ways to use what I would consider to be a mega chat — moving from mega chat to smaller versions using hashtags and back again.

I think we’ll move back & forth from open and closed networks from one point of entry – with say Twitter or other social media tools – that will be funneled back to one platform.

Tech talks continue with Shireen: Obama’s technology policy
Join us!
…later this week for the third and final segment of Shireen’s conversation on President-Elect Obama’s technology policy & the nation’s next CTO.

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