The Wednesday “Science Fair” was a cute way to brand a vendor session. Often this type of high pressure selling event bothers me, but at NTC I was pleasantly surprised to find a few vendors that were engaged in empowering communities through their IP choices.
mpowerOpen - mpowerOpen is software for constituent relationship management (CRM) and fund raising for nonprofits that is open source. This adds another competitor to a field dominated by by closed source companies who do not serve smaller nonprofits. MpowerOpen provides services for nonprofits that want customization or tech support and enables other NPOs to use the code and add to the community.
See3 - See3 is a NPO that focuses on empowering npo’s through digital media. The staff was very aware of copyright related issues plaguing digital media and was even aware of creative commons. Oddly though after 30 mins browsing through their partners and clients websites, I could not find an example of a See3 client using CC on video content. I wonder if their understanding of the need for CC to enable sharing is new…
Tech Underground - The Tech Underground is a network of independent technology professionals offering consulting/support services to nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay area. These guys rocked not just because they were giving away scotch but because they were smart. They were true techies offering tech services through a network of independent consultants with no mark up.
The Bad: There were too many vender’s shilling bad closed source solutions with little to no sense of community with only an interest in gaining market share.
Honorable mention: CiviCRM ran a great affinity group meeting earlier in the day. Sarah blogged about it already at Civil Disobedient.