I feel very lucky to have found a professional niche that I really enjoy. I can actually remember the revelation that This Was It - it was at my first Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). This is an annual event put on by the good folks and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN).
Last year the NTC was in New Orleans. The year before that it was in our own Washington, DC. THIS year it will be in San Francisco - an old stomping ground. Part of the fun of the NTC is the different cities it shows up in and getting a sense of the nonprofit community (and rampant nerdity) there.
Basically, the NTC is an opportunity for a bunch of nerds who work with nonprofit to learn and network. There's the Science Fair which is basically a room full of vendors that you can visit, harrass and get swag from. Working at Antharia, this was the purpose for going. You'd chat up people looking for solutions to various web intiaitives for the organizations. It was fun! Now that I am one of those people looking for ways to optimize my nonprofit's presence on the web I'm looking forward to getting into all of the breakout sessions. There are three breakout session per day (it's a 3 day event) and you can choose from a ZILLION intensely interesting topics.
Some goodies for this year:
Gobs and Gobs of Data: Strategies for Visualizing, Mapping, and Sharing Policy Content
When you want your buttons pushed: How to optimize your site with multivariate testing
Trends in Constituent Satisfaction with Nonprofit Websites: Building Membership, Donations and Loyalty Through the Web Channel
DIY Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
I love the NTC. And, I have to admit, I was sad thinking that leaving Antharia meant never going to the NTC ever again. But! There is hope, friends. I've been lobbying at work - extolling the fantastic usefulness of this event. And it turns out that our budget might have some wiggle room to accommodate it. I'll keep you posted. FINGERS CROSSED !!