by Jan ISon LTLS Executive Director
Idealware is a website that I discovered recently while webscanning to see what trends issues and tools might be of interest to Lincoln Trail Libraries System. I do this scanning by reading blogs, general web searches and simply following links when something peaks my interest. I think you will all agree Idealware is a real find.
Idealware is website that provides reviews and articles about software primarily of interest to nonprofits. The company is a 501(c)3 so the personnel developing the content have first hand understanding of the needs and challenges facing nonprofit organizations. While libraries are not traditionally nonprofit organizations in the “legal” definition, we have need for the information that is provided by this service. In February of 2008 there was an article A Few Good Accounting Packages that featured questions about who needs accounting software and information about low to high-end options.
Every month the site features an article similar to the accounting article. Recent topics have been about online survey tools, software on a shoestring and email discussion list tools. In addition to these articles Idealware offers weekly hour and a half long online seminars from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Central time. A seminar of interest coming in April is “Introduction to Website Analytics.” The cost is $40 per seminar. If you miss a live seminar that you wanted to participate in you can still view the archived seminar for half the normal price.
Take some time to explore Idealware's web site and while you are at it click on some of their links to other sites. I found links to websites that are individually managed by the Board members of Idealware. As a result of that I will be exploring more about Beaconfire Consulting which is the website of the current Chair of the Board of Advisors and also Michael Stein: Internet Strategy for the Nonprofit Sector which is the Web log of the past Board Chair. I have found that one of the best ways to learn new things is to explore links from trusted websites like Idealware.