Jenn Turner's blog

Introducing Open Atrium 2.0 as a Service! Meet Collaborate!

Starting in late 2013, the Bucket Brigade will offer Open Atrium 2.0 as a service. Installing, configuring and maintaining any complex Drupal site can be a challenge - and Open Atrium is no exception! Pantheon is the best option if you want to launch your own Open Atrium 2.0 site quickly and easily - and have the technical staff to maintain the site yourself.

Rather than host your own site, you can purchase user accounts for all the members of your organization on You'll get your own private space (or spaces) for your organization and we'll handle updates, security and support. In addition, you'll have access to training and tutorials developed just for organizations and teams to make the most use of OpenAtrium to support a collaborative culture.

This is perfect for small to mid-sized organizations that can't afford to have a technical person on staff (or can't spare them!) and want help making the best use of all the power and flexibility of Open Atrium 2.0--and who want to learn effective ways of sharing information, accountability, and discussion to help develop a healthy working culture.

If you want to be notified when we launch, please join the mailing list.

OpenAtrium 2.x Beta Q&A Session This Friday!

Phase2 recently released their 2.x Beta version of the new OpenAtrium and will be hosting a Q&A session this Friday at 10:00am CST.

The changes to the OpenAtrium platform are fairly pervasive and dramatically increase the utility of this collaboration platform. If you've not attended one of their webinars before, we highly recommend it.


Interview with Karen Borchart from Phase 2

Our own James Carlson is up on the Phase 2 Blog this afternoon talking about OpenAtrium for nonprofits. You can read the interview here, but be sure to check out the Phase 2 blog and site. They're the folks that are actively developing the next version of OpenAtrium!

For many years, nonprofit organizations have turned to The School Factory, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the business, education, and creative communities together to transform public learning. He also runs Bucket Brigade, which teaches organizations how to use social technology tools for effective collaboration. He has experience helping more than 50 organizations get started using Open Atrium.

This week, we sat down with him to learn how nonprofits use Open Atrium, and what they’re looking forward to in the new 2.x version.

Q. What are the ways you see nonprofits using Open Atrium?
A. Non-profit organizations can gain benefits from using Open Atrium for operations, strategic planning, board relations, volunteer engagement, and fund development.

Q. You mention that you see nonprofits use Open Atrium for better relationships with their Board of Directors. Can you explain how?
A. With Open Atrium, you can set up a private space or section in your installation and invite your board members. The information and documents (such as bylaws, financial statements, and meeting minutes) can be stored and viewed securely by board members. No more thick board books that no one reads, and that cost a fortune to print! Plus, it’s a more collaborative way to interact with your board, rather than just reporting to them once a quarter. Some of the organizations we’ve worked with even conduct board meetings within Open Atrium, voting on issues as they arise.

Q. What are your nonprofit clients looking forward to in Open Atrium 2.x?
A. The new depth of spaces and sections will allow nonprofits greater flexibility in designing their community than the Groups functionality of version 1. Another of the features they’re excited about is the new Messaging and Notifications set-up in Open Atrium. The activity stream is more controllable and feels more “human-readable,” so you can see more of what’s really happening in your organization. Also, the general usability of what we’re seeing in 2.x, and the ability to truly customize it for each organization’s needs, is really exciting to see.

Q. What are the challenges that you see with nonprofits moving to Open Atrium 2.x?
A. Like any new software tool, understanding how it’s set up is really key. The new spaces, sections, groups, and teams paradigm in Open Atrium 2.x is really powerful and flexible; but it is going to take some learning! Organizations will need to think about how they set up their site before jumping into it, so that they get the most out of these tools.

If you’re interested in learning just exactly how nonprofits use Open Atrium, come join us for a webinar Tuesday, June 25 at 12:30 ET. You’ll hear stories directly from the field from James and his colleague Dan Adams from the nonprofit organization Layton Boulevard West Neighborhoods in Milwaukee, WI. Then, we’ll give you a demo and show you how to get started with Open Atrium for your own organization.

Jenn Turner at the UWM Small Business Development Center: On Crowd-funding

I recently met Jason Mueller of the at an event held by a dear friend of mine in support of kickstarted project called 30x30. Jason and I got to talking after I mentioned that I had helped out on the Optimist Theatre Shakespeare in the Park kickstarter that ran through the month of February.
As crowdfunded projects such as the Veronica Mars film, gain in recognition and popularity folks beyond the fringe are starting to look at how they can use crowdfunding campaigns in their own business.

The first place it starts to make sense is in nonprofit. The UWM SBDC worked with the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee to present this workshop so many of the attendees came from the nonprofit realm. The nonprofit world in particular is quite accustomed to doing very public fundraising projects, and projects (more often known as programs) are the lifeblood of mission achievement in the nonprofit world.

But where else to crowdsourced campaigns make sense?

Book publishing, game development, restaurants, makerspaces, startups, entrepreneurs, disaster relief teams, research projects, software developers, and many more.

Though the IRS and SEC have yet to catch up with this bleeding edge technology platform emergence (rules? what rules?) the opportunities are only limited to your creativity.

I had a great experience talking with my fellow panelists attorney Laura Schmitz and can't wait to go back!

Welcome New Brigade Team Member Dan Vanderboom!

Two new team members joined the Bucket Brigade and we'd like to take this opportunity to introduce them to everyone out there in internetland. The second member we'll be introducing is Dan Vanderboom, you can follow him on twitter blog!

Dan has worked in technology consulting and software engineering for the past 20 years, having taught himself to write software 30 years ago at the age of 7 before starting high school programming classes at 9. An inventor at an early age, Dan designed and built devices, always looking to make life better for himself and those around him.

Over the past 7 years, Dan developed large enterprise inventory and asset tracking systems for mobile devices, used by Sears, Best Buy, Whirlpool, the United Nations, New York Jets, and hundreds of other organizations around the world. During his time at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, he devised and implemented complex data analysis algorithms and reporting mechanisms to detect health care fraud, and automated entire data entry and collections departments, each saving millions of dollars per year.

Dan’s approach to problems is multidisciplinary and based on a deep appreciation for systems of interdependent components with emergent properties. One recurring theme underlying all others is that careful measurement and analysis of complex input results in a simple, coherent outcome; in other words: although understanding is based on an ability to comprehend difficult and numerous situational variables, the best results come from coherent action focused on a simple but profoundly-inspired goal.

Dan’s many interests include, but are no means limited to: software, database design, lean agile development methods, data analysis, automation, machine learning, expert systems, robotics, electronics, wearable computers, pneumatics, mechanical systems, wood and metal working, biology, medicine, linguistics, leadership, marketing, cooking, physics, cosmology, creative and technical writing, and education.

Welcome New Brigade Team Member Stacy Wood!

Two new team members joined the Bucket Brigade and we'd like to take this opportunity to introduce them to everyone out there in internetland. The first member we'll be introducing is Stacy Wood, you can follow her on twitter @clearlybe

Welcome, Stacy!

Stacy Wood is a technology generalist with more than a decade of well-rounded digital & web experience. She has participated in the entire life-cycle of web projects from planning and production to management and quality assurance. Her background in web, coupled with her experience raising a bucket of children has helped form a range of skills which contribute to the success of digital projects and aid in creating solid foundational process, structure and architecture.

From the Branding Vaults...

iPad for Business at WCTC


▪ iPad owners

▪ Business leaders ready to embrace the social enterprise


The iPad is a cutting-edge tool for business, but most owners of these devices are not harnessing their full potential. Whether you're a current iPad owner or thinking about purchasing one, you'll learn the best practices and the best apps for using it in your work.


▪ Business applications of the iPad (in operations, customer service, sales, etc.)

▪ Best practices and demonstrations

New Apps covered to help you with:

• Faster and simpler text entry

• Easier management of a cloud-based document library

• Creating flowcharts and drawings

• Bringing in remote professionals

• Working with Google Hangouts


View Larger Map

To register, contact Chellee Siewart

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO: Understanding the Risks and Opportunities of Social Media: Workshops

Featured speaker is our own, James Carlson. This event was so popular last year that we decided to run it again! HNI Risk has been an amazing partner, and we're pleased to offer this workshop in collaboration.

What's it all about?

Communication. Social technology makes communication a changing landscape for businesses. Embracing social technology elicits as many yay's as it does nay's but the bottom line is that it has the potential to increase employee engagement and participation both inside and outside of your business. But... does this expose your organization to risk?

Join us, July 13th at HNI's FOCUS Center, located at 16805 W Cleveland Avenue in New Berlin, WI as we explore and discuss possbilities, potential, risk, cultural change and more!



So many wanted to attend the morning session that we created a Second Session in the afternoon. Register here.