Posted 23 May, 2013 by Alix Dunn

Social Tech Census in Live Beta!

After a year of desk research, website design, and input, the Social Tech Census is now in live beta. Here’s a little history of how we got here and where we see the site growing.

In 2011, we convened a group of people working as trainers, tool builders, and support organizations to help us chart how we could best add value to the emerging field of support to advocacy efforts using technology. Strangely, there was no central place (aside from inboxes, and networks) to go and see who was doing what in which countries, and what kinds of support they could provide. This was a gap for all of the groups we wanted to support: training organizations, tool builders, advocates, and researchers. Doing a mapping of the space and making it easy to find the right kinds of support resources made a lot of sense. So we wrote up a project description and we were fortunate to have the support of Oxfam Novib who wanted this kind of resource for their own network of local partners. Win-win.

In 2012 we worked with four great team members (Jonathan Eyler-Werve, Ramy Raoof, Maria Grabowski Kjaer, and Laila Selim) and began hunting for resources. As we collected resources, we quickly discovered that building information architecture to accurately describe them and make them easy to find was a huge challenge — something we are sure is still unfinished. But we built the first tagging system and a website to house it.

1. Searching the Site

You can search the site in a few ways. When you first visit it, the center column is full of all the resources in alphabetical order. You can see more if you scroll to the bottom and click “Load More”.

2. Resource Details

Clicking on a resource will fill up the resource detail box in the right column so you can see more information about a resource you are interested in.

 3. Filtering Resources

On the far left column there are checklists, and when you click them the center column is automatically filtered based on those search terms. To clear the search, just click the trash can .

 4. Making Reports

The site keeps you in the javascript environment (this plus the https functionality will keep your search activity hidden from the internet), but if you click the PLUS button  under a resource, it will be added to the right column. You can add as many resources that pique your interest there, and when you are finished searching you can export the list in a lot of different ways. You can even generate a unique link so you can save the report or share it with others.

5. Help Make the STC Better

And if we’re missing a resource please let us know as much as you can about it (especially a url) and we can take care of the rest.

What’s Next

As we move forward, Maria will be leading the charge on profiling resources and looking for new ones. Keep an eye out for those posts starting in a few weeks. And as you explore the site, we’re happy to take feedback about what is frustrating about searching the site, what you like about it, what you think we can do to make it better, and stories of you actually finding a resource you were looking for. To give us feedback you can email the project address resources [at] or comment on this post.

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