The Unsung Heroes of The Great IT Saga

In the recent past, one of the most powerful politicians in South-East Asia said that his motherland has come a long way from being the country of the snake charmers and now boasts of its large number of mouse charmers; the mouse that he referred to being the widely used computer peripheral and not the rodent.

It was a nice metaphor to describe the software prowess of the subcontinent and the army of IT professionals who are toiling hard to make the IT sector one of the pillars of the country’s GDP. These trained and talented professionals may be part of blue chip companies with deep pockets or glorified startups vying with each other to grab the attention of venture capitalists.

Interestingly, there is a classification of these professionals – a secret which everyone knows but no one talks about it. While graduate students from pedigreed institutions are lapped up by global software companies through internships and campus recruitment drives, those who are left behind are neither fortunate nor pedigreed enough to land an exciting job offer.

Usually, they attempt to become employable by honing their coding and soft skills. They take the pain of going through rigorous tests at the software hubs and if they are lucky enough to impress the recruiters, their entire family starts celebrating!

With indomitable willpower, they rub their backs off and burn the midnight oil. As part of bootstrapped startups and second tier companies, they get pushed every second to innovate and respond to frequent emergencies. They work on weekends and often they don’t get paid if they fail to work for some reason. Challenges seem to be insurmountable, but they keep on trying harder to learn as much as they can and then join an MNC.

This strange ecosystem works fine for thousands of small companies who happily accept any business opportunity that comes in their way. Every year, a large number of fresher joins the workforce who can be trained easily to perform low-tech IT jobs, while the experienced ones move on to greener pastures. The hard workers get their coveted experience and the new employees keep the salary overhead low, so as to keep the company a competitive force. In the process, millions of jobs are created for educated Indian youths who aspire to join the affluent middle class and have a decent lifestyle.

Such companies are spread all over India and their cumulative revenue is mindboggling – more than half of the total revenue generated by the Indian IT sector. In most cases, their clients are foreign citizens from developed nations, looking for someone who can do the job at a much less price than what is demanded by professionals in their own countries. After all, there is no harm in hiring a web designing company that carries out low cost web development, not by compromising the quality of their service, but by reducing the cost of production.

Sanjib Kumar Roy is an IT professional who takes pride in nurturing young talents. He serves as a technology consultant and has built his career from the scratch. He has mentored hundreds of startups and he owns a web designing company that specializes on affordable, low cost web development for offshore clients.

Tips to Get Started Using Social Media to Fundraise

Last year, Nonprofit Tech for Good reported some of the following statistics:

* Fifty-five percent of those who engage with nonprofits via social media have been inspired to take further action.

* The average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign raises $9,237.55.

* Online giving grew 13.5 percent in 2013.

Social media is here to stay and nonprofits need to become more aggressive in incorporating its use into their overall outreach strategy for courting their current and prospective donors. The vast majority of organizations say that their websites and email is the most important communication tool that they use. Fully, 97 percent of nonprofits are using Facebook.

Nonprofits exist not only to fulfill their respective missions, but in order to accomplish their work, they are also looking to promote their organizations and obtain financial support, in effect fundraising dollars. As noted in a Nonprofit Quarterly article 74 percent of organizations use social media to announce events and activities, and only 53 percent, “follow the best practice of posting issue-centric content to establish thought leadership… ”

That point is one that should not be taken lightly. The reality is that nonprofits should not be in the business of simply using social media to promote their activities. The most successful organizations (for-profit and nonprofit) are the ones who consistently become thought leaders in their respective fields. Individuals and the media want to know that your organization is an expert in the field and this is not acquired by simply publicizing your own events.

In order to be effective at using social media, you need to regularly communicate with your followers. This means with tools such as Facebook, it should be approximately 5 to 10 times per week. Since Twitter is a micro-blog, nonprofits can certainly tweet more often than Facebook. One of the key best practices to keep in mind for this particular platform is to build up your followers. To accomplish this, your organization can look into Tweelow, @NonprofitOrgs and WeFollow. And, on Twitter or other similar platforms, in order to have a good conversation, remember to follow back those who follow you.

Most nonprofits are very good at being able to communicate what they do, but many forget that there should be a regular call to action in your conversation. There are several means to accomplish this:

* Ask a question and target your message to influencers on varying social media platforms.

* Tell followers what you need via a wish list or if you have implemented a campaign, let people know how to get involved and why.

* Ask people to share or retweet (RT).

* If publicizing an event, promote early-bird tickets.

A great practice to promote your cause that people will remember is to post great photography and images on the social media platforms you are using. People may notice a picture more than text. Infographics are also another approach to get your message across in a simple to digest and visually memorable fashion.

Finally, get messy. Some nonprofits don’t use social media because they are afraid of doing something “wrong”. There are no hard and fast rules. The reality is that the more your organization uses social media, the more you will see what the best practices are around that specific platform. Start out using one or two tools and as you gain more confidence and success, add other social media.

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