Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:salsa“

Salsa Labs Cinco de Mayo reception in San Francisco

by Jason Z.

Bay denizens may already know that Salsa Labs is representing on the left coast with our new Nonprofit Director, Matt Wilson.

What better occasion than Cinco de Mayo to make the man's acquaintance at one of our famous Salsa parties?

Matt will be hosting Salsa Lab founders April Pedersen and Chris Lundberg at the Thirsty Bear [ map ] next Wednesday, May 5, from 4 p.m. to late.

  • 4 - 5 p.m. April, Chris, and Matt share the latest bubbling potions from Salsa Labs: what's the latest, what's planned next, and how to make guacamole on a bunsen burner.
  • 5 - 8 p.m. (or thereabouts) Happy hour! Chill with old and new friends in Salsa's caliente California community. Refreshments for this auspiciously synergystic occasion are on us.

Read more (11 comments)

Salsa Developers' webcast next week

by Leslie Hall

Attention Salsa Developers!

Salsa Labs will be hosting two course/webcasts for SalsaScript and Salsa API developers next week.

During the (east coast) afternoon of January 11th, members of our development team will be teaching a course on SalsaScript basics, including examples from several projects here at Salsa Labs. On January 12th, we'll be hosting a "Master Class" for those who want to dig deeper into advanced practices. We very much hope you'll be able to attend one or both of the sessions.

For anyone who won't be in Washington that week, we'll be webcasting the sessions, too. Remote participants are highly encouraged, and we'll take input and questions from remote participants as well.

Please contact Geoff Harcourt at geoff at for more information and/or to register.

Read more (15 comments)

Adding a Salsa signup box to Facebook

by Jason Z.

The Salsa Labs Facebook page -- you are a fan already, yes? -- just incorporated an email signup form, and you might be interested in knowing the trick for your own page.

Though the example here incorporates a regular signup page into Facebook, the same technique could be used to embed event registrations, petition signatures, or other forms of action (but passing donations is a different matter, and this kind of form won't dialogue with the Salsa data warehouse for a congressional district lookup without much more intensive spadework than I've described here).

1. Get the Static FBML app

This extremely handy application lets you build a box or a tab with straight HTML (or, with Facebook's own Facebook Markup Language syntax). No programming skills needed.

Just search it up, and add it to your organization's page.

Add Static FBML to my page's favorites graphic

2. Get the form code of a Salsa signup page

Now that you're able to add some HTML to your Facebook page, all you have to do is get your mitts on some usable HTML.

No problem.

There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on your coding skills. While developers can dig as deep as they dare, the best choices for duffers like myself are:

  1. Build a signup page (or other type of page) in Salsa. (In this case, I just used one of our standard signup pages.) View the end-user page, hit "View Source" to see its HTML, and copy the
    tags and everything between them.
  2. Alternatively, hit the "Developer Resources" link at the bottom of any page in your Salsa headquarters to find some generic ready-for-copy-and-paste code for an external signup form, as shown below. Then, copy and paste that code.

3. Create an email signup form in Facebook

Now that we've got the code on the clipboard, back to Facebook.

Open up your organization's Facebook page -- we're assuming here that you have admin privileges -- and click "Edit Page". In the screen that follows, find FBML, as shown:

Then, just click the "Edit" button (highlighted) to go to work.

Title your box whatever you'd like (unimaginately, I went with "Email Signup"), then paste all that signup form text into the "FBML" box.

4. Add the form to your Facebook page

Now, it's just a matter of adding the tab to your Facebook page, which you can do the same way you customize that page with any other new tab.

You'll also find your new Static FBML creation under the "Boxes" tab, where you can select it and optionally send it to the sidebar of your wall, as I've done. That makes the form visible to anyone who lands on your page.

5. Tweaks and Troubleshooting

You should be ready to go! Test the form out and see how it works, then fine-tune accordingly. People who use it should land (immediately) in your Salsa headquarters; the form will have no effect on their Facebook profile, your Facebook page, or anything else within Facebook itself.

Here are a few things you might want to take notice of:

  • Make sure the form action is right. Depending on where you copy the code, you might have a relative url, which won't work in Facebook. You'll want a full url, and you can find the right one for your organization by checking the Developer Resources section discussed above. Put it right at the start of the form.
    form action="http://YOUR NODE ADDRESS/dia/api/process.jsp" method="post"
  • Especially if you're going to place it on your wall, make sure it's reasonably succinct. Space is at a premium.
  • If you're fussy about your graphic design, you can crib Facebook's styling colors here, which I did on mine to make the "Join these email list(s)" header look Zuckerberg-blue.
  • Consider your redirect path (I used none, so that list joiners just stay on the Facebook page; you might have other ideas) and acknowledgment triggers.
  • If you want to be rigorous about tracking, you might also consider passing a Source_Details value, tag values, group affiliations, or other elements. You should be able to crib code for this sort of thing by building it in a normal signup page in Salsa; ask at Salsa Commons if you're stuck.

(Note: this is not the Facebook Connect integration recently mentioned in these pages. But that integration is still coming!)

Read more (3 comments)

Salsa headquarters updates in progress

by Jason Z.

Over the coming days, you'll probably notice some stylistic changes in your Salsa account.

Perhaps the first thing to catch your eye might be the white logo in the upper corner.

Highlighted and now to be placed in the very upper right are the three admin links that the outgoing interface had formerly positioned in the white dashboard space below.

The links do the same thing they've always done, but the tightened interface is 40 pixels shorter and should help economize your browser space.

Some organizations have the new "white album" Salsa deployed already; for others, it'll roll out over the next several days. In either case, there's nothing to worry about: it's the same great Salsa toolset.

Let us know if you have any questions about the new interface!

Read more (6 comments)

Get your new e-mail tool ... and take the webinar today

by Jason Z.

Salsa's campaign managers should have received the notification, but we pushed out an upgraded e-mail package last week.  Though the old e-mail tool will remain supported until June, the new tool is all that and a bag of chips right now.

Here's how to add the package:

  • Click on "Accounts" in the upper right hand corner of your dashboard
  • Then, click "Manage Your Packages" in the bottom right-hand box
  • "Click here to add the new Email Blast Package"

That's it! Once you've installed it, you can begin e-mailing with it immediately, and you'll find all the great options you're used to, plus some brand new functionality.

Not sure?  Want to test the waters?  Documentation for the new e-mail package is already available. We'll also be offering webinars to help orient everyone this afternoon at 2 p.m. and on Monday, March 30. (All future e-mail webinars will use the new package.)

Read more (8 comments)

One Common Login Page

by Jason Z.
Tags: blog:salsa

This may not be the sexiest improvement, but a new single sign-on portal has been deployed for all Salsa accounts.

The tool's growth rate has spawned a number of different server clusters -- but no more remembering which is which; just hit the  button or equivalent from any Salsa-serving entity, and you're good to go no matter which server is yours.

Read more (1 comment)

Bridging a digital divide to local elections

by Jason Z.

All politics is local, after all.

TechPresident toots the horn of Wired For Change -- which provides the Salsa CRM platform for political campaigns and basically anyone that isn't a 501(c)3 -- for its innovative DLCCWeb product.  DLCCWeb enabled Democratic congressional state legislative candidates to set up an entire "website in a box" for $40 a month. (Sure could've saved Charles Rangel some cash.)

Quoth TechPrez:

many have missed one of the more fascinating online programs this cycle: The Democratic Legisative Campaign Committee’s DLCCWeb program.

Developed for the DLCC by Wired for Change the concept is simple: For $40 a month any Demcoratic State legislative candidate can have a website, online contribution system with ActBlue, and the web marketing tools they need to make their web program successful.

Compared to just one cycle ago and the dizzying array options at the time – ranging from too expensive to taking too much time – the DLCCWeb is a much simpler and cheaper option for your state legislative campaigns. With this price tag everyone from low-cost campaigns in New Hampshire to high-cost large campaigns in states like Texas and California found ways to use it to help their campaign.

Which is not only nice, but it's a price point cheap enough that campaigns can keep the doors open easily in between elections.  In fact, DLCC is already landing signups for the next election cycle.

Ultimately, all these accolades are for Salsa, the toolset used by both Wired and its nonprofit cousin DemocracyInAction -- for the flexibility and extensibility of Salsa, which was built precisely for the plasticity to plug into new features, applications and uses.

With the November launch of Salsa Commons and its developer zone, we're already starting to see some fascinating tinkering, like this rebuild of our donation page by Public Citizen.  And if you hit one of our public forum calls this week on feature set buildouts -- like extensions to incorporate a full donor database into Salsa -- you got a sneak peak at some of what's cooking in our part of that kitchen.

Read more (8 comments)

Growing Needs, Shrinking Budget? Hit the Warp Drive to Salsa Enterprise.

by Jason Z.

In an economic climate uglier than any for the past quarter-century -- at least -- nonprofits of every size are facing potential shortfalls in the lean years ahead.

If you're in that boat, maybe you're looking at a CRM-sized hole in the budget and wondering:

Can we possibly afford to put our CRM fee to a more critical use?

Can we possibly afford not to keep the efficiency and impact our online data services give us?

Tough choice.  Luckily, you don't have to make it.

Say hello to Salsa Enterprise -- everything that large, complex nonprofits need, at a price that doesn't break the bank.

Join a Salsa Enterprise webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 25 to find out how to save tens of thousands and get the robust CRM toolset -- mass e-mailing, online donations, advocacy, and an integrated view of supporters -- plus free data migration from Convio, Kintera, GetActive, Blackbaud, Capitol Advantage or any other system; personalized training; strategy support; and a dedicated account manager.

Read more (582 comments)

Still a few more seats at the user conference -- book 'em by Friday

Monday's registration deadline for the DIA user conference has passed, but you might have noticed you can still get to the registration page. Here's the deal: there are about a dozen spots left. We'd like to fill them, but we also need to have a final-final head count for the hotel by the end of the week. So registration is going to be held open to tomorrow, Friday, June 20. That's the stone-cold, after-the-deadline deadline; we won't be able to handle on-site registrations, so if you're still juggling plans or otherwise uncertain, get in touch with us and let us know what's up no later than tomorrow.

Read more

Lawrence Lessig to Keynote DIA User Conference June 27

This. Is. Hot. Lawrence Lessig, Stanford law professor, free culture paladin, social change advocate -- man, in short, about the technology activist town -- has just been officially confirmed to keynote the upcoming DemocracyInAction Community Conference. The conference takes place June 26-27 in downtown Washington, D.C.; Lessig will address the morning plenary on Friday, June 27th on "Change Congress". Maybe you caught him at the recent National Conference on Media Reform? You'll find him on the expanded agenda also just released. Did we mention (repeatedly?) that that's on top of two days' wall-to-wall Salsa training, online strategizing, and elbow rubbing with the best and brightest? Did we mention there are only three days left to register?

Read more (10 comments)