Rob Dolin's Blog

Thoughts on technology, politics, non-profits, and their intersections; and food

Your Input Wanted on Feature Roadmap for CivicCal

Over the winter holidays, I’ve been making some updates to a website where I list upcoming political and non-profit events in the Seattle metro area.  The site is CivicCal (for Civic Calendar.)  In addition to a listing of events, it also includes a list of organizations and a list of venues.  I’ve been thinking about directions to take the site and I would very much welcome your input.  A few ideas:

  • Personalization – Make it easier to set the organizations you’re interested in and to subscribe to their events
  • Social Network integration – Make it easier to share events with your friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, etc.
  • Mobile integration – Develop a more mobile-friendly site or apps for the top mobile platforms
  • Organizations – The site is heavily focused on civic-oriented organizations and events; it could expand to include a broader set of non-profit groups
  • Geography – Should the site expand to another metro area?
  • Other – Do you have another suggestion?

Please leave a comment, post on CivicCal’s wall on Facebook, tweet at @RobDolin or @CivicCal, send an email, or otherwise get in-touch.  Thanks very much–


Filed under: News and Politics, Online Communities, Social Networking, Technology

How to find friends from a specific city on Facebook and LinkedIn

On Friday, I found-out about an awesome opportunity for friends in the DC area to see an exhibition basketball game played by current and former NBA all-starts.  (  I wanted to share this info with friends in the DC area, so I started doing some investigation of the “People Search” functionality on various Social Networks.


Searching for just the words “Washington, DC” on Facebook yields a bunch of junk results, but by filtering to People and picking the Washington, DC location, I got a bunch of quick results of my friends in the DC-area.  Here’s a link to the specific query:

And here are the settings I used:




For LinkedIn, you need to click the “Advanced” link:

And then set your options:

Here’s a canonical URL:

Next: Contact Import

Given these useful discoveries, I’m importing contacts from systems that have less robust people search (or out-of-date user profiles) like AOL/AIM.

Happy connecting–

Filed under: Online Communities, Social Networking

YDWA Conventions and Presidents

Below is the list of the Young Democrats of Washington Convention locations and the person elected President at those convention locations.  I’m posting this here so that it gets picked-up and indexed by search engines in case someone is looking for this information in the future.

  • 1992: Silverdale, WA – James Hester
  • 1993: Wenatchee, WA – James Apa (PCYD) over Aaron Reardon (SnoCoYD)
  • 1994: Olympia, WA – James Apa (PCYD)
  • 1995: Pasco, WA – Mike Sando
  • 1996: Seattle, WA – Dean Nielsen
  • 1997: Spokane, WA -Dean Nielsen
  • 1998: Tacoma, WA – Ivan Kaplan
  • 1999: ??
  • 2000: Seattle, WA – Jaxon Ravens
  • 2001: Snoqualmie, WA – Selina Davis (KCYD) and Bruce Davis
    (no relation; Selina Davis completed term)
  • 2002: Olympia, WA – Simon Farretta (SU/KCYD)
  • 2003: Bellevue, WA – Gayatri Eassey (SU/KCYD)
  • 2004: Spokane, WA – Gayatri Eassey (SU/KCYD)
  • 2005: Vancouver, WA – Aaron Belenky (KCYD)
  • 2006: Tacoma, WA – Krystal Wood (SU/PCYD/KCYD) with Corey Sanders (KCYD)
  • 2007: Wenatchee, WA – Amanda Nelson (CCYD/KCYD) over Sean Barratt (KCYD)
  • 2008: Vancouver, WA – Amanda Nelson (CCYD/KCYD)
  • 2009: Spokane, WA – Megan Gustafson (KCYD)
  • 2010: Seattle, WA – Chiho Lai (WWU/KCYD)
    (Andrew Peabody (KCYD/UW) completed term)
  • 2011: Yakima, WA – Ashley Parcells (UW/KCYD)
  • 2012: Drew Pollom (GU/KCYD)
  • 2013: Derrick Skaug (WSU)
    (Lynda Foster (PCYD) completed term)
  • 2014: Lynda Foster (PCYD)
  • 2015: Yakima, WA – Lynda Foster (PCYD)
  • 2016: Vancouver, WA – LaKecia Farmer (WSU/KCYD) with Sarah Kohout (WWU/PCYD)

THANK YOUs: This list was compiled with help from Dean NielsenJames Apa, Javier Valdez, Selina Davis, and many others.

Notes: “with” = VP/EVP candidate; “over” = runner-up


Filed under: News and Politics, Online Communities

Pigs, Chickens, and Volunteer Committees

In an agile development model or “scrum” model, there are two types of participants: Pigs and Chickens.  The terms come from a joke where a pig and a chicken talk about opening a restaurant that serves ham and eggs.  Clearly, the pig will be making a much more significant investment than the chicken.

In agile development, pigs are getting work done and collaborate to unblock each other.  Chickens participate, observe, and sometimes offer advice outside of the formal daily “scrum” meeting where the pigs coordinate their work.

I’ve been thinking about how scrum’s “pigs” and “chickens” would be a useful model to disambiguate roles in volunteer committees. 

An example of successful differentiation was a “focus group” I was invited to on Thursday evening.  A group of “pigs” including staff and board members for a non-profit hosted a group of “chickens” to provide feedback and ideas about a change in the organization’s structure.

When you’re asking for a volunteer to join your “committee” are you asking them to be a “pig” and pitch-in and do work, and you’ll make sure they have the support to be unblocked and successful; or are you asking them to be a “chicken” and provide their advice and oversight. 

Here’s an example of a challenge that can occur when expectations don’t align:  I volunteer with a group where mostly “pigs” meet monthly to coordinate work and some “chickens” have expressed displeasure at not being invited to meetings.  Initially, this is great, it would be wonderful to have more engaged “pigs” but if you’re going to attend a meeting of “pigs” and participate (rather than just observe) you should be prepared to be a “pig” yourself.  If you’re going to offer unsolicited suggestions about what should be done, you should be ready to pitch-in and help make it happen.

Filed under: Online Communities, Technology

Mobile-friendly version of YDWA 2011 Convention Schedule

Below is a copy of the schedule for the Young Democrats of Washington (YDWA) convention in Yakima April 1-3, 2011:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: News and Politics, Online Communities, Technology

Favorite Past Posts (2009 and 2010)

Below are some of my favorite posts from 2009 and 2010:

Filed under: Blogging, Microsoft, News and Politics, Online Communities, Social Networking, Step-by-step, Technology, Windows Live

Archived Posts from Rob Dolin’s space

If you’re interested reading some of my blog posts from 2006-2010, you can find them on  Specific categories that might be of interest include:

Filed under: Blogging, Food and Drink, Humor, Microsoft, News and Politics, Online Communities, Personal, Social Networking, Step-by-step, Technology, Travel, Windows Live

How to add a “Share” link to your WordPress blog for Windows Live Messenger

I just migrated my Windows Live Space to WordPress, but I want to have my new blog’s visitors easily be able to share my blog posts out to their favorite online communities like Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live.  I noticed that WordPress has built-in buttons for Facebook and Twitter but not Windows Live.  So I did a bit of digging and figured-out how to add a button to share on Windows Live Messenger.  Here’s what I did:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Blogging, Microsoft, Online Communities, Social Networking, Step-by-step, Technology, Windows Live

Rob Dolin on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: