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Creating an organization, advocacy, or publication web site using free tools, by Shreya Sanghani

by Shreya Sanghani

With case study of Survivor Chronicles

It is possible for your organization to have an online presence with very little or no money. In fact, with some effort, this online presence can be made very strong. If you do not have the funds to host your own website, or the technical knowledge to make and maintain it on your own, the simplest and easiest solution is use the free weblog, or blog websites available on the internet. Among the most popular ones are Blogger, Wordpress and LiveJournal, and they allow you to have a page without paying anything at all.

All you need to do is have an email address, and sign up for a free account on any one of these sites. You will be asked to fill in some details about yourself or your organization, and then verify using your email id that you indeed signed up for an account with the blog provider. Once you verify it, you then have a page that you can do many things with. Using their easily navigable and user-friendly builders, you can customize your page with little or no technical knowledge, and update it regularly to let the world know what your organization is up to.


How To Sign Up For Your Own Wordpress Blog


  • ‚Ä¢.Go to and click on ‚ÄúSign Up Now‚Äù.¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.You'll find an online form, which will ask for your username, password, email address, and if you have read and agree to the legal terms of service.¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.Once you fill this up, click on ‚Äúgimme a blog!‚Äù. ¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.This will take you to the signup page, where you can customize your blog address and username. After this, click on sign up.¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.After this, an email will be sent to the address you provided, from where you can verify your account. ¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.Go to your email address where you should find an email from Wordpress asking you to verify your blog by clicking on a link. Once you have done this, your blog is verified. ¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.They will send you another email letting you know that your new blog is now successfully set up. You are now ready to start blogging!¬†


Having an online presence can be invaluable for your organization. It allows people to connect with you, and can open the doors for all sorts of collaboration and help to come your way. If you publicize your blog, then people with a similar vision will be able to reach you, and you will be able to build a whole community around your organization with people from around the world. Once you have a free blog for your organization, here's how to publicize it:


  • ‚Ä¢.There are many online databases that collect lists of not for profit organizations for various purposes: some showcase the good work that happens around the world, others let volunteers check out organizations they can work with, and yet others build online communities that let social change activists communicate and connect with each other. Listing your organization on such databases will help to get it out there. One such database is Idealist. ¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.Using social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can really help to get the word out there. Having a Facebook page for your organization can get it out to people who don't know it, and even to people who are not on Facebook, while having a Facebook group is more for people who already know you and your work and can use viral networking to support your organization. ¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.Using keyword rich content on your blog can help it to show up on search engines such as Google and Yahoo when people look for organizations and people who are doing the kind of work you are doing.¬†

  • ‚Ä¢.Stumbleupon, digg and other such websites made solely for information sharing can be really useful in getting the word out. These are all user friendly and easily manageable places and can help you reach out to millions of people in a few simple steps. ¬†

Survivor Chronicles: A Case Study


I have been writing all my life, and have in the last few years also been working closely with certain kinds of trauma within my community. I've worked with young people on issues of gender, sexuality, abuse, violence and self image – and in the process used various kinds of arts to facilitate the work we've done together. It struck me one day that in all of my time as a writer, putting down my feelings into thoughts and words, and articulating them has always been extremely therapeutic for me. That evening, I had the idea that I could start an online journal that would help its writers and readers alike: I intended to invite writers and artists to create writing and art that deals with trauma survival.


I was inviting not only survivors of trauma, but also those who are close to them personally or professionally. I also expressly wanted to give trauma survivors the option to use a pseudonym  if they were uncomfortable with using their real name for whatever reason. Writers and artists who worked closely with the human condition, which essentially involves a lot of trauma and equal amounts of survival, were also welcome to contribute. Basically, I wanted to create a space wherein all kinds of trauma survival: real, imagined, literary, nonfictional could be featured, all geared towards positive vibes and life affirmation. The only problem was that I did not have any funds.


That's when Wordpress came to my rescue, and with the help of my two friends Tim Raveling and Shreya Sen, who had immediately and enthusiastically expressed a desire to be involved in the venture and had agreed to be on our small three person team, I set up and started publicizing Survivor Chronicles, which has a home at With our combined efforts, submissions soon started pouring in from all over the world, and we ended up launching the magazine a lot earlier than originally anticipated.


Soon after we launched the magazine, we also had one of the posts featured on Freshly Pressed! -- the list of the best blogs chosen periodically by Wordpress to be featured on their home page. This was totally unexpected, and a hugely positive beginning for us. In one night we went from having ten views to more than a thousand. It is amazing how quickly everything has happened, and how having a free space to feature our magazine has led to the instant set up of an invisible online readership that will hopefully benefit from our venture to reach out to them.

Shreya Sanghani

Searched words: 
case study Wordpress open source free software web sites


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