Make a Website: 5 steps

November 15th, 2012 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

Having a website made and hosted can be costly: from one thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Since that rarely is a drop in the bucket, it good to know that you can make and host your very own website.

If you are looking to do-it-yourself, then video tutorials are always a blessing. While let’s dabble walks you through the process of making a web video. This resource guides you through the waters of hosting a website.

To view all their website tutorials you can visit their youtube page.

Say No to Vertical Video

October 10th, 2012 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

Vertical video typically happens when recording with phones, which is becoming more and more common with the high quality of the lenses in smart phones.

In technical terms it is recording in an aspect ratio of 9×16 rather than 16×9, this makes playback on a 16×9 screen less than great. So when filming your video dabblings be sure to keep your camcorder properly positioned for the best possible footage.

This playful video discusses the problem, while at the same time making you smile. Enjoy.

We’re let’s dabble, we’d like to teach you video. For free!

September 9th, 2012 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

let's dabble

If we haven’t met, then it is a pleasure to meet you. If we have met, then you may be wondering where we’ve been. Well, it’s a long story and it goes something like this…

…we’ve been making videos.

Ok, it’s actually quite short. But we made them just for you! Especially you reading this right now, you’re our favorite.

The real story is that we decided to launch our instructional video series for free! It teaches anyone anywhere how to make a web video. It took awhile, over a year to be exact, but when making videos on how to make a video one can never be too awesome. (yeah, I just said we’re awesome. We’re also modest.)

The videos are available at in an easy-to-view format and are also hosted on YouTube. They cover what equipment you need, filming a video, writing a script, video editing with Windows Movie Maker, and finally how to upload a video to YouTube. Everything you need to take your story and share it with the world.

Go ahead, share your story. We dare you. We double dog dare you.

Got what it takes to accept the challenge? Then watch this video to get the details on how to show us up.

Have you Dropped some Love today?

December 12th, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink


LoveDrop is a micro-giving network. What does that mean? It means that a community of people giving as little as $1/month deliver a combination of unexpected gifts, personal encouragement, and support to help one person or family each and every month.

Nate St. Pierre, the founder of LoveDrop, is living his life by the motto written on his hand: change the world. Whether through LoveDrop or it starts with us, he is striving to make a difference.

It is so simple and yet so powerful. For as little as $1, you can get involved and be part of the community that changes someone’s life every month. If finances are less than perfect, he also organizes a LoveBomb, which floods a person in need with words of support and encouragement.

Launching on 1/1/11, now is the time to become part of something that will not only change lives in 2011, but could also change your own.

Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference 2010

November 24th, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

On Friday November 19th Cabrini Connections put on their Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Fall Conference at U.S. Cellular Field. The purpose of the conference was three fold:

It connects leaders and supporters of volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and education-to-career programs with each other.

It builds visibility so that more volunteers and donors will choose to support tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region.

It helps the Tutor/Mentor Conference maintain its Chicago Area Programs List of area tutor/mentor programs.

let’s dabble was in attendance presenting on web video and how nonprofits can begin to produce their own web videos to improve their presence online. We would like to send out a thank you to Bradley Troast and Karina Walker for their amazing work in putting on this conference.

Special note to Mr. Troast: Thanks for validating our presentation, regular use of web video can truly be attained as proven by the video above. Well done sir.

ChicagoNonProfit hosts The NonProfit Resource Fair

November 11th, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

On Tuesday November 9th, from 4pm to 7pm, ChicagoNonProfit hosted over 25 resources that are:

“nonprofit ‘friendly’ vendors that have experience working with non-profit organizations and can work with limited budgets.”

let’s dabble was in attendance, front and center! The event was fabulous with a variety of vendors showcasing what they did best. Whether it was web video, accounting, catering, branding, or event services, there were a variety of knowledgable people there to answer any and all questions.

Still interested in how it went? Wish you could see a video of the event? Well, you’re in luck, let’s dabble was there with camcorders in hand. Check out the minute long video above.

If you enjoyed the music in the video you can always support the artist and purchase That Was Just A Dream by Cut Copy.

NonProfit Resource Fair

Photo by: Adam Daniels

From Free Soccer Camps to College Prep

November 2nd, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

Sidi Genus

Our friends at IAMVolunTourism have recently been featured in The Washington Post. The story concerns Sidi Genus and her journey from free soccer camps on Treasure Beach in Jamaica to attending St. John’s College High School. Sidi has found herself where she is thanks to her own hard work and the hard work of Chris Rose and Maati Hetheru. Chris and Maati are involved with much more than their amazing work with combining travel with volunteer work at IAMVolunTourism. Chris also runs free soccer camps for youth in Jamaica where he met Sidi.

Through this connection, he came to recommend Sidi for a scholarship at St. John’s. However, the story did not end. The transition was far from complete upon arrival. It was only with practice with Coach Colin Lennon and help with her studies from Maati that she came to excel in her new surroundings.

Truly a story to inspire us all, but for let’s dabble it acts as a reminder of the amazing work being done by Chris and Maati all around Jamaica. Keep up the good work guys.

I can, You can, We can all Share Files

October 28th, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink


Dropbox is a file sharing option for you, me, and anyone else needing remote access to files. Emailing is restricted by file size, flash drives are wonderful if you didn’t leave them at home, and of course you could lug your laptop along with you. Yet, what if your flash drive is sitting next to your laptop at home? Dropbox allows you to create a free account and upload up to 2 GB of information for free; paying customers can upload up to 100 GB. Once you upload the information you can access the files from anywhere with a computer. Simply wonderful.

Ready for some brainstorming? Let’s think outside the dropbox. I want to share a video with someone but would rather not upload it to Youtube for fear of the world seeing it. Now I have the option to upload the file, tell my friend my username and password, and they can log in and download it. Simply amazing.

One more example, I recently wanted to put together a video for a friend. However, I needed video testimonials from a group of people on varied schedules. Not a problem. I setup an account, emailed them all the username and password, and they were able to upload video files that I later downloaded. Simply brilliant.

Would you like to setup an account? You can do so on their login page.

Social Media the Tool, not the Solution

October 22nd, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

Recently, I came across a question regarding how to best use social media for a nonprofit organization. The subsequent replies and comments were enough to make anyones head spin. I believe this was due to the false mantra that we’ve all heard, “you need to get on social media, because once you do, the gates to nirvana will open and you will find floods of people just waiting for you!”

Over and over again, I hear the confusion of “I’m here! What am I supposed to do now?”

This confusion is due to the notion that social media is the solution. I argue that it is but a tool.

Social media is a simple way of referring to computer programs that allow people to interact and converse in a variety of ways. It is a form of “media” that has a “social” component. That social component is what makes it so powerful. Suddenly I am able to respond to the “media” that is presented to me rather than just receiving it.

This is all well and good, but what about the question. How should a nonprofit organization use social media? I regret to inform you that I will be answering a question with a question. What does your organization want to do?

Are you trying to organize a future event? Distribute information to volunteers? Show donors the successes you’ve had this year?

If you know how you’d like to make improvements to your organization, your chances of finding a social media tool to get you there will sky rocket. So first determine what “solution” you’d like to achieve, then go find the “tool” that will help you get there.

On a final note, don’t forget the content. Your organization is full of amazing people and amazing stories. Make your social media dabblings more engaging by going beyond words and photographs by including web video. And if you need help putting the video together, gimme a call, it’s what I do.

How Web Video Powers Global Innovation

September 14th, 2010 by Anthony Bernas | Permalink

TEDTalks are online videos shared to provide visitors with “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Not to take the words out of their mouth, they describe it as:

"…a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world. Under the moniker “ideas worth spreading,” talks were released online. They rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions."

Their talks cover topics from technology to entertainment to design and so much more. Just released this September is a discussion from July of 2010 by Chris Anderson discussing how web video powers global innovation. This caught my attention to say the least. I absolutely loved his thoughts and ideas regarding online video, they are inline with our vision at let’s dabble in so many ways. Chris described the importance of online video and it’s impact on TEDTalks by saying,

"Why do people like watching TEDTalks? …there is alot more being transferred than just words, and its in that nonverbal portion. There’s some serious magic…"

It is so true, the power of web video to share a story, to emotionally connect with the viewer, and to change the way we see the world is incredible. He went on to discuss how online video is changing how people can inspire one another,

"…reading and writing are actually relatively recent inventions, face-to-face communication has been fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution, that’s what has made it into the mysterious, powerful thing it is. Someone speaks, there’s resonance in all those receiving brains, the whole group acts together."

What he is highlighting is how for millennia we as a species have been using body language, the oldest form of communication, to communicate and how it is lost in the written word. However, thanks to the advent of online video, it is finally back in the spotlight.

Before I provide you with the video to watch at your leisure, I have to quote Chris Anderson one more time,

"What I’m excited about or what I think is under-reported is the significance of the rise of online video. This is the technology that will allow the rest of the worlds talents to be shared digitally; thereby, launching a whole new cycle of crowd-accelerated innovation…"

"Who’s the teacher? You’re the teacher. You are part of the crowd that may be about to launch the biggest learning cycle in human history. – Chris Anderson"