Is Your Organization Ready for On-line Social Networking?

29 04 2008

GuideStar Article excerpt:

Now that user-generated content—blogs, video, discussion groups, chats, and so forth—is the norm and users expect their Web experience to provide interactivity in addition to information, many nonprofits are faced with deciding when and how to use on-line social networking as part of their Web presence.

The simple brochureware site (one that just contains information about the organization) and direct donation site of the past are no longer enough. Fortunately, it is not necessary to build your own on-line social networking site. But you do need to know how to become part of an existing community, and tie it to your existing Web presence, to use social networking effectively… Read the entire article here

OK… This is a good jumping off point for me to comment.  This article hammers it out plainly for all to see that a new paradigm of content creation and interactivity is now a mission critical approach for any organization wishing to grow; public, private, for-profit or not, its time for all of us to dedicate ourselves to creating interactive content at our websites.

This is going to be difficult for some of us.  As I said before, most people over the age of 45 that I talk to claim to have difficulty understanding the big picture here.  Although I urge them to punch their way out their paper-bag-learning-curve, some of the comments I hear rise to a level of technophobia–making it difficult to communicate and instruct people on what is really a simple concept:

Research other website content, tools and resources

Model the best examples in your approach

Trumpet your organization’s message in these ways

Share and post often

Adopt appropriate technologies to save time like RSS feeds and Feed Readers

If you pay attention and take it as it comes, eventually you will be a BlogStar!  Developing audience increasing participation and learning from other organizations will help your org improve possibility frontiers going forward.

Then again, you could always take the wait and see approach.  But trust me, doing this stuff really is fun and extremely helpful.

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