Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Have You Spotted The Social Mediaprenuers This Season?

What is great about the social media hustle is that you can witness it in real time.  I am amazed at the number of social media experts we have to choose from, perhaps that is because I spend a great deal of time in that space reading and learning. I do love the capability to create incredible customer experiences that these rapidly evolving tools provide. But I have yet to find a single person who has in any meaningful way connected the dots for the nonprofit community. While I am quite aware of all the self proclaimed or endorsed experts, what I find when I scroll deeply into their work that there is very little substance or practical understanding on the mechanics of philanthropy. A recent book on metrics for nonprofits does not offer a single connection between social media and the ability to identify, acquire and most importantly sustain the relationships that have the ability to transform your organization. I find embracing such publications for nothing more than a high buzz index remarkable. Yet because of the power of social media tools thousands flock to see if maybe this time there is actually something really worth learning. Anecdotal stories are nice and often can inform but without any real substance leaves us hungry like a Chinese food buffet …. But the stories do take up the pages and thus there is a book to sell. In addition telling someone else's story becomes the slight of hand for genuine competency. 

Today I have have nothing to sell, yet J, but would love to share with you a great read that could save you a lot of time and disappointment, but also provide incredible value for your time invested. In April of 1999 I read the Cluetrain Manifesto and quite honestly I have not read another creative thought on the topic of web-based communications since. Its all there for the taking and it is also the book that gave birth to the first blog, in North America, for marketing in the nonprofit educational sector. Check out Chuck's Corner at Proctor Academy, who is part of the advancement team that kicked of blogging in 1999, something NAIS could state with some pride that this kind of innovation came out of independent schools, years before other nonprofits flipped on the on switch.  

Click on the image to go to theoriginal site from 1999
These are challenging times and our ability to weed through the pile of  inexperienced nonprofit “experts” is a new skill that we all need to sharpen Just because someone has a website, blog or a small twitter army does not mean they have any real practical experience in the business of creating a place for philanthropy. P.T. Barnum is credited with the saying that “a sucker was born every minute”. I think if he were alive today he may suggest that now one is published every minute, just check your rss web aggregator!

Good luck!

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