Don't know where I fit in the scheme of things here, but I have to start somewhere. It's time to strike up a conversation backed by sound research, philosophy and experience. How is it we don't have our own "Wall Street Journal" by now. So much of the real-estate space in nonprofit rags is devoted to a) our own salaries; b) how to raise money; or c) what nifty new accounting software we should buy. I've launched my own blog, the Nonprofit to do my part - kickoff some discussion on real stuff, like revenue recognition, the meaning of charity, the hazards of promising too much, the oxymoron of performance outcomes, etc. etc. Join in, viva la revolution!
The good news is that last year I attended a terrific workshop on this topic at the Boston regional N-TEN conference. It was organized by fellow TechnobabeTheresa Ellis, so I went to her and requested permission to replicate her idea. She very graciously agreed, coaching me about how to proceed, and encouraging me to recruit as many panelists as possible from the session that she designed.
Here's the plan. Four of our panelists will be from the philanthropic world, folks with plenty of practical experience:
Over at TechCrunch I've been reviewing more web 2.0 startups than you can shake a stick at; while the crowd over there is generally not focused on social change, an awful lot of interesting things come our way that could prove helpful in a nonprofit context. Here are some of my favorites from last week, in order of usefulness.
Peter Caputa IV is the founder of WizSpark, an events organizing and promotion company based in Westborough, MA. He also writes a savvy blog about Web 2.0 style promotion called PC4Media. In the following interview Peter and I discussed the use of blogs, MySpace, tracking technology and incentives to promote events. WizSpark does some work with nonprofits, helping with a recent walk to raise money for cancer research, for example.
My principles get a little rankled by some of Peter's ideas, but maybe I'm just uptight. In a world desperate for drastic change - agents of change should consider all possible options. At the very least, I hope you will find this interview to be an interesting look inside the mind of an intelligent specimen, a trail blazer, of a type of vendor ready to burst upon the scene: the social media fueled organizer/promoter. I appreciate Peter taking the time to answer my questions.
Want to know more about how TechSoup is working in Second Life, and how they produced the "mixed-reality" Net Tuesday that took place in Second Life and in San Francisco? Check out David Collin'sinterview on the NetSquared podcast with Tech Soup's Online Community Manager, Susan Tenby, and Salvador Luna, Desktop Support at CompuMentor. Photo by Beth Kanter