economie, a London-based socially responsible investment firm has launched a social network at economie.sossoon.net to lead up to their eco6 conference in October. According to their press release, the network has all kinds of bells and whistles:
Steven Buckley of Christian Aid, "an agency of the churches in the UK and Ireland," emailed me to let me know that they have launched a podcast. I listened to part of a program, Haiti 6-I Say Vaudou, which was a little long, but still interesting. I had never thought about how important it would be to understand the ins and outs of vaudou (voodoo) in order to do HIV prevention work in Haiti. Nancy White recently posted an interesting email that Steven sent to the the KM4Dev mailing list about how Christian Aid developed their podcast, which is worth a read. According to the email, Christian Aid supporters now send emails asking if Christian Aid events will be recorded for the podcast.
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.