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Alright, the second half of the semester is underway! This will involve less (mandatory) blogging, however I will try to keep posting blogs directly related to the nonprofit work as well as maintaining the philosophic content… maybe they’ll even combine at some point! I feel like I am already picking up on some trends from “The Networked Nonprofit” and some major overlap with the first part of the semester.

The authors, Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine, discuss several myths and fears common to nonprofit organizations as they orient themselves to social media. One of the most important parts–in my opinion–is the idea of “inside-out” organization as opposed to “top-down.” If I learned anything from the first half of the semester, it’s that social media is just that: SOCIAL. And nothing detracts from social freedom like regulative hierarchies and cemented authority figures.

In order for nonprofits to become networked they need to operate like a basic social media user, in some ways. Like on Facebook, if you want to connect with people who have similar interests you have to advertise or display your own interests. Hence, there is a need for nonprofits to have a certain amount of “transparency” and accessibility. Likewise, people join Facebook to be social with all kinds of people. Accordingly, it’s important for nonprofits to be friendly, receptive, inclusive, and to start conversations as well as be hospitable to them.

All of this helps to promote what might be considered the “X-factor” with social networking for non-profits–namely, “free agents” or those who are non-professionals, yet have passion and influence. Like the authors reiterate: social media helps to augement social activity–and nonprofits thrive off of social activity. The sooner organizations realize the tremendous potential of social activism by professionals and non-professionals alike in the digital world, the sooner their organization can become less overworked and insular.

Lastly, there was one more important distinction in our readings: Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Perhaps most organizations are familiar and most comfortable with Web1.0, which is simply “broadcasting from one to many.” Like Levinson’s notion of “old media,” these are typically professionally made and distributed to people without much premium put on interaction.

Then–like the GREAT CHAIN OF BEING–Web 2.0 contains all that Web 1.0 has and more! This involves less administrative “broadcasting to supporters” and more “engaging with them.” This might include a blog or other social networking sites. By increasing interaction, organizations integrate more smoothly into the fabric of the digital world.

Lastly, there is Web 3.0, which is the “Mobile Web.” Containing all the features of 1.0 and 2.0, this allows people to carry it all around with them and be even more connected in more and more places.

Fortunately, the first part of this semester offered me a great experience with a lot of this social media–and using it is truly the best way to understand it. I’ve yet to settle on a project or a group, so if you’re interested in anything let me know! Look for more to come and perhaps a post on Heidegger this week!

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