Book Reviews: New New Media and The Networked Nonprofit

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While only a few years ago there was a push for non-profits, and businesses in general, to build websites for their organizations, the rapid advancements of the internet and the extreme popularity of social networking sites have made it so that simply having a website is no longer enough. Organizations are now expected to have a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and a Blog; they might also have a YouTube, Pinterest, or LinkedIn account and produce podcasts, videos, or electronic newsletters. These expectations put a strain on organizations as they work to keep up with advancing technology. Two books that address this phenomenon are New New Media by Paul Levinson and The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. New New Media is a general look at various emerging and established online platforms defined by the author as “new new media” and discusses the impacts and uses of them, both for an organization and an individual. The Networked Nonprofit narrows the discussion to the use of social networking sites by nonprofits. Both of these books are useful in understanding the current online trends and provide insight into using advancing technology to its highest potential.

 

New New Media

As mentioned, this book by Paul Levinson provides an overview of various types of online platforms, which Levinson has coined the term “new new media” to describe, and discusses some of the impacts and uses that these types of media can have. Levinson is an author and communications professor, as well as the writer of the prominent tv-review blog “Infinite Regress” and frequent guest on television and radio shows. His book New New Media is written in a fairly informal, easily accessible tone and draws heavily on the authors personal experiences.

To discuss the term “new new media,” Levinson makes a plausible argument for its use, though it has yet to catch on (more common terms that are somewhat synonymous include “social media” or at times “Web 2.0” or “Web 3.0”). Levinson provides several ways that “new new media” is distinct from the “new media” of static websites or e-mail. He has stated the following characteristics as being the requirements of his “new new media:”

  • The consumer is a producer
  • The producer is almost always a non-professional
  • The main purpose of producing new new media is not to make money
  • New new media is always free
  • The medium varies in both length and media platforms (ex: sort tweets vs. long blog posts)
  • Various forms of new new media are interconnected and might compete with and/or complement each other

As can be seen, these features put this new wave of online interaction into a whole new category, despite the fact that the sites in which these characteristics can be seen are vastly different from each other.

After providing the justification for the use of his new term, Levinson goes into detail about blogging, YouTube, Wikipedia, Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and podcasting, dedicating a chapter to each. For each of these online activities, he provides descriptions of what they are and how they are used, reasons for why they can be considered new new media, and a collection of stories or anecdotes about their use, many drawing on his own personal experience. He concludes the book with three chapters on various overarching topics that relate to new new media in general: potential downsides and negative consequences of new new media, use of new new media in the election of 2008, and hardware used to access new new media. Each of these chapters gives readers insight of the use of new new media from different angles.

Overall, New New Media provides a great introduction and discussion on the various different new new media platforms. It is most useful for someone unfamiliar with how these sites work and/or interested in learning about how the sites have evolved and how they continue to spark new and interesting interactions. Some of the key ideas I took away from this book include thoughts on blogging, Wikipedia, Twitter, and the concept of online friends and followers.

Levinson’s discussion on the nature of blogs was interesting for several reasons, but some of the key ideas I got out of it pertain to the personal touch that can be seen in blogs and the permanence of blogs. Blogs are platforms for expressing unfiltered ideas and sustaining ongoing interaction through comments, but they are at the same time under the complete control of the author of the blog. Most blogs tend to be personal, as these features encourage users to think about “objective” things in relation to themselves. Blogs are often responses to external occurrences, something that Levinson mentioned when talking about the relationship between news media and blogging. The permanence of blogs is the interesting topic Levinson hit on relating to blogs. He argued that while blogs definitely last longer than news via radio or television, blogs may be even more permanent than print books. His argument is that blogs may have a further total reach because they can be accessed immediately, universally, and (so long as the author doesn’t remove them) they last forever. These two things, the subjectiveness and permanence of blogs, were two points that have stayed with me throughout blogging, and use of social media in general, since reading New New Media.

Another key take away comes from the chapter on Wikipedia and the lack of ownership of the material found there. This was my first introduction to thinking about how a community-driven approach towards accomplishing a task, with little to no compensation, might work. This phenomena can be clearly seen on Wikipedia, but I’ve also found that it applies to on other platforms as well in a somewhat similar fashion to the free agents that Kanter and Fine discuss (which I will describe in more detail below).

In regards to Twitter, one analogy that I really liked from Levinson’s discussion was that “Twitter takes the classroom to a global level” (page 136)–that is, the interaction and fast changes from mass communication to interpersonal communication that takes place in the classroom is very similar to what happens on Twitter. This analogy helped me understand that nature of Twitter, making it easier to join the culture of that platform.

My final take away from New New Media is a somewhat overarching theme that came up across several chapters; that is the concept of friends online. Levinson discusses, either briefly or in depth, in each chapter what it means to be connected with others on that platform. He also discussed the change in attitude towards friending people online. While friends on platforms like Facebook are typically grounded in real life friendships, friends (or “followers”) on Twitter or a blog are less likely to be. These relationships can vary and are still evolving, but I found the idea to be interesting to consider as I go about friending and following others online.

The Networked Nonprofit

In many ways, the Networked Nonprofit is a guidebook for non-profits in their use of social media. With the unique needs of non-profits in mind, Beth Kanter and Alison Fine discuss the various ways that social media can be utilized to gain support and call people to action. Beth Kanter, a well known blogger, and Alison Fine, an award winning author of other books on the subject, are both experts in the fields of both social media and non-profits. The Networked Nonprofit offers an accessible guide to what it means to be a networked non-profit, how to become one, and what to do as a networked non-profit. Each chapter also contains reflection questions and a variety of additional sources that may be consulted for further information. This book is written for anyone working with a non-profit offering theories and guidance for how to fully realize the potential that social media offers. It is straightforward, helpful for beginners and experts alike, and offers many examples to support the ideas it presents. For all of these reasons, it is a great resource for non-profit organizations, as well as anyone who wishes to learn about ways to leverage social media use in their favor.

Five specific areas that I found to be key from this book include free agents, social capital, working wikily, engaging with others online, and keeping things simple. The first of these, “free agents,” is something I have seen when I look at my friends and causes that they support, but was definitely new to think about in terms of a common occurance that can be leveraged. The book describes how free agents are people who will support organization in various ways at various levels for various reasons, but they are not necessarily loyal to a single organization. The book points out that it is important for non-profits to be continually welcoming to newcomers, as well as to embrace those who have “left” the organization and come back. To really reach this population and utilize the power of social media, Kanter and Fine encourage non-profits to embrace this new way of operating and welcome free agents and newcomers with open arms.

Social capital is another concept that I learned from this book. Social capital is defined in the book as “the stuff that makes relationships meaningful and resilient” (page 33).  Increasing social capital is extremely important in order for weak ties to become more connected, and social media offers great ways to facilitate this connection. As the book points out, people are easy to find online and on many channels, talk is cheap, serendipity is enhanced online, and reciprocity is incredibly easy. So this is something that is important to always remember when using social media as a non-profit.

The term “working wikily” was another important piece of understanding I took away from this book. “Working wikily” is essentially a way to describe an organization that has a strong, open, and positive social culture. These organizations are engaging in conversation, being active, taking risks, trying new things, valuing individuals, overcoming the “we’ve always done it like this” attitude, realizing that informal does not mean unprofessional or poor quality, and trusting staff to be able to send these messages and respond quickly—rather than wading through organizational bureaucracy. The authors argue that everyone in an organization should be using social media—and that it should be clear who is actually saying things because pseudonyms or misrepresenting where messages are coming from hurts the credibility of an organization. I found these ideas very important in understanding how social media should be used by an organization.

Engaging with others online is in many ways a no-brainer concept, but sometimes can sometimes be forgotten when organizations and individuals are too focused on getting something in return from others online. This is why I found Kanter and Fine’s discussion on it to be another key idea in the book. Listening and engaging with others is a shift from thinking only about what you can get from others to thinking about building relationships. The book encourages non-profits to “become intentional about relationship building efforts” (61).  Listening is the first step to this and only after you have listened can you join into the conversation and turn it in a direction favorable to your organization. I found this to be an important lesson that Kanter and Fine repeatedly emphasized throughout the book.

The final major lesson I found in The Networked Nonprofit is to remember to keep things simple. One of the most memorable quotes in the book says “once a simple process becomes a technique, it can only grow more complex and difficult” (90). I see this as very true; sometimes people make things more complicated than they need to be or get too hung up over not doing things the “right way.” Kanter and Fine emphasize avoiding this outcome in various ways throughout the book, from concepts like giving up control of the environment, being transparent, trusting others, and asking for help.

Recommendations

While each book discussed important aspects of electronic communication, I found The Networked Nonprofit more useful in terms of application to a larger picture while New New Media is better for in-depth understanding of individual platforms. While both of these things are important, personal familiarity with platforms is becoming more common and I think that future students might benefit more from focusing more on the message and less on the tool. By focusing more on what the various social media tools do and how they are received and interacted with by others, rather than on how a particular site is set up and if a students likes using it or not, the conversations can push beyond superficial levels more quickly. This different perspective is more emphasized in The Networked Nonprofit, which is part of what made the book so interesting. I would not eliminate discussion of individual platforms altogether, but work to focus the conversation on broader impacts of the way that the platform operates. As for non-profits, I highly recommend that they read The Networked Nonprofit. I do not think they would benefit from the approach that New New Media takes in discussing the platforms, but do think that another book, or perhaps collection of online articles and blog posts, describing each platform and it’s uses would be very beneficial for non-profits as well.

 

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Social Media Reflections

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I’ve definitely become much more open to social media throughout this class. Throughout learning each new tool, I found myself somewhat pessimistic and critical of them, but as we continued to look at the ways that each platforms worked and how social media is able to do things that other forms of communication can’t come close to, I began to change my attitude towards social media. No, social media does not replace face to face communication. Yes, social media can take up way too much time and at times have a negative effect on people’s offscreen life. But social media is a powerful tool that offers ways to access information and connect with others in ways that far exceed the capacity of anything else that exists. Realizing this has helped me move from the late majority category that I used to be in (only joining social media at the insistence of friends) to someone much more willing to experiment with and embrace the potential that social media offers.

That being said, I’m not sure exactly how active I will continue to be on the platforms we’ve set up throughout this class, but I will definitely be active. I think Twitter is the primary platform that I really didn’t previously use or understand, but have now come to come to really appreciate. I still have trouble deciding if I want to post things on Facebook or on Twitter, but I have a feeling Twitter will start becoming more and more common for me. The other big thing will be blogging; at the beginning of the semester I set up a personal blog in addition to the class blog. Although I really have only posted a handful of posts, now that summer is almost here, I plan to much increase my blog posting and am quite excited about it. Finally, there is Google+. I’m still not quite sure about it, but there are some definite perks to it. The biggest drawback right now is that I don’t have a lot of friends on G+, so not many people will see what I post. And then of course, G+ only adds to the question of which platform to post something on! I may use it to post more professional or academic type things and to talk about and explore different things like that. My good friend Bree does this; she is a graphic designer and has started using G+ as her “professional” social media account. So for me, I might post things like thoughts about social media, non-profits, small business management, web design, technical writing, grant writing, etc. Because sometimes I do come across things on those topics and I just really don’t think my friends on Facebook would care 😛  This type of info is good stuff for Twitter too however, so again, I’m not quite sure what role G+ will play in my future social media use.

What was so great about this class is that not only do I know how to use all of this social media, when I talk to other people I realize that I now have this whole repertoire of both academic and theoretical ideas to draw on—disseminating information, repurposing content, virtual reality, free agents, and the like—And I realize, hey wow, not everyone knows this! Working on our project with the NP organizations was also an awesome experience that really showed hands-on that we do know what we’re talking about. Working on that as a group was really nice because we were able to help each other and really look at things from multiple perspectives, which was really helpful. Now that I’ve gone through the process of working with an organization once, I feel that I could do it again—it’s interesting to realize that many people manage social media as their full time job. Before this class, I didn’t feel that I had anything special to offer for doing something like that, but now I’ve realized that I (along with all of the EC457 class) probably know more than most people out there! Between our frequent use of it and all of the readings and resources we’ve located, we’re totally experts!

One last summary of our work with LPCAP

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We wrapped up our social media project on Monday with a presentation of our work to a few additional members of LPCAP. There are also others who will ultimately be working with LPCAP’s social media as well, but Ken will be sharing our plan document and the PowerPoint we created with them when he has a chance.

As I wrote up my group evaluation memo tonight, I thought it might be nice to share some of the overall process with everyone, instead of the bits and pieces that I’ve been posting throughout.

First of all, it was interesting, but also a good thing I think, because the meetings with Ken really shaped the work we did and what areas we emphasized throughout our plan, the revisions, the implementation, and presentation. After each meeting we found ourselves adding more things, thinking about things in a different way, or maybe adjusting things from how they originally were. This was great though, because by doing this, we were really able to provide something that lined up with LPCAP’s specific needs.

Marie, Jess, and I worked very collaboratively throughout the whole process. We had a lot of discussion about everything we did and worked really hard to keep each other informed about what we each were doing and where we were at with the big picture.

Our general approach was to have a G+ hangout to discuss what needed to be done, start a Google Doc to list those tasks and then start working on them, sometimes delegating who will do what and sometimes simply saying we’ll finish it all by a certain date. After each meeting with Ken, Jess and I made sure to bring Marie up to speed. Typing up a summary of the meeting was actually helpful because it forced us to write down how we interpreted the information from Ken, which was great to make sure we were all understanding it the same!

From the meeting summaries, we also made a list of more things to do. From there we would either start discussing them on the Google Doc, have a G+ meeting to talk more about them, and/or implementing the things on the list. In total, we used 7 different collaborative Google docs, met for G+ hangouts about 5-7 times, and (Jess and I) met with Ken from LPCAP 5 times.

The implementation/revision of our plan was an ongoing process over the three weeks after we had presented our first draft. In addition to the initially proposed implementation pieces, we added to and adapted our process to meet Ken’s needs. In the end, our final plan was more of a reference guide for LPCAP, which we felt would be a great benefit to them, and Ken certainly agreed. The 3 middle meetings with Ken served as the “tutorial” sessions that our plan mentioned. These “tutorials” were more informal than we initially thought they might be, but they were also quite effective. By the time we wrapped up the project, Ken was much more comfortable with using each platform, and we had equipped him with material to share with others at LPCAP who will be more responsible for maintaining the social media. At each meeting with Ken, we went through any new material we had added to the plan document and demonstrated how to do various things on the computer.

When it was all said and done, we left LPCAP with a strong set of social media platforms, all set up in the way that Ken desired, and were able to present our work to some of the other staff members at LPCAP.  Ken is going to continue sharing our plan document and PowerPoint with the various program representatives throughout LPCAP and working with them to build and sustain LPCAP’s social media sites over the next few weeks/months.

This was a really great project to work on and it was neat to see how much Ken appreciated the outcome. It was really neat to be able to help a real organization in an area where they really did need it. Working on this project also helped me to be much more confident about marketing social media as a job skill 🙂

 

 

 

LPCAP Update

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I just wanted to give a brief update on my group’s work with LPCAP!
We’ve met with Ken from LPCAP three times now–the first time for an informational meeting, the second time to present a draft of our plan, and a third time to present additions/revisions to the plan and to show him the beginning stages our our implementation.

We were very busy between the 2nd and 3rd meetings. We revised the plan itself based on specific requests and thoughts from Ken and on advice and ideas from Dr. Brooks and various others who have given us some feedback on our blogs. The things Ken asked us to add or change were primarily in regards to some specific how-to information or just a bit of clarification on some points. He also asked us to make a flowchart of how the social media platforms connect, which you can see on Jess’s blog here. In addition to those, we also provided a list of resources for him in regards to both general social media practices and specific platforms. We talked about many of the things in our plan, but felt that it would be helpful to provide the extra resources. We also worked to integrate some sources throughout the plan, which was a great suggestion from Dr. Brooks. When we showed these additions to Ken he was very pleased with what we’d included in the updated document.

Even though we were still tweaking the assessment/plan, Ken had given us approval to move forward with the first implementation steps we proposed. So while we were adding info to the plan, we also worked on setting up  some foundational inside elements on LPCAP’s actual social media sites. These are just a few of the things we did:

  • Unified headers and backgrounds to give the LPCAP a much more professional and unified look
  • Filled out “about us” information on all platforms
  • Added a twitter feed to the blog
  • Created a QR code to LPCAP’s main website
  • Set up a  LinkedIn company page for LPCAP
  • Applied for Google for Non-Profits
  • Set up a Gmail account for LPCAP (to be used for the YouTube account, which we’ll be setting up soon)

Ken LOVED what he saw when we showed him what we’ve done. So that was exciting 🙂 In the next week we’ll be working on just a bit more of the “internal” setup, and then moving towards actually getting some posts up on Facebook and Twitter especially.

The other thing that is going to be a big focus this week is preparing for a presentation that we will be giving to representatives from the various different programs within LPCAP. While much of this presentation will go over what we’ve already put into the plan, it will be more broad in many ways because it will focus more on how the people in the different programs acknowledge/support LPCAP as their umbrella organization through the use of social media. And it will address ways that these representatives can kind of work together on building up LPCAP’s use of social media.

So we still have a lot of work ahead of us! But it’s exciting too–and it’s especially encouraging to hear Ken say how much he appreciates what we’re doing. It was also kinda cool because at our meeting he mentioned how he’d met with a guy from a marketing firm in town and told him a bit about what we are doing–apparently this guy was super impressed and said that we’re basically doing what he does for a living! Ken said he let the guy glance at our plan, but pulled it away and set it out of reach when the guy asked if he could have a copy 😛

Here are links to the various LPCAP sites if you’d like to check them out! Hopefully there will be some more action happening on them soon!

Main website: http://www.lakesandprairies.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LakesAndPrairies

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LPCAP_MN

Blog: http://lakesandprairiesblog.blogspot.com/

Help! How to connect platforms?

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My group has been debating over the ideal way to connect our organization’s social media platforms and are really not sure what the best way is!

These are the platforms we’re working with:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogger
  • Area Voices Blog (more exclusive–everything on here would go on Blogger also, but not vice-versa)
  • YouTube
  • Google+  (maybe)

We know that we’d like our Blogger to automatically post links on both Facebook and Twitter. Ideally we’ll do this with YouTube as well. Between the two blogs we can either use re-blog features, or good old copy and paste. Those won’t be very frequent posts, so we’re not as concerned about them. The one that I’m the most concerned about is how to connect Facebook and Twitter–or if they just shouldn’t be connected.

There are all sorts of warnings about hashtags on Fb and posts being too long for Twitter, it seems like a better choice to not connect them. But if we do decide not to, should we still encourage our organization to post about the things on each platform? For example, if they want to give a quick update–they could write it short for twitter w/ a hashtag, and then maybe a bit longer for facebook—but it would be essentially the same information. This doesn’t seem very effective, but would ultimately appear the best from the user side. Overall Twitter is for faster paced messages, and not everything said on there would be appropriate for Facebook, but there are definitely going to be times when we’ll want to convey the same message on both sites.

And then there’s G+, which we may not actually adopt, but if we do… my initial thought is that it could contain the same information that a Facebook post would.  Or… should G+ be treated differently as well.

There is the option of using something like HootSuite to manage social media sites, but I’m not convinced that it would actually solve the problem. In addition to that, we’re already kind of overloading our organization with websites and tools… I’m not sure if they’d want to learn yet another thing!! The main person in charge of the social media at our organization is not super tech-savvy, so we really want to make this as absolutely easy as possible!

I would love to hear what some of the other groups are proposing to their organizations, or if anyone has any type of advice at all!!

Networked NonProfit 5-7

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Chapter 5: Listening, Engaging, and Building Relationships

This chapter discussed the “ladder of engagement” which actually relates pretty closely to some of the ideas presented early on in the book—namely, allowing people to support and partner with you as suits them best at any particular time. The five steps on the ladder are happy bystanders, spreaders, donors, evangelists, and instigators. What I thought was most helpful about this ladder is the point that “the ladder is not a linear progression from one step on the ladder to another. People can start anywhere and work their way up or down” (70).  And like earlier chapters of the book have said, that’s okay! It’s important to understand that specific circumstances of people’s lives will dictate how involved they’ll be, so a happy bystander might jump straight to an evangelist when time allows, or perhaps the other way around. And that’s okay too! It all goes back to the idea of free agents and the organization simply needs to be ready and willing to take them at any capacity they’re willing to offer.

The other big piece of this chapter discusses listening to and engaging with other. It’s a shift from thinking only about what you can get from others to thinking about building relationships. The book encourages NPs to “become intentional about relationship building efforts” (61).  Listening is the first step to this; listening helps you know what others are thinking and prevents you from sending messages people don’t want to hear. It makes sure you know what is being talked about and what your audience does care about. And it lets you know what people think about your organization—and gives you a great chance to engage in conversation with critics. Listening is something that my group is still going to work into our social media plan for LPCAP; we addressed it a bit, but we plan to do so more specifically. This is especially important because our contact at LPCAP is concerned about negative comments that social media will attract. We need to explain how to listen to what critics might be saying and to view their comments as a chance to start a conversation and explain how things really are. Like some of the examples in the book, this can really turn a situation around.

This moves into engaging with people online. It’s important for an organization to have people in all levels of the organization—from top management to lower staff—active online. And people should be their true selves online, it has it has much more credibility, frees you to just be yourself, and you will be much more sincere. These are a few other guidelines for building strong relationships online:

  • It’s better to give up some control and let things be open rather than trying to control ever little thing
  • Organizations should be intentional about building relationships, but can’t force people to do it and shouldn’t dictate what the people should say
  • Invest in your karma bank—send out good messages, give time/response to others, generate goodwill with people who interact with you—this builds a strong support system ready to be called into action when needed
  • Believe that people sincerely want what is best and would like to help you out—not that they are all big and mean and say nasty things, because most people don’t
  • Don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses—every organization has them—and ask for help (or at least be open to it)
  • Social media doesn’t create friendships, the people behind it does. Remember that people are people and no “one size fits all”

Chapter 6: Building Trust through Transparency

This chapter was overall pretty straightforward: be willing to let people see what you’re doing and in return you’ll benefit from supporters who trust you more and will be less likely to bite your head off when you make a mistake.

I did like the terms for the three types of organizations: fortresses, transactionals, and transparents. I think that it’s really important for non-profits to get past the transactional stage—it’s easier to focus on numbers—whether it’s money, volunteers, donors, or people served—but NPs exist to further a mission and usually that mission can’t actually be measured. Instead, they need to become transparents, like a sponge, and see others as resources, allies, and friends. To allow others to see both the good and the bad of how things are going internally, and to let others hold them accountable. This outward focus will ultimately put them in a much better position to serve their target audience. But it’s easier said than done: “transparency is not a buzzword or a system; it is a way of thinking and being for organizations” (76).

Chapter 7: Making Nonprofit Organizations Simpler

I thought this chapter was really interesting, especially in relation to the non-profit management class I’ve mentioned before. In that class, we’ve talked extensively about the complexities that non-profit organizations have to deal with.  I really like this chapter’s take on the need to focus on simplicity—though I do have to say that I think it oversimplifies the issue a bit because sometimes there’s not much that non-profits can do to simplify their situations, simply given the fact that they are non-profits!

Regardless, as I said, this chapter was very helpful and I think has some good wisdom to take to heart. I think one of the biggest take-aways from this chapter is to ““Do what you do best and network the rest” (93). Examples of this might be outsourcing work that others could do better or dropping programs if other organizations are doing. It’s also important to avoid getting stuck in the rut of doing things the way they’ve always been done. Another thing to overcome is a competitor mindset and to focus on collaborations and common goals instead. I find all of this really interesting because we definitely talk about similar issues in my NP management class. Mergers is something along these lines that we’ve discussed quite a bit–and how there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the combining of similar organizations. The idea behind mergers is that if two organizations are doing the same type of thing, they should just combine and become one organization. However, there are understandably a lot of people against this and while it does seem like a logical move, I think that focusing on simplification and leveraging networks, like the NN book talks about, could be an alternative to completely merging. Besides, mergers really create more complexity in many ways.

Something else interesting, in comparison between the NN book and my NP class, is that in my NP class and in that textbook it talks about efficiency and effectiveness a lot—but simplicity is really not emphasized. I think that all three are important—that you should consider how to make your organization efficient and effective AND as simple as it can be. Because there might be a few options, and some might just be way too complicated! I loved this phrase in NN: “once a simple process becomes a technique, it can only grow more complex and difficult” (90). It’s so true! The book points out that complexity comes from wanting to control the environment, which I thought was also very true and important to realize—it all ties back to being transparent and trusting others. Something interesting overall in this conversation is that the entire approach that NN proposes hinges on the idea that people are responsible, reliable, motivated, and willing to put in some extra effort to make things happen. This might not always be the actual case… but if and when that is true…wow, an organization can make a profound impact!

One last comparison between the book and my NP class is the discussion on being mission-centered, as my NP class talks about it, and focusing on what they do best, as the NN book says. Hopefully, these two things are the same and I am pretty sure everyone would agree that focusing on the mission/doing what they do best is the main thing that matters. Nonprofits exist for a reason—a mission—it’s why there were started, why they exist, and what they do. Anything that pulls them away from that should be dropped. Anything that can help them further their mission should be considered and pursued. I’ve been intrigued reading about the same concepts from fairly different angels and realizing they say very close to the same thing, though with a different way of emphasizing what is important!

American Red Cross Online

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Hey Everyone! I made some screencasts showing what the American Red Cross is doing in different places online and I talk about some of the things that NaDean Schroeder, the Red Cross’s Regional Communications Officer, shared with my non-profit management class last week.

I can’t seem to be able to get the video to embed correctly, so here are links for you to go watch them!

Part 1 & Part 2