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Weekly News Alert: Networks, Collaboration and Information Sharing


On Networks...

  • Networks accumulate power based on their breadth of reach in every direction, inciting complexity and fluidity.  It is difficult, sometimes, to look at a network and wonder if it is not a “random field of chaos,” but while networks do not play by the rules (they can’t because they are cumulative and self-organizing) there are laws that networks abide by.  Networkweaving blog looks at the four key components of networks and devises formulas for how to achieve each of these.  The four components are: luck, innovation, influence and network growth.
  • Communication is part of networking but it is caring about the content generated from a network that motivates people to communicate and to continue communicating.  NetCentric Advocacy blog summarizes successful networking when it says “network building is a mix of building the participants (or leveraging the participants) care for each other and decreasing the barriers to communication.”  The blog post continues to dissect the challenges associated with this notion and breaks down how networks can ensure genuine interest and communication.
  • Diana Scearce of Working Wikily shares what she learned from a webinar led by Steve Waddell held recently.  In the Webinar Waddell talks about four tools that allow us to visualize systems and networks.  The four tools (web crawls, social network analysis, value network analysis and strategic clarity analysis) are described in Scearce’s blog post.  Scearce also reminds us that “maps are only as good as their inputs,” meaning that visualizing maps is key but we cannot lose sight of the content generated from those maps.


On Collaboration and Information Sharing...


  • The value of information and whether a dollar price should be placed on information has always been a point of contention in the for profit world.  As social media expands its reach and information makes itself more and more easily available industries like journalism and the music industry are suffering greatly.  Some critics of online information sharing have made the same argument regarding the nonprofit industry; organizations will not be able to remain afloat if they give away all of their information, the argument says.  However, Sean Stannard-Stockton makes the argument that the non-profit world actually benefits from the information sharing because it incites a bigger shift, more social good, and growth of the industry.
  • As technology becomes a larger and larger part of our every day lives the differences between online and face-to-face collaboration (and communication) become more apparent.  According to Wiser Earth blog, when it comes to collaboration, the main difference between online and face-to-face meetings is the generation of ‘artifacts,” or “the objects that you create to record and conduct your interaction.”  Artifacts are important in any type of communication, the blog post says, but in online collaboration, artifacts are automatically created (via email, wiki, video, etc.) but face-to-face meetings do not always produce something tangible and recordable.  The post also includes a slide show, created by Eugene Kim of Blue Oxen Associates, which further explores the differences between the online and face-to-face collaboration and the importance of artifacts.
  • When marketing for your organization, trends are pointing towards… getting to know other organizations and collaborating with them.  David J. Neff writes a guest post for getting attention! blog and says that the key is to co-promote, share mailing lists, have conversations and collaborate so you can learn from each other, build your network, and market both for your organization and your (joint) cause.


On Diversity...

  • We constantly hear about social media, the power of communication and growing networks and it is true – communicating is easier than ever before – but social media outlets, while they may reach a lot of people, do not necessarily reach diverse communities.  Frogloop publishes a post about the importance of reaching out to all communities; the key is not to “create a separate campaign to bring people of color into your community” but rather to “make a consistent effort and always include multiple racial angles in any piece of research, writing or communications," the post says.


On Innovation...

  • Often, when people think of innovation they fail to understand where change actually comes from.  Mitch Ditkoff of Blogging Innovation explains, “in today’s process-driven, OD-centric, Sigma savvy organization” we tend to focus on systems and technology as the core of an organization rather than on the people that operate (and change) the system.  It is the people who are the core or the inside of an organization and it is through those individuals who feel they should “own the need to innovate" and really believe in their own ideas that change and innovation will occur.

On Technology and Social Media...

  • MIT Media Lab is creating a new communications platform, “Comm.unity” which translates knowledge and awareness into communication protocols and network services.  The platform would allow strangers to communicate news and other critical information (emergency information, disaster scenarios, etc.) along with music, digital newspapers or pictures with anyone tapped into the system.
  • On her blog Beth Kanter shares a tweet she ran across asking if anyone had compiled a list of social media strategists.  Kanter shares a link to an “Expertise Map” from WeAreMedia which includes consultants, bloggers and service organizations who work at nonprofit organizations.  She invites others to add their name to the list.


On Philanthropy...

  • Slate magazine publishes a list of the 2009 60 most charitable organizations, called the Slate 60.  The list is accompanied by an article talking about various accomplishments and the future of philanthropy.

Top Articles:

The 4 Laws of Networks
Author:  Jack Ricciuto
Date: February 17, 2010
Source: networweaving blog

Do You Care about Communicating with Each Other?

Date: February 17, 2010
Source: NetCentric Advocacy blog

The power of visualizing systems
Author: Diana Scearce
Date: February 19, 2010
Source: Working Wikily

Does Information Want to be Free in Philanthropy?
Author: Sean Stannard-Stockton
Date: February 26, 2010
Source: Tactical Philanthropy blog

Create while you Collaborate

Author: Angus Parker
Date: February 22, 2010
Source: Wiser Earth Blog

Lift Your Head and Collaboarte to Power Up Your Nonprofit’s Marketing

Author: David J. Neff
Date: February 25, 3010
Source: getting attention! Blog

Is Your Nonprofit Reaching Diverse Activists and Donors
Author: Allyson Kapin
Date: February 25, 2010
Source: Frogloop blog

Innovation From the Inside Out
Author: Mithc Ditkoff
Date: February 22, 2010
Source: Blogging Innovation

Comm.unity Platform
Date: November 26, 2010
Source: Popwuping

Where Are the Nonprofit Social Media Strategists?
Author: Beth Kanter
Date: February 26, 2010
Source: Beth’s Blog

The 2009 Slate 60
Author: Patty Stonsifer
Date: February 8, 2010
Source: Slate