It is such a relief and so much fun for The Networked Nonprofit to be out of our heads and off of our computers and finally into other people’s hands!
Here are photos from our events last week in San Francisco and DC hosted by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, NetSquared, The Case Foundation and Nonprofit 2.0. Here is my favorite book photo so far:
A few thoughts from our launch week.
One of the main vehicles for sharing news about the book we used during the week was live video and chat. On Monday we hosted our own live video, on Thursday we did a live chat at the Chronicle of Philanthropy and on Friday we again used UStream for a video conversation at the Case Foundation about America’s Giving Challenge. Each time I was reminded of scenes from one of my favorite movies, My Favorite Year, about the early years of television. Here’s the trailer from the movie:
Each time we were scurrying around to make the technology work. Poor Beth was trying to monitor the tweet and Ustream chats and questions in real time, with and without her glasses, during our broadcast (I wasn’t much help). Our BlogTalkRadio chat at the Chronicle was fun, alas, most callers couldn’t get on air and we didn’t know if it was us or them. And seconds before we went live at the Case Foundation, Eric Johnson, a brillant technologist, was frantically trying to get around the internal firewall. We’re all just figuring it out, live, and I imagine in two or three years from now will look back and giggle about our early attempts.
On a more serious note there was a thread of conversation that I had with people we met in person last week that was both gratifying and a bit sad. A number of people said to me privately, sotto voce and not for attribution, that they are adopting social media from within their nonprofits, but surreptitiously and even with some fear for their jobs, because of the fortress mentalities from senior management. They didn’t want advice as much as they wanted someone to listen and to tell them that they were doing the right thing by going around the conventions and roadblocks put up by managers educated in a previous century and paralyzed by the fear of giving up control to people inside and out. I admire their courage and strength to do this and the only advice I could offer them is that they are doing the right thing that someday soon their organizations will appreciate their efforts. But until then, they will need to find allies throughout the organization and on their boards to support the need to change and open up their fortresses.
I am immensely grateful for the people and organizations that have been supportive of our launch. It is very exciting to see how timely are the ideas in the book. Beth and I are in NYC this week, first at events graciously hosted by Fenton Communications and Demos on Tuesday followed by a book signing and workshop at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.