Netsquared is new project in its embryonic stages from Compumentor, the folks who have brought excellent technology resources to the nonprofit field. What is it? There is a lot of text on the site (this should be changing soon), but this snippet says it best:
Net² is an invitation into the marvelous, messy world of the Internet as a participatory, interactive community: a community created by its users. This site, and the Net² conference, will help non-profit organizations move into that world -- byte by byte, blog by blog, RSS feed by RSS feed. We don't know exactly what the Net² community will look like, or how it will change the face of the non-profit web. What we do know is that both the online and offline work of every non-profit can be enhanced by a dynamic online community in which organizations and users support one another. And we know that the creativity and commitment of the non-profit world is crucial to achieving the creative and community potential of the Internet itself.
The very first seeds of content and conversation have started and much more will happen along the way leading up to the April, 2006 f-2-f conference.. There is a blogging community tool available on the site and people are registering and setting up blogs. The community is facilitated or sparkplugged by Chris Locke. Content is also being added to the site through streams of aggregated content through the net2 tag. And, according to a comment from Marnie Webb on a blog post, more content that includes examples of how nonprofits are using these new tools will appear soon.
The other day, David Geilhufe wrote a blog post on the site posting a challenge: Doing Rather than Thinking about Doing. In reading the comments, Daniel Ben-Horrin asks the right question -- the question is about that step BEFORE community -- the one that leads to social design. "What do you need that this project and the community that is just starting to evolve around it can provide?" That's the conversation that needs to happen in the Netsquared online and in offline channels.
But I don't think Netsquared is being conceived as a community that only talks or thinks about doing ... as the space will be provide a platform and catalyst for the doers -- if I'm correct from reading the comments attached to David's blog post .... but the hard work of community building is about people- about developing trust, relationships and emotional connections. It takes a balance between thinking and doing or an action learning process and focusing on the people not the tools.