David Weinberger, despite being really sick with the flu, gave an inspiring keynote at the NTC Conference on Thursday morning. It was a great opportunity to immerse in thinking about how David's ideas translate to the nonprofit sector.
One of the themes I've heard from nonprofits thinking about Web 2.0 is "How do we maintain control of our branding, message, etc" This translates to the comfort level with transparency. So, I asked David "Why is transparency important for nonprofits?" Transparency helps with learning is the gist of the sound byte.
Sonny Cloward has an excellent summary and reflection over at the NTEN Blog and looks like we're also puzzling over the same issue:
I’m trying to figure out how to help nonprofits understand that mission-driven online strategy is not about driving traffic to your site- the digital equivalent of having to go to a library in order to get information – but about how to distribute content as widely as possible to have the broadest impact on our causes. We are a sector of content producers with extraordinary expertise. But for most of us, our websites are not destination points; our content is static and siloed away for only our most dedicated supporters. While I admit that metrics and branding are challenging, but not impossible, I believe it’s necessary for us as a sector to start seeing ourselves as not niche web portals, but content distributors that put our content in front of as many people as possible – through tagging, widetizing, engaging in established online social networks (yes…for better or for worse, think MySpace) and content exchanges between partnered organizations.
I follow David's work closely and was glad to hear him bring up the all the bit about information,meaning, and understanding. I got to ask during the q/a to unpack that a bit more because I didn't understand what he meant.