There is more analysis and reaction to the Washington Post piece two days ago that trashed the Facebook Causes application and caused quite a lot of commentary and reactions from those of us work with nonprofits. I summarized the article and reactions in my post "Hey Washington Post - Dollars Per Donor Is The Wrong Way to Measure Success."
The Tech Hermit blogger, Mike Ames, was so irked by the inaccuracies and negative tone of the article, that he emailed the authors. He also pointed out that the article was "old news" and questioned why they were not participating in the conversation in the comments. The reply was dismissive on many levels, including this pot shot at nonprofit/social media bloggers (like me)
Allison Fine provides more commentary and walk through of the logic linking it to why there are problems in the newspaper industry.
Conversation in the blog comments and reaction posts is very valuable and leads to a deeper understanding. Yes it can spark criticism, but also lead to insights. Take for example, Brian Reich's "Brain Dump" post which he lays his take on how Facebook Causes can be a game changer in the future and what needs to change. His recommendations are directed at the the folks at Facebook Causes who created the application and nonprofits using the tool.
In addition, he also suggests that the news media a big part of the problem:
There are lots of people who ‘get it’ — consultants, nonprofit leaders, technology people and such. We are in the business of helping nonprofit organizations, as well as folks like the team from Facebook Causes, to understand the true value of technology in the context of communications, and fundraising, and other activities online. Its a slow process, but progress is definitely being made. At the same time, nonprofits probably give more weight to something in the Washington Post or New York Times (not to mention CNN, the Philanthropy Journal, and so on) than anything else. And in my experience, most of the news media doesn’t ‘get it.’ You read article after article about the tools and gadgets, or a big story about how one group raised a bunch of money or built a big email list. But those stories rarely get into the heart of the matter and those articles fall short of explaining all the factors that contributed to a set of outcomes. No matter, the message they send is readily shared and embraced by people everywhere, in the nonprofit community, technology circles, and even the broader audience — and their perspective is shaped. As long as the news media continues to tell that limited story, we are fighting an uphill battle.
What I think we need is a follow up story in the mainstream media that tells the real story here.