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Laura Quinn

I love this continuum! (I'm envisioning an illustration of the "Trough of Disillusionment") And I think the question you ask is right on point: Should all nonprofits wait until Phase 5? No, I think clearly that there are *some* cutting edge nonprofits for whom it makes sense to jump in and experiment and pave the way for others, but I think they are a small minority of the nonprofit sector as a whole.

This is my objection to what I'm seeing as the Web 2.0 hype - there's no question that these new technologies are useful to *some* organizations, but are we leaving behind the vast bulk of nonprofits, and their dire need for basic information, as we as technologists focus so much of our attention on the fun "Peak of Inflated Expectations" stuff?

Allan Benamer

Yeah, I was meaning to mention the Gartner hype cycle on my blog but I decided to take my arguments in a different direction. I don't want my nonprofit to hit that trough of disillusionment on tech (although I think we hit it with the Treo). On the other hand, I've gotten my org to put blogs down on the slope of enlightenment.

Jon Stahl

Well put, Laura. Most nonprofits *are* trailing edge adopters, no matter what we nonprofit technologists say, because most of them are staffed by smart people who know that they can't afford to take big risks on unproven technology fads. They are surprisingly good at detecting hype.

To be sure, there are some organizations that can, should and do take those risks. In my experience, they are the exception, not the rule. I am grateful to those organizations, however, because it is from their experiences that we learn.

In my experience, the organizations that should experiment around the early stages of the hype cycle are those that can afford to make significant investments of time and money that may not pay off.

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