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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Friday, March 24, 2006

NTC Seattle - Another Day

Day two at the NTC. Got to meet a couple more of the bloggers I enjoy following: David Geilhufe of Social Source, and Sonny Cloward of Vermont NonProfit CommunIT, at a session on open communication technologies. Lynn Stott, who has the terrifying task of overseeing the redesign of Techsoup's website, also facilitated. It was a great opportunity to listen in as NPOs discussed their experience introducing blogs, forums, or other avenues of community input on their sites. Three pieces of valuable information I took away from this session were -

1) As the online community grows, it will become more self-policing. There is a point in the growth curve where it may look like things are spiraling out of control, with inappropriate postings and hostile comments by "trolls" on the increase - but when the site hits critical mass, such abuse will diminish as users set norms and take increased responsibility for the culture of the site.

2) As your site grows, leaders will emerge who can be given administrative rights as volunteers to delete posts, reorganize threads, and ban repeat offenders from posting.

3) An effective way to test out open content without undue risk to your established, more conventional site is to create a secondary site for the more experimental activity at a different URL. Numerous organizations described setting up "Sandbox" sites of this sort, and rolling them into the main site or discontinuing them based on there success.

Sad to say, Beth Kanter, who I met face-to-face for the first Wednesday, had to leave early because of the death of her mother-in-law. Doria and I had a chance to take a pic with her, and our thoughts are with her and and family.

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Comments on "NTC Seattle - Another Day"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (April 11, 2006 at 4:57 PM) : 

Thanks Michael! It was a pleasure to meet you face-to-face! Now, where is that photo of you and that other Michael Stein?


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