Posts Tagged ‘“Interconnected Age”’

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Rethinking Your Database: From Sacred Collection to Engaged Community

#1 Thing You Need To Know from This Post:

The single most important asset of any non-profit organization is its relationships with its volunteers, donors, and other stakeholders. If you treat these relationships like sacred data collections instead of an engaged community, you are at risk of becoming irrelevant.

A More Detailed Exploration:

cards02I spend a good portion of my time traveling across the country to attend conferences and meet with clients and prospective clients. Even in this digital era, the custom of exchanging printed business cards is alive and well. As you can see from the photo to the right, I have quite the collection.

But don’t confuse that collection of cards for a robust network of strong relationships. Getting the card is just like adding a new person to your organization’s database. If you do nothing to build the relationship, that business card becomes an artifact proving very little other than that you once had contact with the person.

The Historical Role of the Database

Common wisdom says that you can measure an organization by the number of people who are in its database. Historically, a central staff maintained this database and treated it like a sacred collection of artifacts. In an era when information didn’t flow so easily and it was very difficult to connect with people you’d never met, protecting that collection of records at all costs was a self-evident truth. After all, these records had taken a great deal of work to assemble and represented the lifeblood of your organization.

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The Other Side of Charity: After the Money is Raised, Who Does the Heavy Lifting?

The #1 Thing You Need to Know about this Post:
You can use social media to raise more awareness, more resources, and keep people better informed, but we’re still working on how to use these tools to fix the actual social problems.

A More Detailed Exploration
For anyone who doubts we have entered a new era when it comes to charity, you can return to the salt mines.  For the rest of you reading this, let’s reflect back on the last fourteen days:

  • Two weeks ago, I’m willing to wager that you (except for a select few) didn’t know about Daniela and her three kids. Heck, you might not had even known about David Armano;
  • Twelve days ago, you probably came across Daniela’s story and felt compelled to give; 
  • Ten days ago, you might have been part of the well-deserved digital ticker tape parade celebrating this outstanding show of support;
  • Seven days ago, you were in the midst of a heavy discussion about the ramifications of what has since been termed Free Lancer Fundraisers;
  • Four days ago, you found out Daniela had secured an apartment for her family and your collective generosity had made it possible; and
  • Yesterday, you read that the move-in had begun. more

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Helping Our Neighbors: Further Thoughts on the Armano Family’s Act of Charity

The Two Things You Need to Know from This Post:
1. The Armano family showed great compassion for Daniela and her children by rallying the support of their neighbors.
2. We need to continue this conversation in earnest to help reframe our understanding of charity and realign it with the realities of the new era.

The More Detailed Explanation:
With over 1 billion people on the Internet and over 3.3 billion owning mobile phones, we have entered the Interconnected Age. You have a more global view of the world, ideas spread instantaneously, self-organized swarms mobilize out of nowhere, and transformational events happen faster than before. These components of the Interconnected Age are redefining all aspects of your life, including your charitable acts. 

A Well Considered Risk
When I decided to write I Gave $10 to David Armano to Help Daniela and Now I Regret It, I realized I was doing something akin to approaching a gasoline-soaked bee hive holding a lit match in one hand and a can of hairspray in the other. Those of us steeped in social media can attest to the hive’s propensity to defend itself against perceived challenges. Add to that the fact that raising money as fast as the Armano family did requires a highly emotional situation (e.g. 9/11, Katrina, and the Tsunami). more

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2009: The Year Your Business Must Transform

10 Years ago, the dot com world was moving forward at an unbelievably rapid pace. Yahoo, Doubleclick, Amazon and eBay were the darlings of an emerging industry.

Public and private companies around the country were creating web teams, launching sites and scrambling to stake their claim on the Wild Wild Web like it was the Gold rush of 1999. Business executives touted their “transformation” to being digital in Forbes, Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines like they had just changed the world.

Few actually did. Mostly, they had just added another sales, communication or marketing channel.

Don’t fool yourself. Launching a web site is not transformational and never will be – no matter how amazing it is or how functional and deep it integrates into your business. It takes something more to transform today.

We are no longer in the Information Age of 90s and early 2000s. Stop pretending we are.

We have evolved. We can communicate to our personal and professional networks in seconds with video, images, audio and text. We can as easily chat with a friend in New Zealand as the guy in the office across the hall. We have become collective and collaborative. We have become interconnected. more

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Take the “Business Tranformation Quiz” for CEOs

Does your organization need a transformation, not just an evolution? Take this quick quiz to identify if you could dramatically improve how your business succeeds in the Interconnected Age.

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Why Chris Brogan’s Kmart Moment Matters: Personal Reputation vs. Corporate Brand

The #1 Thing You Need to Know from this Post:
Personal reputations are more important than corporate brands.

The More Detailed Explanation:
Most of the world went about its normal affairs this weekend unaware of Chris Brogan, a blog post he wrote on December 2, and a swarm that formed around it yesterday and today. For a networked group of people (including me), this was THE topic of this weekend, with people assailing Chris Brogan, defending his actions, following the conversation, and/or trying to put the uproar in context. 

So why the uproar?
Chris has built up a strong personal reputation teaching others how to use the Internet and social media to grow their businesses. For those in the trenches of social media, there is great premium placed on authenticity, transparency, and the celebration of the individual’s voice being more important than the controlled messaging of corporate brands. more

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Why Won’t You Listen? AirTran Loses.

Your customers are armed. Depending how you treat them, they’re either a serious threat or a significant asset to your business.

So why do I feel compelled to write this?  One reason: AirTran isn’t listening.  

How You Listen during the Interconnected Age
With 1 billion on the Internet and 3.3 billion with cell phones, your customers can use their voices to reach a global audience with a couple clicks of the buttons.  Here’s what you can do to make sure they’re saying great things about you: more

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How to Start a National Holiday Using the Internet

It’s not just anybody that can create a national holiday.  It takes people with lots of moxie, determination, and humility.  In this case, it takes the awesomeness of HotBox Pizza and the craftiness of MediaSauce to pull it off.

When you think about it, starting a national holiday has historically been a slow, arduous process. Just think about Thanksgiving - the whole idea took two centuries before it went mainstream. Mother’s Day took decades!   more

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Presidential Elections during the Interconnected Age

Welcome to the first U.S. presidential election of the Interconnected Age. News cycles are measured in minutes, opinions can be tracked in real time, rumors started and spread instantaneously, and major speeches “televised” to millions without ever going over the airwaves.

I have been avidly following both campaigns since early January, when it felt like it was worthy paying attention. I have been impressed with their use of the Internet to connect, communicate, and collaborate. more

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Join Me at “What’s the Big Idea?” – an Entrepreneurial Conference

Want to capitalize on the successful experiences of entrepreneurs and professionals in the areas of starting, funding, growing, and managing a business?  Then join me on Thursday, October 23 at a special conference for entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. more

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