Thursday, June 7, 2012

Influence? What Influence?

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There are just as many posts on influence these days as in the early days of social media, though nowdays they tend to focus on how your company can influence or convert potential customers more than how your blog can influence followers.

In keeping with that, I get a lot of 'invitations' to seminars, conferences, and webcasts (not to mention book debuts) to learn how to increase my influence. But I don't care about that too much.

It's not that I don't want to be recognized. As a geek, I really like having my competence acknowledged. But wanting to be feted as a 'thought leader' or achieve fame as an expert is not something I look for, especially since I don't consider myself an expert on anything except being me.

I think you and I are probably alike that way - we do what we do mostly because we like being of use to others, particularly others who might not otherwise be helped. That's why you're in the non-profit non-business, right?  I'm a writer who happens to be good at social media and likes perambulating around the web, picking up stray bits of information that might be of use to nonprofit people who are too busy trying to help others to have the time to do the same thing.

And I think these stray bits of information are important because they can be strung together to provide a different perspective that can be effective in shaping what we do and how we do it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Ruth McCambridge over NPQ wrote this post about Information Coincidences, in which she states that nonprofits have to see that they are "part and parcel of a profound era change" and they have to be informed leaders within it.

I don't believe in information coincidences - I believe you notice some pieces of information when they have a bearing on what's on your mind. And I believe that almost everything has a bearing on almost everything else, it's just not all useful at once.

So I'll continue to fill you in on the odd pieces of information I turn up here at the intersection of small nonprofits and social communications, with the occasional peek into the Tech road. And I hope you will find the information useful - if not now, then later, when you need it.

By The Way

I saw a post on Stanford Innovation about Social Coding For Good, which might be of interest to those of you who are at a loss as to how to get good tech help on a nothing budget. You'll see that most of their projects are created using open source code (which means that the programming tools are available for free via the internet), in hopes that the applications that are built can be maintained rather more easily into the future, unlike packaged versions or customized work that often gets outgrown or the designing programmer disappears, causing the small nonprofit to have to start again. As always, I caution that there is really no free lunch - in order to get the best for your small nonprofit, you will have to spend some time in educating yourself on what you need and how it may be accomplished.

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