LAST CALL: Join the Schusterman Foundation and Darim Online at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference!

Weve said it before and well say it again: the Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online will be at NTENs annual Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C., March 17-19, and we think you should us join there.
While we wont repeat all of our Top 10 Reasons to Go to the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, we do want to highlight the three exciting Jewish-themed gatherings weve got planned just for you.

1) The State of the Jewish Digital Nation. Thursday, March 17 8-11 am Washington Hilton

The Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online are hosting an affinity group meeting that will inspire, educate and assist you in your work. The agenda offers both an expansive and detailed update on the field, including:

  • A debrief of the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund from Adam Simon of the Schusterman Family Foundation;
  • New Rules of the New Media Game from Lisa Colton of Darim Online;
  • Case studies from accomplished organizations inside and outside of the Jewish community; and
  • A fantastic problem-solving adventure led by NTEN rockstar and Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications at TechSoup Global, Rachel Weidinger.

We know its early in the morning, but well make you a deal: you can come in your pajamas and well provide breakfast.

2) Field trip to the Sixth and I Synagogue
Thursday, March 17 Early evening 600 I Street Northwest

In anticipation of Purima holiday on which we are actually commanded to be joyful and engage in revelrywe will take a field trip to the historic Sixth and I synagogue for a private viewing of JT Waldman’s illustrated Megillat Esther. Wine, beer and noshes will be provided. Learn more about Waldmans work and Sixth and I

Thanks to the Jewish Communal Service Association for hosting this event!

3) Shabbat Dinner
Friday, March 18 6:00-8:00 pm Location TBD

Join your friends and colleagues for Shabbat dinner to share, schmooze, reflect and relax. Dinner location is being finalized, but it will be within walking distance from the hotel and kosher-style options will be available. This will be the perfect preamble to the many NTC after parties that will kickoff in the hotel around 8:00 pm.

So there you have itthree awesome events designed with you in mind. There is no cost to attend any of them (except perhaps a cab or metro ride to Sixth and I), and they are open to Jewish professionals and lay leaders whether or not they are registered to attend the full NTC conference. We do, however, need you to let us know if and when you will be joining us so we can plan for space and food, and forward details to you. Please complete this quick form to let us know where we can expect you: http://bit.ly/Jewish11ntc

Feel free to forward this information to those who you know are coming to NTC, or who are in the D.C. area and may be interested in participating. If you do plan to attend the entire conference, you can also still take advantage of our discounted rate by following these steps:

  • If youre new to NTEN, youll have to set up a free and easy account. (Or login to your NTEN account.)
  • Go to 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference
  • Select Darim Online in the How did you hear? field when registering to receive the NTEN member rate.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C., on March 17!

Warmly,

Your friends at the Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online

Playing Like Lion Cubs

I’m recently back from 2 Jewish education conferences — #JEA59 (Conservative Jewish educators) and #NATEseattle (Reform Jewish educators). Both conferences shared a theme about technology, and I fully enjoyed the opportunity to both teach and learn. In Seattle, Charlie Schwartz and Russel Neiss of Media Midrash did a session on mobile technologies, which I loved. They demanded that we all bring our phones and ipads fully charged and ready to go. They reminded us of the educational power of the tools students bring with them into the classroom, and guided us to the productive and creative ways to use them. But it wasn’t PollEverywhere or SCVNGR that really got me excited. It was that we were all playing. That’s right. PLAYING.Lion Cubs at Play

 

Mid-text message, while the educator’s snarky responses to Charlie and Russel’s questions were popping up on the gigantic screens, and giggles were erupting throughout the ballroom, I had this vision in my mind:

We’re all lion cubs.

Children, of all species, play. They play not just because they’ve got nothing else better to do, but because they need to play to learn and practice the skills they will need to employ as adults. We play to learn balance, boundaries, social skills. As adults, we often forget how to play in this way. We’ve grown out of it. It’s natural. But in an environment where we continually need to be learning new boundaries, new skills, new tools, this kind of play is actually really important.

While we often focus on "professional development" and "training" (both of which are important and have their place), I was struck by these conferences’ ability to help us play. In my pre-conference Boot Camp at NATE, participants launched Twitter accounts, and tried their hand at blogging for the first time. Low risk, just play. At JEA, a "technology theater" gave participants permission to sample tools and dabble in a simple, exploratory way.

In our work at Darim, we often observe that the "accidental techies" are educators. "Accidental techies" are the people who are intrigued with a tool, play around, and start to accept responsibility for the organization’s social media activities. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Perhaps educators feel more permission to play. Perhaps people who like to play as adults become educators.

Regardless, I encourage you to embrace your furry playful lion-cub self. Go ahead, play a little! And thanks to Russel and Charlie for presenting your rich and educational session is such a fun and playful way. Kol HaKavod. You taught us more than perhaps you had planned to.

Networked Nonprofit Book Club

I pre-ordered The Networked Nonprofit and cracked it open the day I received it last summer. Authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine are gurus of nonprofit social media and the implications for organizations, and I was eager to continue to learn from them. What I didn’t realize is that the book would provide both conceptual and tactical frameworks for advancing any organization’s work, regardless of where you are starting from. While I’ve recommended the book to many, here at Darim we were eager to really engage with others about what this means for Jewish organizations, their leaders, and the community as a whole. On Monday, we’re launching Darim’s Networked Nonprofit Book Club. Based in the new Facebook Groups, we’ll be posing discussion questions from one or two chapters each week. We hope to learn what you’re thinking, doing, learning, and struggling with. And we hope to learn from each other, help each other solve problems, and also get a sense of where Darim’s efforts could make an important difference for you and others. We’re also learning, as this is our first book club adventure and our first large scale experiment with the updated version of Facebook Groups. So far, 137 people have joined — which has far exceeded our expectations! Even authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine are on board. We hope the opportunity will help participants learn the “ins and outs” of this new tool along with us, and consider how it can be useful in their communities too. We welcome your input, suggestions and reflections on it — leave a comment here, in the group, or email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts. Want to join us? No cost – just swing on by: http://on.fb.me/netnonbookclub We have posted some initial info and guidelines for the Book Club. In the interest of sharing and encouraging others to experiment with Groups, book clubs, and online community facilitation, we’re posting the information here (see below) and will be sharing updates in future blog posts. Everything on this blog will be tagged "bookclub" and "#netnon". Tweeting? Use #darim and #netnon (which is the hashtag for the book in general). Hope to see you there! It kicks off Monday, though you’re welcome to swing by and join the conversation anytime. How We’ll Work Together We will focus on one or two chapters each week beginning January 10. Each week, Darim staff will kick off the conversation with one or two questions per week that relates to themes in that chapter and implications for Jewish organizations. Together, we will reflect on what that means for our work as Jewish professionals and lay leaders. Respond to our discussion questions by commenting on that post. You can also pose questions to the group, or share links or other information by posting your own status updates to the group. We encourage you to participate in ways that are most meaningful to you. Feel free to jump into – and even initiate – conversations, and to post relevant links and resources to share with the group. If you prefer to dip in and out of the discussions, that’s cool too! There are no preconceived expectations — we want you to learn, experiment, share and connect with others. Tips for Using Facebook Groups Notification settings: BY DEFAULT, You will receive any status that is posted to the group. If you comment on it, you will also receive notifications of any additional comments on that posting. If you’d prefer NOT to receive these notifications, you can click “unsubscribe” next to that specific posting. If you’d like to receive notification about a posting that you haven’t commented on, you can click “subscribe” next to it. To change your default settings, please visit “edit settings” in the top right corner of the group. Adding members: You probably noticed that you can add your Facebook friends to the group if they are on Facebook. Please feel free to add anyone who would like to join – we only ask that you check with them first to see if they are interested. You will find the “Add Friends to Group” link under the Members photos on the right hand column. You can also email them the link to our Group so they can opt in if they’d like. http://on.fb.me/netnonbookclub Group Chat: You can chat with group members who are online in real time by clicking on the “Chat with Group” link under the Members photos on the right hand column or by clicking the tab at bottom of the page. This is a fun way to make a personal connection with others in the group. When the chat box opens, you’ll see photos of group members — those with a green box are currently online. You can elect to have group chat messages sent to you going to “edit settings” and selecting that option. Living Room Policy: While we have very few rules, we do want to make the Book Club experience as fun, useful and efficient as possible for everyone. Thus, we ask you to abide by the Living Room Policy, which is basically this: If I were to invite you into my living room, I would expect you to be courteous and sociable. You are welcome to disagree or challenge me or anyone else, but you must do so respectfully. Also, vibrant discussions require good listening and asking questions or others, not only talking about yourself. Finally, please refrain from using this as a platform for marketing unrelated products or programs. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask us at [email protected] It may take a little time for you to determine your personal preferences and customize them to fit your needs. Don’t be afraid to take them out for a test ride, tweak as needed, and/or ask us if you need help. Interested in more technical details? You can learn more about Facebook Groups here: http://bit.ly/fvSAor Resources for the Book Club If you have not already done so, please be sure to order your copy of The Networked NonProfit by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. Here is a link to Amazon: http://bit.ly/aOa6nX And please feel free to view the recording of the recent Darim webinar with Allison Fine and Lisa Colton in which they discussed networked nonprofits and Jewish organizations: http://bit.ly/c8Iudm Are you tweeting? #netnon is the hashtag for the book, and #darim is for our community. Want to learn even more?! Join us at NTC in DC! Join us at NTEN’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). And by “us” we mean a whole bunch of Jewish leaders like you – in addition to the fabulous NTC program (where top notch thinkers like authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine regularly speak), the Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online are hosting a series of events for our members. Click here to learn more about it: http://bit.ly/igDAzB – we hope to see you there!

Hanukkah Entertainment That Educates?

in collaboration with guest blogger Rick Recht The ultimate form of ‘cool’ in the Jewish world is when your non-Jewish friends also think it, whatever IT is, is cool. Well, cool just happened – twice. [If you’ve seen the videos, feel free to skip below them to the bottom of this post. Unless, of course, you can’t help yourself but watch them again.] On December 4, the CNN.com top headline picture was a snapshot from a viral video by the Maccabeats, male a capella group from Yeshiva University. The video Candlelight, a parody of teen heart-throb, Taio Cruz’s top 10 hit, Dynamite, and Mike Tompkin’s a cappella version of it. The Hanukkah version has racked up more than 2 million views on YouTube, earning the Maccabeats appearances on The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN.com and The Washington Post, among others. Candlelight includes lyrics about the Hanukkah story and traditions such as latkes and dreidel spinning. The video humorously depicts the Maccabeats reenacting aspects of the ancient Hanukkah story in makeshift gladiator costumes occasionally flash-forwarding to present day Yeshiva college buddies flipping latkes, studying Torah, and singing on camera, Brady Bunch-style. Simultaneously, another new Hanukkah video, by reggae rapper, super star, Matisyahu, attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Matisyahu’s song, Miracle, is a contemporary interpretation of Hanukkah, where in a dream sequence Matisyahu meets Antiochus, the King of the Greeks, and the father of Judah Maccabee (the hero of the Hanukkah story), also named (get this!) Matisyahu. At Shabbat services last week, I mentioned the viral videos and then many laughed and nodded in recognition of the achievement by OUR Maccabeats and Matisyahu. We’ve got communal pride because this caliber of media rarely emanates from the Jewish world, and when it does, Jews take notice. These videos have the perfect combination of ingredients — including high-quality talent and cinematography, great humor, a clear connection with popular culture, and a powerful story line that is authentic Jewish history. These guys took it to the next level by unashamedly expressing their Jewish pride by using fun costumes, humor, and symbolism to tell the Hanukkah story. We’re not just talking about playing dreidel, we’re talking about the pressure to assimilate, and the temptation of … well, "chocolate stuff". (Don’t know what I mean? Watch "Miracle"!) While they are surely educational, the approach isn’t shoving historical facts down your throat. I asked my 23 year old office manager, Seth, why he thought the videos were cool and he didn’t skip a beat in responding, “First off, they’re hilarious. They are a great example of the talent that comes from our Jewish community. Now that these videos are viral, not only within the Jewish community but everywhere, it gives us pride to be Jewish because Jews AND non-Jews are watching and loving these videos. Hanukkah has lost a lot of its religious meaning and understanding for many of us (young people) and these videos give us a different way to look at the holiday and put a modern spin on it. They highlight the Jewish people and bring attention, in a very good way, to our Jewish community.” For Seth and many other young Jews, these videos exceed their apparent entertainment value and become more meaningful because they have a clear educational purpose. They don’t just hover around the contemporary iconic Hanukkah symbols such as dreidles and Hanukkah menorahs. They tell the REAL historical story of Hanukkah. They serve as relevant and meaningful sources of Jewish education for this holiday that has lost much of its meaning having become a contemporary American Hallmark holiday. They employ the ultimate tools for reaching and impacting young lives – music and video – and then stream the content on YouTube, the most powerful platform for video sharing. It’s also a powerful place for expression, identity building, and discusComment on Maccabeats Videosion. A few comments on the videos are posted here – they are fascinating to browse to gain insight into youthScreen shot 2010-12-06 at 10.55.39 PM (and not-so-youth) culture today of both Jews and non-Jews. Timing is everything, and the chance of being exposed to anything by or about Jews is dramatically increased during the Hanukkah season. It is no coincidence that these 2 videos hit their rocket-like trajectory on the 3rd and 4th days of Hanukkah. Familiarity breeds popularity. In the case of the Maccabeats, their song Candlelight was a parody of one of the most popular songs in the country. Almost every kid in the country had already memorized Dynamite by Taio Cruz and only had to learn the new Hanukkah lyrics in the Maccabeats’ parody. Screen shot 2010-12-06 at 10.58.49 PMScreen shot 2010-12-06 at 10.57.43 PMSo let us rejoice for the blessing of these two incredible viral videos that have infused our Jewish lives with such excitement and pride during this holiday season. And let us contemplate a time when individuals in our Jewish community can achieve national recognition in between holidays, using the power of music, video, and genuine high-quality talent to not only entertain, but educate both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences about our Jewish rituals, values, and history. Rick Recht is the top touring artist in Jewish music, the Executive Director of Jewish Rock Radio, Executive Director of Songleader Boot Camp, and the JNF National Music Spokesman.

Foursquare Checkins On Election Day

FourSquare LogoYou know the dandy little sticker you get after voting, “I VOTED!”? Foursquare, the popular mobile-based geo-location game has collaborated with Rock the Vote, Pew Center, Google and the Voting Information Project to create the digital version for the upcoming election. “Every day we see new examples of Foursquare encouraging and reinforcing positive behaviors,” said Foursquare’s Eric Friedman in a statement. “We’re excited to harness the power of Foursquare to drive civic engagement through the ‘I Voted’ badge.” Foursquare currently has over 4 million users. You can download the app to your phone, and/or sign up online.

To pull it off, they’ve collected data on 107,000 polling places. When users check in at these locations and include the hashtag #ivoted, they’ll get the “I Voted” badge in Foursquare, and be added to real time maps and data collected from around the country.

The Foursqaure project builds on the 2008 Twitter #VoteReport, a project that allowed users to share information during the presidential election about their polling places (what was going well, and not so well) in order to make sure everyone was able to vote in a timely and accurate way. Data from the Foursquare project will be used to plan additional initiatives to increase voter turnout and ensure smooth voting experiences for the 2012 presidential election. You can follow the project on election day here.

Allison Fine, one of the co-creators of Twitter #VoteReport, and co-author with Beth Kanter of the excellent book The Networked Nonprofit, will be presenting a webinar with Darim on November 3, from 1-2pm in celebration of our 10th anniversary. All are welcome to this free webinar (though space is limited). Register here!

I’ll be checking in on election day. Will you?

Job Opening: Jewish Education Social Media

Social media is increasingly transforming the field of education, and Jewish education. Three innovators in the field are collaborating to accelerate adoption of social media tools and increase excellence in their use in the New York area to change the landscape of Jewish education and family engagement. BJENY-SAJES (a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation), the Experiment in Congregational Education, and Darim Online (Equal Opportunity Employers) seek to pioneer new approaches to education through more robustly engaging parents and networking educators, clergy, and lay leaders involved in educational innovation. The new social media tools offer the opportunity for us to take a leap forward in this vital work. We are now hiring for a new position, based at BJENY-SAJES in New York City. The Social Media Project Manager will lead and coordinate the design and implementation of two projects specifically focused on enabling early childhood centers and congregational education programs to share innovative educational approaches with member families and build learning communities among educators, clergy, and engaged lay leaders from across institutions engaged in these new educational practices. Find more details about the job here.

Endings and Beginnings in Perpetual Beta World

JewelsBlogThis post is part of Jewels of Elul which celebrates the Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days of the month of Elul to growth and discovery in preparation for the coming high holy days. This year the program is benefiting Beit T’shuvah, a residential addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. You can subscribe on Jewels of Elul to receive inspirational reflections from public figures each day of the month. You dont have to be on the blog tour to write a blog post on The Art of Beginning… Again. We invite everyone to post this month (August 11th – September 8th) with Jewels of Elul to grow and learn.

This is the age of perpetual beta. New features, tools and applications are being developed at such a rapid pace, that it’s more efficient to adopt a rapid & agile approach to development and implementation than to try to perfect it before going live. You might notice that Gmail and Flickr are still noted as “beta”.

Today things move quickly, and being agile and nimble is more important than being perfect. The consequence, however, is that without a defined end point or beginning, we might forget to pause and reflect, or to fully embrace a new beginning. When we’re constantly evolving, and continually focused on what’s next, do we lose the opportunity to get the most out of this moment, and what we’ve accomplished? It’s always hard to carve out the time for reflection, but every time I do it, I am reminded that it’s worth its weight in gold. Looking backwards in an age of constant innovation might seem counter-intuitive, but it is critical for future success, happiness and improvement. This is true whether it’s a new release of some widget or gadget, or a birthday, or Rosh Hashanah.

The cycle of the Jewish year is important not only for giving us reason to stop and reflect, but also for giving us a reference point for that reflection. I often remember my thoughts, feelings, regrets, hopes and thankfulness of last year, or the year before at Rosh Hashanah. The intensity of the holidays, the unique feeling of walking into the synagogue on that day, and even the words and tunes of the prayers evoke those memories that were etched into my being a year, or two, or three ago. The power of the day is not in what I’m thinking or feel at that moment, but how much has changed over time.

I once read a book, Managing Transitions, about how organizations and people navigate change. The take-home message for me was that change is situational, like a light switch. You close a factory, you require your staff to use a new database system, or the calendar tips from 5770 to 5771. But transition is psychological, and is a process. If we only see the change, and don’t engage in the transition, has anything really changed? If we are truly going to embark on a new beginning, we must take the time to close one chapter before we can transition into the next phase.

I’ve always been fascinated by the word “beginning”. Seemingly a noun, the “ing” gives it this little boost of a verb’s energy. Maybe it’s just a noun in perpetual beta.

Women Who Tech – I’m Not The Average Story

womenwhotechThere’s a good thing cooking on September 15th. It’s the third annual Women Who Tech summit, a series of phone-based panels featuring the who’s who of women in technology, includingRashmi Sinha of SlideShare, Kaliya Hamlin of Shes Geeky, Shireen Mitchell of Digital Sistas, Beth Kanter, Amy Sample Ward, Michelle Murrain, and Lauren Vargas,, Irene Au of Google, Amy Jo Kim of ShuffleBrain, Heather Harde of Tech Crunch, and Lynne d. Johnson, formerly of Fast Company and now with the Advertising Research Foundation (plus a couple smart men, such as Clay Shirky and Geoff Livingston). The event is a series of stellar panels (again, by phone, so you can participate from anywhere), including “Social Media ROI”, “Launching Your Own Startup”, and “Self Promotion: Is This Really a Rant About Gender?”.

I totally get the premise of the summit, that women are underrepresented in mainstream media and blogs and conference panels, that we need to break down barriers to women’s participation in the technology sector, and the need to create a network of women in technology who can be called upon as experts in their field.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, “only about 11% of U.S. firms with venture-capital backing in 2009 had current or former female CEOs or female founders, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource. The prestigious start-up incubator Y Combinator has had just 14 female founders among the 208 firms it has funded.” Women Who Tech is not the only women-focused event on the calendar. In December, the influential technology conference TED is holding its first women-focused conference. (More stats and resources about women in tech are available here.) I applaud these events, not for their sometimes interpreted as “affirmative action for women” approach, but for their celebration and encouragement of women who are breaking down perceived (as well as actual) barriers.

The thing is, I grew up in a different world, where my CEO-of-educational-technology-startups mother worked long hours to excel at her career, make the world a better place, and be a 100% mom at the same time. It’s possible that she worked harder than her male colleagues, or had more to balance with her roles at home, but from my point of view as a kid and young adult, women could do anything. The fact that I have chosen to work in a tech-related field isn’t because I am trying to change percentages, or represent my gender in high level decision making. It’s because it excites me, and I’m good at it. Gender never played into my decision (if it had, I would be doing something else?), and it rarely presents itself as an issue in my professional life.

That being said, there are definitely times when I look around the room and find myself in the company of mostly men. I like to think I’m rather Zen about it. I take note, and then move on. Recently, I’ve been putting together a panel for a social media session at a major national Jewish conference. I’m struggling to find a man for the panel, you know, just for the sake of diversity. So in my world, thankfully, the experience is not as one-sided as the venture capital statistics seem to say. (Note to self: I wonder how different is actually is in the nonprofit world – reflecting on my experiences at NTEN conferences, the presenters are heavily weighted towards women. Currently seeking the latest stats). The goal here is not 50/50 equality all the time. The goal is to recognize both real and perceived barriers, and to abolish them.

While others may interpret events like the upcoming Women Who Tech and TEDWomen as equally sexist as the venture capitalists whose decision making percentages they quote, I think the greatest power of these events is to give women who didn’t have moms like mine a similar sense of “anything is possible.” Further, as women, we do face unique challenges (as me sometime about the weeks leading up to announcing to my clients that I was pregnant for the first time, or how I paced around the house with a newborn in a sling, the wireless phone clipped to my hip, and a headset on – someone should have taken a photo). But most of all, these events are tremendous for one main reason: they showcase tremendous talent, all in one place.

The Women Who Summit event is an easy-to-swallow $20. Really. So mark your calendar for September 15th, from 11am to 6pm Eastern time. All you need is an internet connection and a phone line. Check out the schedule and register online. There are even after parties in a handful of major cities. I might try and get myself to the New York City one. Anyone care to join me?

Plus, I’ve got 2 passes to give away. Leave your comment here with your thoughts on gender and technology and I’ll pick two winners before Rosh Hashanah (September 8th). But go ahead and buy your pass now. You can always give it to the nice gal (or guy) down the hall. With a pink bow around it. Or not.

The Networked Nonprofit

Last week I dove into the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Conference, commonly known at #10NTC. (I dare you, search for that on Twitter and see how active is STILL is, days after the conference wrapped up. Us NPtechies are an enthusiastic, passionate and smart bunch. You can also find 58 Powerpoints from the conference on Slideshare, 870 photos on Flickr, videos on Youtube … need I go on?)

Screen shot 2010-04-09 at 4.18.20 PMOne of the best sessions I attended was where Beth Kanter and Allison Fine (among the gurus of nonprofit technology) presented their upcoming book, The Networked Nonprofit (due out in June, but you can preorder here). These two women completely understand the future of nonprofit organizations in the digital age, and I could listen to their wisdom, humor and case studies for days.

One element from their presentation keeps knocking around in my head, the idea of three stages of organizational development in this networked era.

  1. Fortress – an organization where there are insiders and outsiders, and the two rarely meet or interact;
  2. Transactional – an organization that is engaged with their community, but with the sole focus of transactions, such as getting people to sign up for an event or make a donation;
  3. Transparent – an organization that fully engages and empowers their community to accomplished shared goals.

I love the simplicity of these three stages, and the acknowledgment that getting on social media platforms is not the ultimate goal. Plenty of people are promoting events on Facebook and measuring success by the number of tushes in the seats. But the real paths to accomplishing our mission and goals, and the more accurate measurements of success go far beyond this. They also require a leap of faith, and the ability to take that first leap.

Remember the first time you climbed to the top of a high dive as a kid, your heart beating so hard you thought it would leap out of your chest, and that moment when you finally hurled yourself into the air? It’s the same moment really. And remember when you went back again and again and again to do it over and over? Yeah, it’s like that too.

So tell us — what stage are you at? What do you need to move from one stage to the next? Where do you see examples of “transparent” organizations or activities?

#10NTC Faith-Based Affinity Group. Add Your Voice.

Screen shot 2010-04-08 at 11.04.53 AMThis afternoon we’re convening the first ever faith-based affinity group at the NTEN Conference here in Atlanta. On Saturday, we’re hosting a panel with speakers from the Christian and Muslim communities to share how social media is influencing their work and communities. This afternoon, we’ll be addressing the following four questions. Add your voice to the mix, by commenting on this post, or tweeting your thoughts using the hashtag #10ntc.faith

  1. How to Convey Our Mission/Religious Message/Personal Relevance Online? Beyond marketing events, providing links and posting photos of a recent gathering, how can faith based organizations use these platforms in serious and effective ways?
  2. Convincing Leadership to Take Tech/Social Media Seriously: Oftentimes leadership in faith based organizations are unaware or uncomfortable with the role of technology in running a successful organization. How can we help increase comfort, get the budgets we need, and build confidence among leadership and colleagues? What should we be measuring, how to measure and present it? What are your techniques, key performance indicators, and strategies to educate senior staff?
  3. Balancing Shifting Roles – Who Manages the Web Site, Twitter Feed, Facebook Page? Who is the gatekeeper of outgoing messages and your organization, and how is that role changing in a social media age? How much should program staff be empowered to update statuses or post other content? Where is the balance, and how to evolve an organization’s culture for success in the immediacy-culture of today? When and how should clergy be using these tools? Who assists/supports/teaches clergy how to do it well?
  4. Planning for the Future: Often we find ourselves behind the curve and trying to catch up. While we may not need to be on the cutting edge of everything, now is the time to start planning for the future. Mobile is emerging quickly as a powerful tool – how can faith based orgs effectively make use of this new wave of potential, and what else should we be watching, planning for, innovating with, or inventing?

Share your experience!