The Networked Nonprofit…Initial Reactions

I bought Beth Kanter and Allison Fine‘s book The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change and have been reading it with wide eyed amazement. I have read many blogs and followed many social media experts on Twitter and Facebook who have discussed the ideas presented in this book, but nothing had ever been collected into one simple and easy to understand resource. Is it fair to say I am loving this book? YES! I wrote a paper for a doctoral seminar last spring and have been trying to conceptualize my own framework so that I can submit it for publication. I must say that part of what Kanter & Fine propose is very similar to my conceptual framework for managing organizational identity/image in the social media environment. Well, to be honest, I only propose a few concepts, but I am finding that I might need to rework part of my framework based on what they have written.
This is great, at least in my mind, because I see so much utility in being a networked nonprofit and embracing social media. Yes, I am a little biased. However, as I scrutinize this book a bit more closely I am beginning to come away with more questions. For instance, Kanter and Fine don’t provide a definition of effectiveness. What does it mean to use social media effectively? I think I know, but it would offer more clarity if they provided their own definition. Don’t get me wrong, the book is great and I would recommend it to any nonprofit administrator looking for help navigating social media, but I can’t help coming away a bit perplexed. Perhaps it’s my own fault having been immersed in organizational theory and such for my dissertation. I probably am over thinking it a bit. Yet, part of the book talks about taking a risk. In some respects, what they propose is a huge risk, and I’m not sure how many organizations can or are willing to take that kind of risk. Is there another way?
As I near the end of the book, I will provided a final review/reaction to the Networked Nonprofit. Mostly in hopes that Beth will weigh in and provide some critical insight that will help me with several ideas swirling around in my head. I know, I am so selfish. At any rate, if you haven’t checked out this book, do it! There are many gems of information contained therein.


About jimmysw
Associate Professor of Social Work with a focus on the Future of Social Media, Social Work Education and all things technology.

One Response to The Networked Nonprofit…Initial Reactions

  1. Pingback: Book Review…The Networked Nonprofit « Jimmysw's Blog

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