Community Building…Who Pays for it?

I recently participate in a Covert it Live event hosted in part by Amy Sample Ward (@Amyrsward) and it was great. However, during the event and ever since I have been thinking about a few things that occurred and trying to decide how it sits with me. The live chat was about Community Building and using social media, there were other topics as well but I didn’t get to stay for the whole thing.

The issue I am talking about here is not just who pays for community building, but also who pays for and who is compensated for holding these chat events. What happened was, and maybe you have experienced this, the chat window would darken and a pop up window would appear with a video advertisement. The first video I had no problem with because I just figured it is like many YouTube videos and other areas of the Internet that receive some compensation for advertising. This I don’t necessarily have a problem with because money is a big part of what makes the world go round.

My issue was with the frequency of the video pop ups. I was engaged in a great chat and my mind was buzzing, only to be interrupted by these video pop ups! Why couldn’t the advertisements be relegated to another portion of the page and allow me to continue my chat with out any distraction. By the third video I was somewhat frustrated at this Distraction or total Buzz Kill of creative and critical thinking. Is there another way to pay for community building chat events? Do think this is the best way to engage in a discussion of this topic with the Nonprofit community, or any community?

I hope I don’t sound too negative, just a bit critical, because I think the image of this event I took away was that I probably wont participate again unless the topic is very compelling. That’s kind of sad. So Amy if you end up reading this, know that I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, the medium, and I am grateful for the participation of those there. But I just can’t help but feel that I was in a conversation where whoever set it up was really only interested in getting a large audience to view the advertisements. Had I been prepared for that, perhaps I wouldn’t mind as much. I don’t know, like I said, I am still trying to figure this one out because I understand the value of money but I also understand the value of people’s time.

Let me know what you think…


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

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