Why the third sector shouldn’t fear blogging…

SSE is currently working on setting up blogs for the social enterprise ambassadors programme, in collaboration with our various consortium partners. We had an interesting conversation about the degree of moderation / filtering needed, and the risks of commenting. My view was that the more authentic / honest / unvarnished the better (the ambassadors are amazing people, and letting their passion and personality come across is part of what the programme is about), and that commenting wouldn’t be a substantial issue. Which is always easy to say, and never that easy to predict.

So I was happy to read Britt Bravo’s post on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, titled "No-one has ever died from a blog comment". It echoes the point above, just in stronger terms:

"Has anyone ever died from a blog comment? Has a nonprofit been brought
down because they were too transparent and authentic online?….If being authentic, truthful and generous while listening, sharing and
collaborating are things nonprofits want to avoid, then, we’ve taken a
wrong turn."

Which is difficult to disagree with. The other issue that gets raised is "but what if we get thousands of comments, and lots of people have to be taken on to deal with them…?", but this rarely happens unless the blog reaches enormous critical mass; by which time the positives from such an audience vastly outweigh any drain on resources. As laid out in our "Should social entrepreneurs and social enterprises blog?" psot a while back, blogging shouldn’t be done because of hype, but because it fits into strategic communication and marketing objectives; understand why you are doing it, and it will be all the more powerful.

Feel free to comment below :0)

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2 thoughts on “Why the third sector shouldn’t fear blogging…

  1. As a blogger on social business, I can’t speak highly enough about the value of blogging. From a personal development point of view it’s been great – helping me to reflect on my work and to gain others’ perspectives. It’s also been useful from a marketing point of view, and has helped me to get more work. But the marketing angle is secondary – and is a result of the emphasis on honesty and reflection in the blog.
    I think the Ambassadors doing blogs could be a good idea. But I’d share your concerns – a blog has to be honestly written and not over-produced. Corporate blogs can be gruesome to read. The idea of consortium partners sitting around a table thinking about what messages they want to get out through blogs would frighten me. Ambassadors blogging – and seeing what happens when they put their honest opinions out there for others to read and comment upon – is far more interesting.

  2. Agreed Rob, both about why I blog / what SSE & I get out of it, but also about the ambassadors. Fortunately, part of what SSE is delivering as part of our contribution is establishing, providing training (for) and co-ordinating the blogs…so it certainly won’t be a micro-managed messaging process. Indeed, because the ambassadors programme is about promoting the movement, we want their voices to come across…and to convey that passion and personality I talk about above.
    That’s my hope anyway: we’ll see how it pans out in the new year!