Should charities tackle malicious groups created by Facebook users? How do online mentors keep professional boundaries in place? And are elaborate email templates worth the effort?
Such digital media quandaries are tackled in a series of articles on Because It’s Good, a newish community blog that functions as an online salon for charity digital media geeks. The idea is to allow experts to share clever thinking on emerging trends, and it’s free to join and contribute to. Surely there must be a catch?
Well, perhaps not. True – the site is hosted by digital agency Enable Interactive – it’s upfront about that – but account director Nick Torday is keen to bat off suggestions that the site is a cynical commercial exercise. It is, he says, a spirited attempt to allow charities to simply share their critical insight.
It’s an idea that certainly chimes with current thinking on how “free” can be a business model for charity suppliers and just about any other commercial enterprise. Academic and blogger Jeff Jarvis argues in his influential book What Would Google Do? that the businesses best placed to survive the digital revolution will be those that offer free online tools to clients and potential clients. They won’t necessarily expect anything in return, or even to secure any business.
Charities should make the most of Because It’s Good. There are some intelligent and absorbing bits of bite-sized wisdom and some interesting debate here. Would-be members can sign up, create a profile, then either just stick to reading articles or, if they like, write the odd piece. The site promises to publish at least two new articles a week.