You’ve Got to Read This: February 10, 2011

Innovation starts with self-critique (which is why it’s so rare), says Peter Linett. Go against your type, don’t put on “an exhibition that feels like an art museum designed it” or “a concert format that feels like a symphony orchestra designed it.” His litmus test for innovation: “I ask myself whether it feels like it was designed by that kind of institution, within its traditions, values, and personality — its comfort zone.What does a conference or work meeting look like that doesn’t feel like an association designed it?

Kivi Leroux Miller reminds us that we are not our target audience. Before communicating with that audience, do all you can to put yourself in their shoes – research, listen and seek advice of those who are like that audience. Just because you’re in charge, doesn’t mean you get it.

It kills me when an organization doesn’t get the fact that helping their staff connect to their members, prospects or customers is the smart thing to do. Janet McNichol writes about making association business cards social media-friendly but her advice works for any organization.

Lindsey A. Zahn has a very informative post on the Palate Press site about website scraping, copyright, fair use and wine bloggers. I’m seeing more and more sites that scrape content without permission and then get higher page ranking and increased advertising revenue. Bottom-feeders! As one commenter puts it, “it just pisses me off that our hard work and content is contributing to someone else’s bottom line.”

Please, don’t hire a social media director,” says Dion Algeri. He’s right. Too often organizations start their journey into social media by hiring someone to do social media. Instead hire someone to collect, curate, repurpose and create content. Hire a chief content officer. Ok, you don’t have to call it that, but focus on content as a tool to create conversation and connections.

In December I wrote about the Smithsonian’s censorship of a video in a National Portrait Gallery exhibition. In case you were wondering if anything was done about that ignorant decision, ArtInfo tells us, well, yes and no.

If your appetite for resources on nonprofits and social media is not sated, Beth Kanter shares a bunch from the Zoetica Salon, including posts on editorial calendars, strategy tune-ups, benchmarking and more.

I’m riveted to the news from Egypt. We (they, it’s all the same now, isn’t it?) are either on the cusp of something amazingly positive for that country, although the obstacles are formidable, or we are in for a huge disappointment if the military regime holds onto power. They are so intertwined into the political and economic infrastructure, it’s hard to imagine them ceding power at all. I created a Twitter list of  29, at last count, Egyptian activists and journalists worth following. Respect.

egyptian twitter list
Image by Nick Bygon

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer for companies serving the association market, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life as a ghostblogger and content marketing writer. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, going to shows, journaling, cooking, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of something tasty in hand.

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