It’s not surprising that you see non-profits—especially arts and cultural institutions—leading the wave of social networking. They have no money. They are run by smart people. They have passion. And passion in particular is the magic ingredient for making social networking grow.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art has a new media staff of five and they have turned out one edgy, brilliant social networking innovation after another—check out their Art Babble site, which distributes art videos from museums around the world. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the MOMA are all cutting edge social networkers. There’s a co-op called Tessitura, of 250 world-wide performing arts groups led by the Metropolitan Opera, that provides e-commerce and CRM, distributing the costs among the member groups. It’s a kind of open source SaaS.
If you’re part of a corporation, you might consider getting some people from your organization to contribute time and energy to help local non-profits with their social network strategy. It’s a way to work with ideas you might not yet have the chance to inside the enterprise, and it gains valuable experience for everyone.
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