We are almost there, that’s the seventh week and the project is going to end. It’s difficult to have a resume of what I learned without having a resume of what I and we did and what I felt. That’s why my blog post will be about the whole path during this course and it will be pretty serious (at least I will try to do my best) and not whimsical (discovered new word, I don’t know if it is right, english dictionaries are generic) and funny as usual. I promise I will do a comedy-style post with the last one.
THE SUBJECTIVITY OF FEELINGS
That’s the first point, it is about the link between us, our NGOs and our four themes, a link expressed often as “confusiastic”. It is a general idea that tries to define a feeling that should occur in our progress, however it is very difficult to accept it. In fact the themes can provide different reactions in different people. Somebody can be very sure and enthusiastic about crowdsourcing and confused about work teams, somebody else can be very interested in marketing and doubtful about crowdfunding. What I am trying to say is that is not possible to define with one only word the whole course and all the topics. That’s a first lesson about media and network technologies and knowledge, they are different, deeply different and the common mean (the computer) is not enough to link them in their complexity.
Now, things are becoming more difficult. I think that some themes with some NGOs can cause fear, anger and confusion, not confusiasm. Let me explain it better with our (group 1) example: our NGO is difficultly reachable by an effective crowdfunding campaign. People involved are not “rich” and it is tough to make people donate because you can’t give back something with crowdfunding average donations. On the other hand you can give back something really “tiny” but donations would be too small to reach their goal. They want to build a stable and enduring community so they need a continuous amount of money. Now the theme “crowdfunding” was narrow for us, we needed to enlarge our horizon, our view and we needed to include big companies in our project. However that is not anymore crowdfunding as intended in the theme, we explored “microventure” and startups world. It wasn’t a real problem but it was obviously difficult to understand the exclusivity of that topic. That’s why I think that a theme as “fundraising" could fit the course better. You can include in it crowdfunding but not as only option.
A DACHSHUND THAT PRETENDS TO BE A ROTTWEILER
Big danger in marketing zone. Three strategies: value proposition (ok!), purple goldfish (great, I love this one) and “what can we learn from Cocacola” (and here is the problem). Even if the example of Cocacola could be, reflecting a lot on it and stretching it, useful there is fundamental contradiction (and I think that’s why in group 1 nobody choosed it). That’s something really similar to philosophical disprove; even if you could use it in NGOs (and it is difficult) the big problem is that we are trying basically to compare a HUGE multinational company with a small, local NGO. It is a big generalisation in terms of dimensions and goals, are we sure that we can do this step (even if Melinda Gates says that is possible) and are we sure that there are not strategies that can be more suitable for our NGOs?Moreover watching at the video of Melinda Gates I think that it wouldn’t work;
1- Many NGOs are acting with single events, single initiatives. That makes completely impossible the real time data. Cocacola is continuing to sell bottles every day, they can have precise data and know the flexions of their market. For a NGO is more realistic to collect and analyse data at the end of an event but that is completely different.
2- Local entrepreneurial talent. That’s just obvious, many NGOs (as Tiny Houses) are local. Dealing with local entrepreneurial market is the first thing you have to do.
3- Marketing. Sure, saying it so generally it seems right but can we really compare the marketing actions of a NGO with marketing actions of Cocacola? I hope no! That would spoil NGO goals and existences.
On the other hand the Purple Goldfish Strategy is kinder, is more general, from the small store to, why not, a NGO! I hope that you understand what I mean, we need more adaptable strategies like this one, not the ones tested only by big companies. Here is another important lesson, adaptability over big results. They are obviously welcome but adaptability will allow you to create networks and systems that can be used by more people and help them in a proper way.
DIFFERENT MEANS DIFFERENT USE
Now we can introduce another important lesson about all your work. There is a specific mean for each work you have to do. Passing through the complexity of social media you will have to recognise the useful tools from the fancy but useless stuff (*cough!*… facebook hashtags… *cough!*).
Now, what I would like to learn more? I would like to deepen my knowledge about fundraising, about startups creation and the ways to start your own business. Also, I would be very interested in the world of online design contests and related community valuation of projects.
Anyway, now we are finishing our lessons and, even if I gave just some advice about what, in my opinion, was too confused and less enthusiastic, I am happy about this course. It helped us to know how to contact and to deal with a client and we started to understand how are groups working, these are probably the main results and I think that are the best results we could have.
Well guys, see you next week, stay connected for the last post for Project Community! Bye bye! :)