Non-profit blogging: keep your eyes on the road

Emily painstakingly looked for non-profit related terms in blogs using Blogpulse and came to the conclusion

From this analysis I found out that these non-profit related terms were less than 1% of all blogs in the blogosphere. The only term that reached 1% was donate.

In conclusion, I have decided that there needs to be more non-profit related blogs and blog entries.

Sorry, I disagree. We need less people talking about non-profits and more people doing the work of non-profits and talking directly to the communities they are trying to engage. Less talking only to the tiny crowd that already “gets” the social web and more talking to the entire population that is affected or can be moved by the issue you are engaged around. Don’t get me wrong, I love Emily’s blog and this isn’t anything against her personally…I just think her analysis, while thorough, misses the mark.

You can’t look for words like “donations,” “charity,” and “non-profit” and draw a conclusion about non-profit blogs any more than you can search for “corporate,” “privately held company,” or “for-profit business” and think you are going to draw a conclusion about corporate blogs. Corporate bloggers, the good ones at least, rarely talk about corporate blogging or the spreadsheet they’re using. They’re talking about the products they are developing, the communities they are trying to build, the challenges and successes they have had in the marketplace. They’re focused on the same principles of business that they had before they started blogging, they’re just talking to their key communities in a more immediate, accessible and transparent way. Their blogrolls, if they have one, are of other bloggers who are talking in the same space. Not necessarily lists of other corporate bloggers who have nothing in common other than the fact that they are corporate bloggers. At some point you stop saying, “Look at me, I’m driving!” and you just concentrate on getting where you want to go.

Sure, there are blogs that talk about the work of non-profits and non-profit technology. Many days, this is one of those blogs, which is why I’ve lumped these posts into a “nonprofit” category. But that and a couple of bucks will get you on a subway. It ain’t going to get you a cure for cancer. There is a larger network if-you-will of blogs by non-profit organizations that are using tags, but not to reach out to non-profits and bloggers. Any more than I’ll tag this post with “keyboard” because that’s what I’m using to type this message. I’ve got the C3 bloggers tagging to the community we want to reach…those who are touched by or professionally involved in colorectal cancer. The fact that we have 501c3 status or get our funding from foundations is not the point.

One thought on “Non-profit blogging: keep your eyes on the road

  1. I appreciate your thoughts and glad you enjoy my blog. This was my first analysis to figure out the trends of nonprofit blogs. I used these words to find out about new blogs. All I have to do is click on the graph link I made and find new blog posts. This was a starting point and there is so much more to do. My purpose in doing that was not only to find nonprofit organization blogs, but also find blogs that donors or volunteers write about their experiences.

    I agree with you about the talk about nonprofit technology and not reaching out to the communities. All this technology is still new and Netsquared and other projects are just the beginning.

    I disagree with your statement about nonprofit bloggers reading other nonprofit blogs. All nonprofits are trying to do something to help with their mission. Their goals might be different but they are very similiar. As of now, the list of nonprofit blogs vary from mission to mission. But eventually I hope to see a list of blogs in different categories. For example, you could read blogs and connect with others who are blogging about colorectal cancer or any other issue. I am not familiar with corporate blogs but I think they all corporate bloggers can learn something by reading other corporate blogs.

    Your comments were very helpful to me as I am trying to enter the nonprofit sector. It made me look at nonprofits and my technology experience in a different way.

    It would be great to hear about how C3 bloggers are tagging to reach to the community you want to reach.

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