I am home sick today and I have been reading up on the cool new NTEN wiki project, Be The Media, "The Social Media Empowerment Guide for Nonprofits." Already, insightful comments have led to the creation of How Can Your Organization Avoid Drinking the Web 2.0 Kool Aid?, a checklist helping orgs understand when they should not devote resources to Web 2.0. I am someone who gets very excited about Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc. and how they might be able to help organizations meet their mission goals and raise awareness and funds. Most of the staff of Community Partners, including our E.D. (who Jotts Tweets from her iPhone), uses these tools. But how about our constituents? We survey our constituents periodically. They are not early adopters. After many years, they are now solid email users and are fairly confident using Google. But RSS? Instant messaging? YouTube? As much as we want them to be there, they are just not there yet. Some are showing signs. They are just on the slower side of the adoption curve. So does that mean that our org should not be investing time and energy in social media tools? What we're doing is taking a Web 2.0 approach, but we've dialed down the tools a bit. We are slowly marching out more ways for our constituents to engage online. One of the primary principles of creating a good online community is to integrate online communication with IRL (In-Real-Life) actual meetings. We had the IRL meetings first; a key group of our constituents gather IRL every month. That's where we started soliciting topics, authors and commentors for our blog. When we started to hear them ask for more ways to be in touch between those IRL meetings, we started a ye olden email discussion list. At this point in time, we know a FriendFeed room would not integrate well with their workflow. But a listserv? Yep, they are using it. These efforts are going well. What's next? Probably a photo project, so they can see each other online as well as IRL. Will that be a stepping-stone to video? I don't know. We treat everything we do with Web 2.0 strategies as a learning experiment. And on that note, perhaps another day I will post about how we use some Web 2.0 strategies internally. Certainly there's always value in exploring that! Since this is my inaugural post, I don't expect comments, but if you happen to stumble across this blog... tell me... Do you ever need to walk the line between cutting edge social media and Old Skool in your org? If so, how do you do it?