Five Good Ideas

Building Conversations on the Web

Published on 19/11/2008

Your use of the internet should be connected to the work you do every day. But, on the Web, what do we mean by “conversation”? Who are we trying to talk to? What are we trying to say? Is technology most effective when used to enhance an existing relationship? Can technology really help us connect with people we may never see or talk to? If we define our community broadly, how does that impact our conversations with them? Of course, you should be asking these basic questions whether or not you are using online technology to engage the people you work with, serve, help and build community with. Building on Jason Mogus’ presentation last year, Reaching Out in a Web 2.0 World, Chris and Marco will further demystify online communication and help you take the next steps in making practical, daily use of the Web in your community engagement, client service and public campaigns.

Five Good Ideas

  1. Online conversations are still conversations. The language may be different online, but the principles are the same.
  2. Connect and integrate your online work with your offline work.
  3. Isolate technology from conversation. Don’t let the technology become the conversation.
  4. Your conversations will evolve, be prepared to evolve with them.
  5. Don’t just innovate, participate. Go to where your audience already is, join them, engage them, use the technology that’s already working for them.

Five Good Resources

    1. Design for Community by Derek M. Powazek, 2001 (available in the Toronto Public Library)
    2. Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Web2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize and Engage Youth, by Ben Rigby, 2008 (available in the Toronto Public Library)
    3. TechSoup Canada
    4. Non-profit Tech Blogs
    5. Let’s continue the conversation, join us in our Building Conversations on the Web – 5 Good Ideas online course/discussion.

    Marco Campana & Christopher Wulff

    Communications Strategist, Maytree & Communications Consultant

    Marco Campana’s work has spanned several non-profit sectors, including newcomer settlement, employment, information and referral, and community-based internet projects. Before joining Maytree as a communications strategist, where he helps staff harness the potential of the web and social media, Marco worked as a website content coordinator and, more recently, provided social media training and support for the settlement sector in Ontario.

    Christopher Wulff has spent the last ten years working with non-profits across Ontario on integrating technology into their services, operations and communications. Whether his role is graphic designer, project planner or web developer, his goals are always to find the most effective and appropriate solution to any problem. He currently does this work through Patience and Fortitude, a small consulting and development from he founded, while also pursuing his Master’s of Divinity from the University of Toronto.