Today is Blog Action Day (#BAD12). And I’ve signed up to blog alongside thousands of other people across the world on the subject of The Power of We. It’s an obvious topic for the internet - but no less good for that.
We all know that the internet has transformed how much of a voice we have in today’s world – and how that gives us a kind of power that we could only previously have dreamed of.
But what I want to write about is something a bit more prosaic and practical. And since this blog is usually in the business of giving practical advice/information to people who work digitally in the not for profit world (the sort of thing I would have found useful when I ran a charity’s website), that’s how I’d like to look at this subject.
When I think about what makes us more powerful when we work together, what I’m struck by is something that I see regularly in different organisations. It’s the need for everyone in an organisation to take the internet on board. For everyone to include the internet in their plans. For everyone to think about whether a web page or a blog (or an email or a tweet or whatever else...) could help them get their message across more effectively. Fundraisers, campaigners, press or information officers, no matter who. The internet can make a real difference no matter what we do, especially if we plan to use it right from the start of a project or campaign.
I’m constantly reminded that a digital officer (or, if you’re really lucky, a digital team), no matter how skilful and talented, just can’t do it by themselves. If digital is treated as an add-on or an afterthought, there’s no way it can be really effective.
Studies show that for digital tools to be most effective, they need to be led from the top – and that makes it far more likely that they will be embedded right across the organisation. Organisations with a digital strategy in place are far more likely to use digital tools well - and to reap the rewards.
It doesn’t take just one or two, it really does take all of us.
Charities’ use of the internet – Current activities and future opportunities by Dr Eleanor Burt and Professor John Taylor for the Nominet Trust: