Social Technographics Ladder - click for larger view

Non-Profit Web 2.0 Intentionality

Non-Profit Web2.0 Intentionality

I new this concept couldn’t be new to me.  But after basically turning the entire internet upside down I couldn’t find anything like it.  I am getting ahead of myself (what is the opposite of digressing?  Pre-gressing maybe? – ok, Now I really have digressed.)

I realized a few months ago that my day job needed a comprehensive strategy for its web2.0 involvement.  We needed to come to grips with these new technologies and we also needed to use them wisely and purposefully.  Throwing blogs and twitter accounts at our constituents randomly would very quickly make little since to them.  But if we came at the problem appropriately and deliberately we could see fantastic synergies out of these great technologies.  The crux of my thought was that if we could move our constituency along a path of deepening involvement we would be able to better motivate our base and get better returns out of our new constituency members as we migrated them down this path.  Here’s how my original model looked in my head:


Obviously missing some key pieces, but you can see the progression I believed should occur  from accidental web visitor on out to hardcore advocate and friend of the larger mission. Simple concept, but until now I hadn’t discovered a similar model to this one that would take my thoughts on how it should work to the logical next level.

Social Technographics Ladder - click for larger view
Social Technographics Ladder – click for larger view

Now, looking at Forrester’s Social Technographic Ladder we see this same concept played out in terms of “Inactive” users all the way through to “Creator” users.  What I really appreciate about this ladder model is the deeper detailed dive on the right side of the ladder which show examples of the value that can be derived in each of these subcategories.   We can see the user going from a passive participant all the way out to content creator and fully engaged participant in all the various channels available to them.  This may take the form of not only blog creator but maybe widget creator, music and video uploader, comment creator and product reviewer.

Be Intentional.

I can’t tell you how helpful this should be to each and every company attempting to dip a toe in the social media realm. I remember when the hype of the web took off in the 90’s and everyone had to have the latest and greatest web technologies regardless of purpose or rational logic.  I remember talking to several clients and asking them for business plans for both their business and how they saw the web fitting into that business plan.  Blank looks was generally the most common response to that question.

Similarly today it seems like absolutely everyone is diving in to the 2.0 arena regardless purposeful logic or even a basic reason for getting into this space:

Companies often approach Social Computing as a list of technologies to be deployed as needed — a blog here, a podcast there — to achieve a marketing goal. But a more coherent approach is to start with your target audience and determine what kind of relationship you want to build with them, based on what they are ready for.

But What About Us?

Many non-profit organizations don’t have a problem with this yet.  The main reason being that they haven’t made the mistake of not being intentional because they aren’t even engaged in the 2.0 space yet.  But as we do start diving in to this arena we would all do well to be very very intentional about what technologies we engage with.  We need to go where our constituency is going and nowhere else.  And even that should be measured against an ROI excercise.  Are there enough of our constituency there so that it would make sense?  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be out in these new technologies… because if we are going to deepen our engagement with our core then we must jump.  And to make it easier we really need collaborate together and leverage other’s experience in this space.  What?  Are we going to lose marketshare in helping the world if we share our insights?  Puh-lease.


If this sort of thing really floats your boat then I’ve listed a couple of links in this vein that have been really helpful to me: