Most Not For Profit (NFP) organisations find social media positive in creating awareness, attracting new members and engaging those members they already have. However, NFPs also say that there are barriers between them and what they want to achieve.
One barrier is Facebook regulation. Facebook lays down strict rules about what people can do and can’t do, and it changes them quite frequently. It has no hesitation in cutting off access to, or even removing, a Facebook page that breaks the rules even though it may have been quite legitimate at the time it was first set up. Facebook doesn’t care about NFPs because, by and large, they aren’t paying for the service and the only people who matter to Facebook are those who provide it with revenue.
An obvious solution is for the NFP to create its own social network – its chat room, its membership places – and then to integrate that network into Facebook and Twitter so that it can enjoy the global reach of those organisations without having to comply with a level of regulation it may find intrusive.
NFPs also face a quite unrelated difficulty and it is one they are not alone in feeling. The concern is: what happens if someone posts a message or engages in a chat that is either construed as hostile by another person or is actually intended to be hostile? There is, after all, no shortage of trolls on the Internet and there are many people who revel in causing offence – particularly when they think they can’t be identified.
This mostly comes down to settling the question of who should actually be able to access and update a channel. There may be members who say, ‘It’s our organisation and we want to be free to say whatever we can,’ and in a perfect world we might all agree with that view – but this is not a perfect world.
All of these are matters that can be hammered out with Blendapps at the time the network is constructed.