Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Web 2.0. Is the United Way ready?

Greetings from the NKU Web 2.0 conference. Over the next several weeks, I will be unpacking their content into multiple blog entries and prevocative thoughts for our United Way system. I encourage you to help us by submitting your questions and comments directly on this blog so that we can all share in the conversation. All Web 2.0 posts are tagged so that you can quickly reference all of these topics.

So, the big question the United Way ready to exist in the new world of Web 2.0? I submit for your review an example of why I say we are not.

Today, many people use the web for research before making purchasing decisions. One of the largest references on the web is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia written collaboratively by many of its readers. Independent studies confirm that Wikipedia content is just as accurate as commercial encyclopedias, but has vastly more information available for research.

The challenge: Look up United Way. You will get four related articles. Check out the United Way of America entry. I submit that United Way is largely absent in the community of Wikipedia writers.

Isn't it interesting that United Way is defined with nearly 25% of the article devoted to "criticism and scandals"? Note that the recent events in Charlotte are referenced. Where are the third party examples of local United Way results?

This article represents the contemporary view of the community of Wikipedia writers. Verifiable sources are preferred to PR or marketing postings. The community of Wikipedia writers is self-managing and the power of the community is greater than any individual or organization.

United Way has a long and proud tradition in building communities. So how are we doing in building community online? Discuss...

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