What is your organization’s “digital IQ?”

Lori Halley 13 December 2010 0 comments

If your wondering how your organization measures up in the online world, you might find the Digital IQ Index: Public Sector (PDF) study interesting. Conducted by George Washington University School of Business and L2 (a think tank for digital innovation), the study "measures and ranks the digital competence of 100 organizations across four dimensions: effectiveness of an organization's site, digital marketing, social media, and mobile."

While it isn't too surprising that NASA and the White House ranked as "Genius," with Greenpeace and the Peace Corps ranking as "Gifted," it is interesting to note that the study found that "many of the organizations tasked with tackling our nation's toughest challenges are still in the early stages of unlocking the potential of these new platforms."  

In fact, apart from the obvious digitally gifted, "more than 50 percent of the organizations indexed registered Digital IQs in the Feeble and Challenged" categories. The study's authors suggest there is hope for the digitally challenged - they predict that "a modest investment can move the needle dramatically."

If your non-profit or member association falls within the digitally challenged category, take heart - the study's authors suggest that most "organizations still have yet to reap low-hanging fruit: purchasing search terms, establishing a presence on social media platforms..."

Start by embracing social media principles and strategies:

We all know there is a wild web world of possibilities out there, but the first step is to embrace the concept of using social media tools as an organization. As Beth Kanter and Allison Fine note in their book, The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change, "choosing and using any specific tool is less important to organizational success than embracing the principles and strategies that make social media effective. Using social media is a way of being more than a way of doing."

Start online conversations with a blog or a forum:

Once you do get started, don't expect to move at warp speed (like NASA) right away. Start by creating online conversations with your members, volunteers or donors through a blog or a forum or both.  You can organize or energize your community online with communications tools such as those that are part of Wild Apricot Membership software.

What to consider before you start:

If your organization is just dipping your toes in the social media waters, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Do you need to create a Social Media Policy for your organization? Check out this NTEN blog post by Maddie Grant & Lindy Dreyer (Socialfish) and Leslie T. White (Croydon Consulting): Tips for Writing your First Social Media Policy
  2. Who's navigating the social media ship? In another NTEN post, Casey Golden (Small Act) asks "Who should build that strategy? Who should be in charge of implementing it? Who's going to navigate the social media "ship" at your organization?
  3. What are the legal implications of blogging? Here is a blog post by Susan Gunelius of Performancing with some tips on how to  Avoid Legal Trouble by Knowing Copyright Matters on the Social Web, Too

Regardless of your organization's Digital IQ, start small and be patient as you move through the online learning curve.

If you are a small non-profit or association staffer or volunteer, let me know your key challenges in starting or energizing your online community.

WANT TO READ MORE?

  • Learn how to easily create blogs and member forums with Wild Apricot - check out our blog or forum help modules for information.
  • If you are just getting started with a blog or you're planning your editorial calendar for next year, check out a WA post Rebecca offered a few months back: "A Year's Worth of Blog Topics Ideas."

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 13 December 2010 at 3:53 PM

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