New New Media and The Networked Nonprofit Review

Through the exploration of reading two books, New New Media by Paul Levinson and The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine, I have learned so much about social media tools and their importance.  Each of these books had their helping hand in learning.  Which book was more influential and helpful?

The book New New Media, by Paul Levinson talks about new new media, computer-based forms of communication: blogging, YouTube, wikis, Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and podcasts.  A lot of what Paul Levinson does in this book is compare and contrast the new new media with traditional media.  He also goes into talking about the alterations of professionalism, consumerism, artistry and performance through this internet based media as well as political concepts.  Although I liked the typography used throughout the book I’m afraid this book put me to sleep.  I would read the chapters and after reading it I would forget what I had just read.  It was almost like I was set on automatic read mode.  Reading it but not obtaining anything.  I had to read each chapter twice in order to grab the concept.  I have grown to like some parts of the books:

  • Typography- The typography in the book seemed simple and safe, using Arial and Times New Roman or sans-serif and serif font.  I think it worked well to separate chapter from text.  I find typography to be one of the most important choices when making a book.  I find this fascinating because I want to someday become an illustrator.
  • Cyberbullying- I really enjoyed how cyberbullying was brought up in chapter 6 pages 112-113.  It’s important that people know words are just as hurtful online and offline.  It saddens my heart to hear an adult would do such a thing to a child.  Creating a fake person in order to trick hearts and then projecting depressing words causing death.  I personally think some sentences shouldn’t be allowed in any chat related situations.
  • Second Life- This chapter came in handy when learning about social media and mmorpgs.  I used this chapter to help me create a chapter of my own.

I have also grown to dislike some parts of the book:

  • Politics- I personally dislike politics, so when I had to read about Ron Paul and Barack Obama I felt like a fish out of water.  I knew who these candidates were but I didn’t feel comfortable reading political facts found from various sources.
  • References- Some of the references Levinson use although close to current may not seem relevant as the book furthers more into the future.

 

I have learned that it is our generation where the world is full of texting, tweeting, blogging, Facebook and MySpace and other social media tools each are used to interact with peers and to connect with the outside world.  This book has shown me more options to connecting via online and interacting through social media.  Also this book has taught me to be more patient with what was being obtained.  I can’t say I favour this book as much as I favour the book, The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine.

 

This book talks about using social media to improve and change people’s behaviours and expectations around charity and non-profits.  Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, wikis, blogs etc.  I found this book to be more interesting compared to Levinson’s New New Media because I learned a lot of new material and information actually stuck:

 

  • Free Agent/Millennial- I am a free agent, individual working outside an organization to organize, mobilize, raise funds and communicate with others.  I am also a millennial, young people born between 1978 and 1992.  I was born 1989.  This was interesting to find out the category I would be placed under in a non-profit organization.
  • Bullet Lists- I liked how this book included various different bullet lists to help simplify how to do something.  Steps to becoming a networked non-profit, levels of engagement, strategies for simplifying one’s work life with social media.
  • Social Media Powers Social Networks for Social Change- This was a subheading on page nine in this book and sums up a lot about the importance of social media.  Without social media how would the world change for the better?  It seems to me social change relies on the connections and interactions of social media users on Facebook, Twitter and etc.
  • Transparent- Be transparent like a glass house, be straightforward when talking to various audiences, communicate good and bad results, consider everyone inside and outside of the organization as resources for helping to achieve goals.  Don’t put up walls hiding away, like fortresses.  I see non-profit organizations as wanting to be seen?  Glass houses allow that to happen.
  • Crowdsourcing- The process of organizing many people to participate in a joint project, usually bite-sized projects.  “Crowds can’t be trained like seals, but they can be guided.”  I see this being applied to people reading this book being guided instead of trained on how to become a non-profit organization.
  • Learning Loops- On page 132, the learning loops framework helps me understand visually what they are talking about.  I enjoy how they have made this book with simplicity in mind, not losing the reading by providing visuals like tables, charts, pictures, figures etc.
  • Conclusion/Questions- I really enjoyed how this book had a conclusion summarizing the chapter and reflective questions.  Both help understand each section that much better.  I think having a “do’s” and “don’ts” section on pages 118-119 was very smart and helpful.  These questions at the end aren’t right or wrong questions, more like suggestive guidance and reflective accompanying the following chapters.

 

This book was a great read, there wasn’t much I disliked.  The only thing I could find as a possible error would be the ending of chapter one missing its conclusion.  All the other chapters had a conclusion and I thought this book did a great job with consistency with the exception of one chapter not having that conclusion.  I personally didn’t mind it; in fact it got me thinking. Why?  Is the conclusion to this chapter placed at the end of the book or is that the overall conclusion for the book?  I have a hard telling sometimes.  It would be genius if you had intended the ending of the book to have the conclusion to tie all the chapters at the end.

 

All in all, I would recommend reading The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine, as opposed to reading New New Media by Paul Levinson, since it was more influential and helpful.  As for some improvements Paul Levinson could do are probably including some pictorial elements to get his point across.  I got lost in so much text and references.  As for reading this as an introduction to social media, I think this book did a great job.  I learned about new forms of communication and interactions.  Out of all the social media tools, I would have to choose Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Google + as continuations after reading this book.  I will continue using social media to increase acknowledgement, not for my sake (like my performance) but for my art’s sake.  I want to experiment more with social media organizations and create my own mini free agent project, using some tips and guidance from The Networked Nonprofit book.  Instead of creating art with my name, I plan on experimenting with the unknown attribute of creating art.   I will make art for art’s sake.  Saying such a proclamation may have outed my plan in being unknown.  Good luck trying to find me.  I want to place my artist fingerprint and see if people can tell.

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