Susan Herr, who blogs at PhilanthroMedia, will be blogging the Council on Foundations conference and thinks that the rise of transparency is heralding "the end of philanthropy as usual."
So here’s my question for readers. If the Council is offering transparency, what do you what to see? I’m sure that Susan, Lucy and I will each take a different approach to blogging the conference. I’d like my approach to reflect the spirit of the Giving Carnival (which will be returning in a new form after the CoF conference). I plan on blogging at high speed and would love to offer readers an opportunity to submit questions and comments that can be integrated into the offline conversation taking place at the conference.
Blogging conferences isn’t new. But it’s a big deal that the Council on Foundations decided to give it a shot. A friend of mine told me:
They are very conservative at the Council, and your invitation should be viewed as a real breakthrough. They are very, very careful about inviting anyone outside the membership.
And the Council seems to agree. They’ve called our invitation "a groundbreaking move".
The Council seems ready to really embrace the interactive nature of blogging. They are advertising our presence to their members and even seem to be framing our presence as a draw for members who have not yet signed up to attend. They are encouraging attendees to use the blogs to "weigh in on the issues being discussed, comment on a particular session, and share your opinion on how the conference is going."
Just because you’re not attending in person, doesn’t mean you can’t use my blog, Lucy’s and Susan’s to participate in the same way as the onsite attendees. With three of us onsite, you should be able to get a significant view of what’s going on.
You’ve got transparency, what do you want to see?
What about a conference “tag” and letting anyone who is attending who also blogs live blog and give them voice? Are you the only four people at the conference who write blogs?
What I think is great, and what makes the Council’s decision so smart, is that you and the other bloggers see this as a terrific opportunity to broaden both the coverage and the conversation about philanthropy. For too long, it’s been an insiders’ discussion. The more people looking in, the more questions being asked, the greater the good that will be served.
I’ll be at the conference and look forward to reading your posts. I know Lucy well and I’ve met Susan. Any chance we can connect in Seattle to share bloggers’ tales? Drop me a line.
Another small aside — but it’s hard to have a conversation about blogging and not be sensitive to free speech issues. So, if you have the stomach for it, read this stunning article about a Chicago area high school student who was arrested for a class essay he wrote, post the Va. Tech. shooting. It’s in today’s Chicago Tribune.