The Chronicle of Philanthropy launched their blog summary service Give & Take in February. It was a major milestone in the “coming of age” journey of philanthropy blogs.
I asked Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, if they would ever launch their own blog(s) during her Tactical Philanthropy Podcast interview and she answered:
We have discussed that a great deal, and one of the things the Chronicle feels strongly about is that we are reporters covering this field, we’re not experts on the field, and we love to give other people’s views but we don’t want to ourselves be giving opinions about the non-profit world and for the most part blogs tend to take a position in some way or another. So I think that we won’t, but we may ask bloggers to post regularly for us or something like that. I could see that possibility in the future, much like in our opinion page where we ask people to state their views all the time but we don’t ourselves write editorials.
Now the Chronicle has launched what might be called a blog. The new Government and Politics Watch on the Chronicle home page presents government and politics related philanthropy news in a blog format. The authors are the same authors behind Give & Take. Comments are enabled and the authors’ emails are made available.
What makes a blog a blog? Sometimes when I talk with people who don’t read blogs, I get the impression that they think a blog is, by definition, a web page where the author screams and yells and makes outrageous claims and generally carries on in a way that would be inappropriate in public. Certainly some blogs are like that. When I spoke to the Hewlett Foundation about philanthropy blogs, I tried to make the point that blogging is just a technology. It can be used as a cost effective, simple eNewletter tool, the way that Google.org is using it or it can leverage the fundamental two-way architecture of blog software to facilitate a conversation.
I was impressed that Stacy Palmer even agreed to appear on my Podcast. She did have reservations, but when I told her that I wouldn’t ask for her opinions about how philanthropy should be performed, she agreed. If you listen to the interview or read the transcript you can see that she is an interesting person to have a conversation with, even though she is careful about the opinions she expresses. I hope that’s true about me; I never express opinions about philanthropic causes yet we have a lively conversation going on this blog.
So is Government and Politics Watch a blog? The answer lies in the September 28 post where Peter Panepento wrote about new IRS workshops. In the comments section a reader commented and Peter wrote back. It’s just a glimmer, but we know that the Chronicle has not made it policy to ban the blog authors from responding to comments and having a conversation. Peter’s short comment is a whole lot more than we’ve ever gotten from the Google.org blog. So check out their new blog and let’s drown them in comments. Peter and Suzanne and the other authors are smart and they know philanthropy. They are a great addition to the conversation.