Comments: Readers React Online

Readers share their views on recent Associations Now articles.

Associations Now readers have strong opinions, and we love to hear them. Here's a sampling of reactions, positive and negative, to some recent articles from our pages.

Viral Tips Aren't Smart

[From web comments on "Six Steps to Going Viral,"December 2009]

After reading this article, I had to laugh. A "smart viral strategy”? There's no such thing. These tips are all fine, as they go, for marketing messages in general—but no amount of marketing in the world can "make"something "go viral."

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Don't be fooled by stuff like this. If you want your message to spread, build a community of people who care about what you care about. Show your passion for whatever it is. For your mission. And be creative. If you're lucky enough to have something go viral, whatever marketing spin you'll have put into it will have exactly zero to do with that.

Maddie Grant, CAE, chief social media strategist, SocialFish, Washington, DC

I agree with Maddie. [Adam] Penenberg's book is a good read, but more from a historical perspective, not a how-to. For every example he gives, there are countless that didn't work. The tips are good to keep in mind, but don't take it as step-by-step instructions.

Matt Baehr, director of industry affairs and foundation manager, Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, Fairfax, Virginia

Watered-Down Websites

[From web comments on "What Drives Your Web Strategy?,"December 2009]

Thanks for bringing this point to the forefront. David Gammel hit the nail on the head when he mentioned "lowest common denominator."It seems, in an effort not to leave anyone behind in their new web design, some groups end up leaving everyone behind due to a compromised, diluted strategy.

It takes a certain audacity to say we're going to do this ONE thing on our website, but it seems to still be working for Google.

Chris Bonney, vice president of business development, Vanguard Technology, Chicago, Illinois

Breaking Barriers

[From web comments on "What Have Your Members Taught You?,"December 2009]

From the Twitterati
@KDMisevich: Stay Cool in a Communications Crisis (via Associations Now Magazine) ["This Is Not a Test,"December 2009]
@KareFreeman Social Media & the Law - Associations Now Mag - Pubs & Resources - ASAE & The Center for Assn Ldrship ["10 Legal Essentials for Social Media,"December 2009]
@SmartBriefScoop Important ‘Associations Now' piece on social media and legal issues ["10 Legal Essentials for Social Media,"December 2009]
@ABSNJ Reading ASAE article from Associations Now: Build Conference Buzz With Social Media [October 2009]
@OkeefeComDC How do boards decide which #metrics are right for gauging overall performance, especially when money is tight? ["The Right Metrics for Association Boards,"Leadership Issue 2010]

Associations need to make it easy for members to give feedback and to participate. They need to collaborate more with their members.

I've sat on several association boards, and recently I was considering how even having a member board of directors creates a barrier between leading members and the rest of the membership. Many board decisions are made with little input from the members at large. I understand the board represents the membership; however, many members of many associations will probably say not too well. Why? More than ever, and in no small part due to the influence of social media, members want to have a voice. They want to be heard.

Being more visible, more authentic (being yourself), and building collaboration between leadership, staff, and every member, is in my opinion the only way that associations will prosper in the future.

Jeff Korhan, president, True Nature Inc., Naperville, Illinois

A Good Read

Nice work on Associations Now. I just had the pleasure of quietly reading the December issue from cover to cover. 

Bob Harris, CAE, chairman, Harris Management Group/Nonprofit Resource Center, Tallahassee, Florida