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Interactive media for effective communication

Apr 27, 2009

Come on In. The Water‘s Fine published by Brotherton Strategies explores the opportunities and challenges presented by new interactive media tools under Web 2.0 technology. The report seeks to help organisations in reaching out to a wider audience to drive their grantmaking.

Come on In. The Water‘s Fine. An Exploration of Web 2.0 Technology and Its Emerging Impact on Foundation Communications

Publisher: Brotherton Strategies, September 2008

The increasing demand of disseminating information to a large audience and networking among stakeholders has led many foundations across the world move a step further in adopting new interactive tools for effective communication.


Foundations using the traditional media or Web 1.0 are facing new challenges in the global market. The old tried and true methods are giving way to new experimentation, greater openness, and an understanding that the best communication is two-way or multidirectional. More than the need for using new technology is the drive to to build meaningful relationships with audiences that matter.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 tools offer a number of obvious opportunities for foundations because they are often free and accessible, allow for focused convenings and conversations, lend themselves to interactions with and among grantees, and offer an effective story-telling medium.

Most exciting is the newfound ability for a feedback system. Many foundations are embracing new communication tools—from interactive Web sites to podcasts to blogs and wikis to social networking applications.

This report examines the challenges and opportunities inherent in the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies. It gives a background to the concept and trends of the new media. Web 2.0 has been called a philosophy for how to use Internet-based tools and applications.

The report identifies a number of themes that appeared relevant for funders while using Web 2.0.The key areas include:

  • Adaptation
  • Giving up control
  • Transparency
  • Networking and movement building

The findings of the report reveal that Web 2.0 tools require an adequate platform to operate significantly. The key questions that emerged from the study was :

  • How comfortable will foundations become with the participatory nature of Web communication?
  • Is the generation divide real when it comes to emerging technology?
    How ideas and feedback will be generated from online communications best influence grantmaking decisions?
  • How will foundations align resources in their communications functions to best meet the opportunities and challenges of a Web 2.0 world?
  • Do Web 2.0 technologies have implications for aligning communications and programs in a new way to have the greatest impact on societal issue the foundation is focused on?
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