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Josh Stearns
More funders need to be talking about this. We have to think about how “scaling” can incentivize unhealthy growth, and value the wrong metrics for success (reach vs relationships, spread vs stickiness)
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Josh Stearns May 27
Replying to @jcstearns
We understandably want great ideas to spread, we urgently need new ways of doing things to be shared, but too often these impulses can lead us towards one-size-fits-all solutions and extractive methods that undercut the long-term changes we want to see.
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Jim Friedlich May 27
Replying to @jcstearns
Yes, but...In full agreement with and others- a fixation on scale can have unintended consequences. At the same time the sheer scope of the crisis in local news suggests big & bold action, and solutions at scale. “Horses for courses” as the Brits say.
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Josh Stearns May 27
Replying to @JimFriedlich
I think the problem becomes when the only model for big and bold action is “scale” there are many other models for growth, change, sharing, and transformation. We absolutely must rise to the scope of the challenge and should embrace many models in our response.
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Jim Friedlich May 28
I should be more precise: “Scale” is less about bigger is better but the ability to replicate if successful. is replicable at scale even if individual initiatives are small. seeks impact in Philly and where appropriate to replicate nationally.
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Damon Kiesow May 28
I have been calling that “spread” as opposed to “scale” which carries negative connotations from a local perspective.
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Damon Kiesow May 28
“Negative” from my perspective I should say.
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Tony Haile May 28
How about infectious business models. Starts locally, has an impact on the entire business and then replicates. :)
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Josh Stearns May 29
I like the idea that local can be a place of innovation from which powerful ideas can bubble up and be shared, creating ripple effects, spreading innovation nationally. Too often we focus on what national can teach and local. There is a lot that can flow the other way.
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Ariel Zirulnick May 29
summit was such a great example of this. w/the exception of , all of those projects were seeded locally. Since local is where people are closest to their audiences, it seems natural this is where innovation in engaged journalism is strongest – and it is!
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Ruby Sinreich May 27
Replying to @jcstearns
We have funders that won't fund critical organizing work until a month before they want it to happen. Nonprofits with the ability to organize lots of people also have to have a plan, but it's not possible with these last-minute funds making us run around with our hair on fire.
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Josh Stearns May 27
Replying to @Ruby
That creates a feast and famine cycle of funding that is antithetical to building long term strength and trustworthy relationships needed for the long haul.
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Ruby Sinreich May 27
Replying to @jcstearns
Yes, and also keeps us from even being as effective as well could be in the short term. It shows no concern about long term movement-building, which is what we need to do to survive.
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Jonathan Groves May 28
I love how the framed this issue to differentiate memberships from subscriptions: Memberships (based on relationships/service) are much more difficult to scale than subscriptions (based on product), even though some try to use the terms interchangeably.
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Andrew Haeg May 26
Replying to @jcstearns
This. Deep impact with 100 people is far greater and more valuable than a fly by experience for 1000.
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Amy L. Kovac-Ashley May 26
Replying to @jcstearns
Indeed! I have started to cringe every time I hear the word, “scale,” which is often said with waaaaay too much unbridled enthusiasm.
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Jeremy Klaszus May 27
Oh man I have thoughts on this. As a recipient of a large FB grant, I agree with you 100%. Felt like I was forever explaining why I wasn't taking to scale. Being anti-scale can be a strength.
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Nikki Usher, Ph.D. May 29
Replying to @jcstearns
100 percent yes
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Ju-Don Marshall May 26
Replying to @jcstearns
Yes!
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Future of Music Coalition May 27
Replying to @jcstearns
Scale and the problems of scale (bad incentives and practical impossibility for most) is the piece of the audio delivery marketplace that is perhaps most missing from discussions about emerging business models.
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