First Best of Links – Prompt Response

Today, because this is a blog designed for my J452 class, I will be responding to a prompt posted by my professor Mandy Drakeford. I will dedicate this post to two of the links she posted, not to show off but because they are of relevance to interests of mine.

First, I want to comment on an interview between Technorati blogger Craig Blaha and Socialtext CEO Eugene Lee. In this interview, Blaha asks Lee how SOPA and PIPA would affect his business and what alternatives would address the issue of internet piracy more effectively. You can click the link and read the interview yourself. However, one quote stands out in particular. When asked if he thinks piracy is a problem, Lee responds with the following:

…the real issue SOPA and PIPA are trying to address is trade and commerce, how to protect products and brands. The focus has been on movies and downloads because it is sexier, but because of the technology involved, this gets confusing to the general public and gets outside of the original intent of the law. Fundamentally the issue is the same as counterfeit Rolexes, and we have historical efforts and precedents that we should build on.

This sums up how I feel about the two bills, and most congressional bills dealing with piracy in general, pretty neatly. While there’s clearly a Constitutional precedent and a vested interested in protecting innovation and people’s ideas, nowadays celebrities and corporations have lobbied for the abuse of these laws to the extent that you can copyright phrases. The intent should be to protect innovation, not to guarantee indefinite profits off the same product for years.

Politics aside, my blog is about the nonprofit sector, and I intend for that to be my focus. My teacher also posted an interesting and relevant article focusing on objectives that nonprofits should achieve  in 2012. Five of these directly relate to technology: smartphones, voice recognition tools, ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth), QR codes, and linking Facebook “likes” with small donations.

No, this is not my cell phone. Photo courtesy of

Unfortunately, lacking a smartphone, this makes me feel a little less tech-savvy than I ought to be as a PR major. Also, I’m a little skeptical of its usefulness; experience has taught me to frown on voice recognition technology, and again my lacking a smartphone keeps me out of the loop of that market.

However, the technology is definitely a market worth considering. As smartphones become increasingly popular, their costs will go down, and nonprofits absolutely must tap into them as part of their branding strategy. While I will find out for sure in the coming weeks, I suspect that Eugene area nonprofits desperately need to update their tech savviness when it comes to smartphones.

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