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new site riles nonprofit social-networking sites
Posted to: <Ned> Front Porch by Jayne Cravens (9), Mon, 08 Oct 2007 10:34:37 PDT
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Tags: takingitglobal.org thinkmtv.com youthnoise.com
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Foundation, MTV Alliance Riles Up Nonprofit Social-Networking Web Sites
The alliance of foundations and the for-profit MTV to create a social networking Web site called ThinkMTV.com has upset leaders of several similar nonprofit sites, the New York Times reports.
Some of the nonprofit sites have unsuccessfully sought funding from the four foundations — including the Bill & Melinda Gates and Case foundations — that are providing financial support to ThinkMTV.com. "We have often been told by funders, including some of those announced as underwriters of the Think site, that they don't fund this kind of work, so it kind of bothered me to hear about this," said Jennifer Corriero, executive director and co-founder of TakingITGlobal.org, which MTV studied before setting up its site.
Ian Rowe, vice president for public affairs and strategic partnerships at MTV said the network was not trying to compete with existing social networks and welcomed their participation in Think MTV. Moreover, foundations often collaborate with businesses. The Gates Foundation, for instance, has a partnership with Merck to provide AIDS drugs in Botswana.
But several nonprofit social networking leaders argue that the MTV site is driven by efforts to attract advertising, leaving young people with a mixed message. Ginger Thomson, CEO of the nonprofit YouthNoise.com, said Think MTV is not about building change. "Some young people are going to want to get engaged at a deeper level than [Think MTV] offers," she said. "And I think they'll turn to us."
Strom, Stephanie. “Charities Tie to MTV Angers Nonprofits.” New York Times 9/27/07.
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