February 7, 2017

Well, that failed. What now?

On building a culture of learning from our mistakes

There is an X marked in tape on the carpet in the NTEN office where a part of me died this morning. My humble plan to move our quarterly Town Hall community calls from phone to Facebook Live failed spectacularly when the time to stream came, and I found myself locked out of my own event.

As a nonprofit that embraces technology, NTEN has a startup mentality. That means we experiment, sometimes we fail, and we learn quickly from our mistakes. I was confident that the format was right and our presenters were prepared. I even had the room marked out with stage direction tape like a real movie set. But I should have more thoroughly tested the technology in the exact circumstances we were planning to use it. While we had tested Facebook Live on an ad hoc basis, I didn’t realize that scheduling a Live event meant it was created in a different way and that made it inaccessible on game day. The horror. Lesson learnt.

So what now? Well, as much as I’d like to crawl under my desk and eat this entire package of honey grahams, instead I want to share this fail story with you and celebrate the culture of experimentation that makes the nonprofit technology sector so strong. We take our commitment to community very seriously here at NTEN and gosh, I feel pretty awful about failing you, but it makes me even more determined to make it up to you with a great Town Hall. We’ll be going live again on our Facebook page on Thursday, February 9 at 2.30PT/5.30ET. For reals, this time.

Lyndal Frazier-Cairns
Lyndal Frazier-Cairns runs No Pants Consulting, which provides digital marketing solutions for nonprofits and small businesses.
Interest Categories: Evaluation
Tags: Facebook, Facebook Live, NTEN, social media