I had hoped to close down FTB after exactly three years – the traditional duration of a CISV term. I got carried away with a few things that still needed to be said. Anyway, now is the time to finally say goodbye. Bang: I’ve written more than 260 posts and received more than 800 comments. Most of these were from Lars/NOR, Hani/LEB, Flo/AUT, Sarah/USA, Martin/USA and Teo/ITA. Thanks!
During these years, I actually discovered my passion for writing. I never thought I enjoy writing stuff as much as I did. Some inspiration for my style, I think, came from my daily readying of the Economist (which I liked to quote) on my way to work, which has a special spicy and sometimes quite funny way of discussing issues. Good read.
I’m quite aware that at times I might have been a little harsh, even if this was only brought back to me once. If I hurt your feelings (or gotten on your nerves), I’m sorry. I’m the kind of person that talks before he thinks and even if I consider myself a global citizen, I’m German enough to be perceived as rude in many cultures. Sorry again.
At times, I have been a little disappointed with the outreach that FTB had: Most posts got none or only very little comments, my site stats indicated only around 500 page visits a month. The truth, I guess, is that the stuff I wrote about appeals to a very little group of people: CISV-nerds with decades-long experience in both programmes and administration but still enthusiastic about making CISV even better. Of those, I think, I reached a bunch.
I’ve already explained the reasons for closing down before and made suggestions, where this creative energy could be gathered in the future, so I won’t go down that road again. However, I really hope that discussing CISV in all its details out there in the internet public finds another place somewhere on the web.
Now, if I had to summarize the message that FTB sent to CISV – and that is the posts AND all your comments – it could be the following:
1) Let’s not be afraid of change. In fact, we should try and move faster and develop our content and administration to match the way the global society moves on. We can’t stick to Doris’s ideas forever, and in fact, I think she wouldn’t want us to.
2) CISV is a great organization and it’s a pain in the apple that we can only educate such a small amount of people (I consider roundabout 8000 small). Our philosophy, our tools, our programmes are really meant to reach more individuals, and we all need to make an effort that we will grow. Entering a virtuous circle is fun: More participants, more money, more projects, outreach. That’s what we want. Ask the Portuguese!
3) As a global organization we should make use of electronic communication tools and social media as much as possible. It’s almost like Facebook etc. was invented for CISV. If we had the money, we should hire a dozen of geeks, who host hackathons and create beautiful and convenient applications for CISVers to use.
4) Numbers are cool. I guess, we shouldn’t hire a Central Informations Officer, but at least Helen and Bebbe at IO are quite Excel-savvy. Now, let’s dig those numbers, and try and figure out tendencies that we can correct or build upon. Challenge gut feelings with real numbers. An organizational dashboard would be cool, as a start. And somebody should keep working on the bubble charts. Oh, and don’t forget the Balcony Index!
5) Chapters, not NAs should be the centre of attention. I’m repeating it, until you kill me.
6) Mosaic should be renamed Local Work. Ok, just kidding.
Good night and good luck.
PS: In case you’re curious, where I’ll be spending my energies instead, here’s a few of my non-CISV-projects on the web (most of it in German): Foto-Tennis (if you like photography), Kardioklick (if you are a cardiologist), fusino (if you like betting and big football tournaments).
PPS: I’ll be keeping the FTB-twitter alive for a liittle longer, just in case I really need to air a thought, but somehow I doubt, that a 140-character-format will meet my needs.