Thrive Blog: Open for Comments

Posted more than a year ago.

As we go about this Thrive adventure together, I really want to take you behind the scenes on our campaign process—from our fundraising plan, to project progress, to marketing and communication decisions, and more. I want you to get a sense of our victories (large and small), our frustrations (also large and small), the fast and the frantic moments, the slow and mundane moments, the hard decisions and the easy ones, and just our sincere and prayerful journey toward an agile student-and-Kingdom-centric approach toward life at Oklahoma Christian.

I don’t want to go so far as to say the content on this blog will be “raw” (sometimes maybe it will), but I do want it to be real. We’ve talked a lot about transparency, but I also want to stretch until it hurts to give you authenticity.

Today we’re making another big stride in that department, as we answer one of the most frequent questions I’ve received so far: “Why can’t we leave comments on the Thrive Blog?”

We debated this concept in building the Thrive website, especially the Blog. One of our goals with Thrive was to make the Campaign very approachable and interactive. See a need? Get involved. Have a question? Ask away. Need to vent some passionate, idealistic frustration? Talk to me.

So why no comment option?

No dancing around this one. I didn’t want a comment option. I’m looking right at you (digitally, that is). The prospect of public comments unnerved me. A major objective with any campaign is to increase goodwill in the community—to tell a very public story about how much momentum you have, how bright your future is, and how amazingly giving and awesome your donor base has become. Campaigns are as much about PR as they are about focusing strategy and raising vital support.

With the Thrive Blog functioning as our main avenue of information on the Campaign, opening posts for public comment could mean losing control of our messaging. As I’ve said before (and you know), not everyone will agree with every decision made in Thrive. If those frustrations are aired to me in private, then I can soften the public impact of those concerns by framing our messaging—regarding the issues and my response—in a positive context. And at the outset of Thrive, that’s what I wanted to do.

But that’s not very interactive, is it? And, while you have my word that I’ll be transparent, that system doesn’t really hold me accountable to respond to your questions, concerns, and ideas. That changes now.

You love this place. You deserve to be heard. We’re making it happen.

You’re now free, for the world to see, to post on each and every Thrive Blog entry. Celebrate, challenge, encourage, and question away! And no matter how challenging your comment might be, my commitment to you is that (barring content that’s deemed inappropriate) we won’t ever filter your thoughts.

And I’m going to shoot straight on every response. Count on it and hold me to it.

Am I going to be tactful in how I respond? You bet. I’m an ambassador of Oklahoma Christian, after all. And I owe it to this University I call “home” to be a positive voice and encourager of its mission (our mission) across all media. That doesn’t mean I can’t be honest about mistakes we’ve made or the difficult realities of certain circumstances or choices. Just expect those admissions to always be couched in an understanding of my alma mater’s sincere efforts to do good and make a difference.

With all of that being said, and my first personal admission of “transparency fear” laid bare before you, please feel free to give that comment button a click!

Love you, friends, and I’m excited to hear everything you have to say.

-Will