The blogosphere is abuzz this week with rumors that Microsoft will debut the its Internet Explorer 7 in the coming days or weeks. What’s significant is that some insiders now believe that Microsoft will "push" IE7 as an update to the current browser, effectively foisting it on current IE users rather than waiting for consumers to replace their computers or upgrade to the long awaited Vista operating system.
So what would it mean for nonprofit organizations if large numbers of their supporters suddently migrate to IE7? Quite a bit. The new Internet Explorer includes a native feed reader, and its debut will expose to this communications channel for the first time.
The move comes at a time it is becoming an increasingly uphill battle to successfully deliver emails to supporters and get them to open them. Once the general Internet using public becomes accustomed to subscribing to feeds, it is likely that they will demand that nonprofit organizations offer enewsletters and other communication activities on this more secure channel.
This will be a mixed blessing for nonprofit organizations that have worked hard to build large email lists of donors and activists. Nonprofits will enjoy the ease of delivering audio and video to their supporters via feeds, and feeds enhance other online collaboration tools like wikis, blogs, and social networking sites. On the other hand, consumers will be attracted to the higher degree of privacy and security that feeds offer and it may become even harder for nonprofits to determine who is supporting them and track their activities.
We’ll be watching these developments very closely!