The Race is On! The Young Voters Facebook App
Four Lessons About Social Media and Nonprofits Meme
In the last NpTech Tag Summary for 2007, I started a meme for 2008, what are your lessons learned about Nonprofits and Social Media? You had to answer these questions and tag several other people.
- What if you could start all my social media and nonprofits work over from scratch?
- What would I you differently?
- What 4 lessons have I learned that will stick with you for 2008?
Here's a summary of some responses taking one point from each post, but these posts are written by very smart people and oh, so good, definitely worth clicking through and reading the entire post.
Holly Ross says, Accept the fact that you will screw it up.
"We all hate to look dumb, so rather than try something we might fail at, we don't try at all. That strategy isn't going to get us anywhere. At NTEN, we'll be pursuing all this social media stuff with a little more reckless abandon in 2008. Sometimes we'll look silly, but at least we'll try."
Laura Whitehead says, Keep your eyes open to new possibilities
Social media is evolving fast. Keeping up with emerging networks and technologies and evaluating their potential is really important to me. I can use all of my other lessons above to share, participate, discuss and get involved to keep on top of new technologies.
Britt Bravo says, Information overload is real.
I LOVE being able to read, listen to and watch the kind of content I want, when I want to. I used to subscribe to everything I saw that interested me, and then try to consume it all, even if I discovered that the content wasn't that great. I didn't want to "miss" anything. Now I am much more discerning about what I subscribe to, and if I
notice I haven't read or listened to something for a while, I delete it.
(Check these tips for information overload that came flowing through the NpTech tag)
Katya Andersen says, "It’s about “social,” not “media.”
As I said in this post, while social media seems oh-so-new, what makes it hot could not be more
ancient or old-school. What’s significant about social media is how it allows us to quickly and expansively fulfill our unending human need for connection. While I myself have fallen into the trap of focusing on my organization’s need to do Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, that’s not the point—what matters whether those are places to strengthen connections with my target audience. If my target audience isn’t there, I’m not going there.
Amy Sample Ward says, "Stay optimistic"
There is truly such a thing as information (or social media) overload. It is easy to get overwhelmed and walk, or rather run, away. Do not fear! If you stay optimistic and approach your social media strategy and usage calmly (and use the POST method!), you can have the patience to filter out the noise and hear the important conversation
Sue Waters says, "The most important lesson I learnt in 2007 was that when you are struck, if you have invested the time and effort into building strong social networks, one of your networks will help you out." So, she reached out to her Twitter network and generated this awesome collaborative list of learnings.
Deborah Finn says, "It's really about your mission, it's not about your social media"
2008 is Your Year of ...
Jeff Pulver, a social media thought leader, says "Four days into the new year and I have to ask, have you made 2008 YOUR year yet?" He is, of course, asking if you've gotten started on those New Year's resolutions. Let's check in a few:
The Influence blog asks "Will 2008 be the year that "blog" and "web site" become interchangable terms?" but also reviews the top nonprofit technology trends of 2007, including are "the rise of social media" and "google,
google, everywhere." The most interesting trend that has not been covered excessively in the nptech blogosphere is the use of online visualization of policy data. These can be done through sites such as Graphwise, EditGrid, Zoho Creator, Dabble DB, and others.
Paolo Ferrara, from Italy, offers his predictions, plus challenges us to look into our crystal balls.
Eugene Chan, Community Technology Foundation, points out that the main weakness to year-long resolutions is that they only happen once a year. So, he's is blogging a new resolution each month. January's resolution is about learning from data and small bites. He intends to use his pattern analysis and creative problem solving skills to improve the organization's IT help desk. I sure hope he blogs what he learns along the way and doesn't wait until the end of the month to share what setting up this process. (And speaking of learning from data, Kami Huyse has a great list of low-cost measurement tools for measuring the ROI of pr efforts.)
Maybe your New Year's Resolution is to be a better leader, than hurry - sign up for NTEN Technology Leadership Series taught by John Kenyon. Or maybe it was to do something about that pile of e-waste or the clutter in your office, drop everything and go read "Clearing Out for Cause" and "Teaching Computers New Clicks" on the Washington Post web site. Is it the year of Twitter for your organization? Go to the next Net Tuesday. And, if you're gonna jump on the blogging bandwagon, here's some good points on what to think about before your begin a blog.
In lieu of making predictions for the new year, Jon Stahl is tagging excellent resources into the nptech tag stream. He says this "How to Run a Successful Free Software Project" is a fantastic book and points to this FireFox extension that allows you to shop at Amazon and donate a portion of the proceeds to support the participatory culture foundation (makers of miro). Jon thinks that this idea could be adapted for any nonprofit organization.
Social Web for Social Good
The Tactical Philanthropy blog is calling for a community wide discussion about what to measure in Philanthropy and why.
I receives lots of emails last week that announced, "Last Time To Donate To XYZ in 2007." What about the first opportunity to donate in 2008? January is always a tight budget month, so what about a really small contribution? Perhaps this list of "Modest Needs Top Five" might inspire?
Charifree is not the name of a new chewing gum. It is a new facebook application allows users to utilize their social network on Facebook to raise money for their favorite charity without actually having to donate any money. Despite this favorable review, my reaction is ugh .. another way to spam your friends. Where's the ladder of engagement? One wonders if application design like this does more harm than good? Am I missing something?
Robert Scoble was kicked off of Facebook for running a script that scraped his friends names, email addresses, and birthdays into his gmail account. After saying he wasn't using the friends data, Facebook reinstates his account. Stephen Downes observes "This, I think, is a pretty clear message from Facebook to the effect that it thinks it owns your data." and offers further analysis here. The debate raging is open social networks versus corporate espionage versus accepting the Facebook terms of service. Not sure how much of connection there is to FB applications like this one, but for nonprofits, access to donor contact information is essential for building ongoing relationships. Something important to think about for your social network strategy.
Beth Dunn has a thought piece about what nonprofits need to think about in reaching out to younger fundraisers.
Happy Frozen Pea Fund Friday, a weekly effort to raise money for breast cancer. (Here's the context) There's also a wiki for campaign planning and long-term goals which may include starting a nonprofit organization. So, if any of you nptechers have some advice, please share it.
New (to me) Blogs and Save the Date
ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) explores the use of information and communications technology for conflict transformation and is written by Sanjana Hattotuwa. If you are, like me, only just discovering this excellent blog, read the 2007 year in review post to catch up.
Save the Date - March 31, 2008. Women Who Tech Telesummit
The NpTech Tag started as an experimental community tagging project in 2005. A loosely coupled group of nonprofit techies and social change activists decided to use the tag "NpTech" to identify web resources that would create an ongoing stream of information to promote and educate those working in nonprofit technology. Many individuals tag hundreds of resources each week. Through TechSoup's Netsquared project, blogger Beth Kanter, was commissioned to write a weekly summary.
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