The NpTech Tag Summary went on hiatus to give some space to rethink, reinvent. It came back last month in a new format and aggregation process. Conversations are getting more distributed and it is getting increasingly difficult to use tagging to discover, aggregate, and summarize them. I'm moving beyond monitoring the NpTech tagged items and meta feeds to incorporate nuggets from micro media sources, nptech bloggers, friend feeds, and networks.
The summaries will be briefer, focused on a social media theme or a social media question related to practice. I will also take a look back to put new trends in context. So it's a mixture of current trends and some reflection. Inspiration may come from outside our silo and together we'll remix it ...
At Graphing Social Patterns, I asked a panel of Facebook App Developers if they know of any Apps for good? There was silence. So, been looking around for some examples for a couple weeks now. So this week's summary focuses on Facebook apps.
A roundup of some Facebook apps for good and getting things done.
As many nonprofits are aware, Causes is the most installed fundraising application on Facebook, although there have been a few exceptions, the dollar amounts have been less than fabulous (see Nonprofit Tech Blog and Frog Loop Blog).
Soon after Facebook opened its platform in March, 2007 and Causes attracted attention, several more fundraising apps were launched in June, 2007. In December, 2007, we started to hear about Convio's Facebook app, designed to easily integrate Facebook into their Convio-powered campaigns, content and list registration forms, also launched. Are there any case studies or experiments using these other apps?
We started to see the beginning (and end?) of virtual philanthropy, virtual gifts of small dollar amounts. This fit into the virtual gift giving culture of Facebook. Hey, if you were willing to send your friend a set of virtual fuzzy dice, why not a virtual breast cancer ribbon? In February 2007, Facebook began testing virtual gifts. One of the results was a Facebook Group called "I will not pay $1 for virtual gifts." A few months later, Changing the Present launched a Facebook that allows users to give the gifts of $1 to a nonprofit. While virtual gift giving probably did not yield big dollar amounts (correct me if I am wrong), where there other benefits or useful outcomes?
Over the past six months, I've been seeing more Facebook apps that attempt to generate income for nonprofits from other means that having users reach into their own wallets. We're seeing advertising revenues and "sponsored clicks" like the FreeRice game.
Click for a Day for Breast Cancer is Facebook version of the click to help fund free mammograms for women in need web site. Like the web site, when you click on the button the site sponsors provide funding to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help clinics provide free mammograms to inner-city, low-income, and minority women whose awareness about breast cancer is often limited. There are currently 3,336 daily active users
There are also several other Facebook versions of the "click to support" web sites such as the Click a Day for Hunger and Click a Day for Animal Rescue. How much money has been raised? What is the value? Would love to read a case study.
Putting this model on steroids is Social Apps from Dank Apps that uses an advertising revenue model based on installs, clicks, and user engagement with Facebook games to generate money for a charity. The earnings are being put directly into a Facebook Cause so this has the benefits of reporting back to users in a way that makes it accountable. It just launched last week, so we're in wait and see mode.
The linking of advertising revenue generated application with Facebook Causes as a way to report on earnings is an interesting strategy being used by The Nature Conservancy’s Cause. It is now growing stably at around 1,000 people per week according to an interview with Jonathan Colman. Jonathan says that the secret to their success is to reach out to folks developing applications like (Lil) Green Patch and I Am Green, who are already donating a portion of their ad revenue to the Conservancy.
This collaboration between app developers and nonprofits is something to watch as Jonathon Colman observes in a recent interview. "We’ve asked these application developers to make that donation of earnings directly to our Cause on Facebook – this has the benefit of allowing them to report back to their users in a way that makes them highly accountable. Why? Because those visitors can go straight to the Conservancy’s Cause and see the donation for themselves without ever leaving Facebook. And while they’re there, a lot of these visitors are deciding to join up and donate. So the developers are happy because they have proven legitimacy and we’re happy because we’ve gained all of these application users as an engaged audience."
So, maybe direct donation approach alone isn't the best outcome or use for Facebook Apps. Combing with advertising revenue and collaborating with app developers may be strategy. What are the other values and are there apps that can be used successfully to deliver that value? Are there Facebook apps that can educate, engage, or raise awareness about a charity or cause?
The League of Young Voters launched a Facebook App to hold a primary on Facebook to engage young voters in the lead up to the primary. They announced the results of their Facebook primary. I would also like to see the results of this experiment. They lay outcomes, but how did they measure the value of this Facebook app?
Freecause developed the pink ribbon facebook application for the Susan G. Komen for Cure. The application was created to both reach existing constituents and
rapidly acquire new constituents and when users add the Pink Ribbon
application they are adding Susan G. Komen for Cure’s brand and
expressing affinity for the organization directly.
It Takes All Types is a tool box that includes Facebook applications to allow people to sign up as blood donors and receive alerts by phone, text, e-mail, Facebook, fax, whenever blood is needed in their local area. It received quite a bit of media attention when it launched a couple weeks of ago. I hope they document and share a case study on the results.
The Facebook Events is an application that lets you tell friends know about interesting events coming up in your community and to organize social gatherings. Certainly this could be used to promote fundraising and other nonprofit related events. Anyone have a case study about how they used it and if and how it added value to marketing a nonprofit event?
A roundup of some Facebook apps that might actually helped you GTD ...
WebWorker Daily has a post called "12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally" that offers some great advice for thinking about the value of installing particular Facebook apps. Think of your apps in two ways…what do you want to see (that will appear on your Facebook home page) and what do I want the world to see (that will appear on your profile)?
Read/Write Web has a list of favorite apps for Getting Things Done.
From Nick O'Neill at All Facebook, Facebook has added a new feature that enables you to block specific friends from sending you application invites. Another efficient way to do this to use "ignoreall"
Chris Brogan has an excellent post and screenshot of the Facebook Apps that he finds most useful.
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. Through TechSoup's Netsquared project, blogger Beth Kanter, was commissioned to write a weekly summary.
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