Skip, David's dog
I'm doing a series of blog about lessons learned from nonprofits in adopting social media projects as the Cute Dog Theory. (If you want to do an interview and have a dog, feel free to add your dog to the NpTech Dog Group) David J. Neff is the Director of Web, Film and Interactive Strategy for the American Cancer Society. He has been with the American Cancer Society for seven years since he graduated from college. He agreed to do an interview with his organization's socal media project, SharingHope.tv.
1. Tell me about the project - give me your elevator speech re: project.
SharingHope.TV is the place for people to share their stories around cancer. Whether you
are a survivor, pre-vivors, a caregiver or just someone with a story to tell SharingHope.TV
is the place to share that story in Video, Audio, Artwork or Photos.
2. What were the objectives?
We wanted to give people a good enviroment to share their stories of hope in anyway they wanted. From video to audio to photos. YouTube has like 7 hours of video uploaded every 3 minutes. A firehose of information. We want to be the gardenhose of information. YouTube has tons of trolls and comment spam. We want a friendly enviroment where people can share and learn. I believe our community does just that.
3. How did the project unfold?
We said if we are going to do this let's make it happen. In the American Cancer Society we have a group called the Futuring and Innovations Center. Think of them as Venture Capatlists for non-profits. They liked the idea and funded it within two weeks of me submitting the idea. The within 6 monhts we have a fully functional "Beta" Web Site up adn running. We are doing Beta for 6 months then Gamma then BAM we take the labels off and start advertising.
4. Define how you overcame challenges.
Our biggest challenge was explaining to decision-makers why didn't use an existing platform like YouTube or Flickr or Facebook. We felt that there was not one single platform that caters to the millions of people who care about cancer and want to share their stories. Now hopefully they have that platform. Our main challenge right now? How do we tell people about it? How do I get people to test it and break it and make suggestions. I'm reaching out to bloggers.
5. Let's talk about numbers. How much did it cost? What were the results? How are you measuring them? .
Well the costs are I have to do this all for under $25,000. That's the grant money I have. Right now with hosting and staff time it's costing me about 2,000 a month. The programming was around $4,000. The days of million dollar web sites are dead. Open source and local talent. It's all about that.
We are learning to not give a crap about page view and hits. What I want at the end of the day is number of registered users and number of conversations. What are people commenting on? What discussions are they
6. What advice would you give to other nonprofits?
Video is the future! Imagine a world where your customer tells you what they want ......and you actually listen. It's what we are doing right now.