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Steve Bridger

1. I would encourage organizations to adopt JOINT BUDGETING to bust some silos and instill a sense of OWNERSHIP of participatory media.

2. While many of the tools are low-cost, organizations should RESOURCE FOR PARTICIPATION. Consider whether your organization and that person who writes content for the website that is hardly ever read may be better served doing something different, e.g. ‘growing’ them into a community manager-type role. Don’t forget that volunteer activists or community ‘champions’ may welcome free passes to your annual conference. Budget for that. In my experience, we’re still poor at distributing trust and assigning individuals within departments to take ownership for implementing and monitoring engagement strategies.

3. LEAVE SOME SLACK in the budget for opportunistic and innovatory tactics, which we cannot yet foresee. You may need to allocate a total budget, but argue against having to break all of it down to specific activity. No point planning to spend money on Facebook, or whatever, when in 6 months time, people have moved to something else.

4. Allocate some resources for TRAINING / PERSONAL DIGITAL COACHING to embed experience across the organization. Don’t keep the expertise within the web team; they may leave and take their knowledge with them.

Tiffany Sellers

This post specifically answered a question I was asking myself just earlier today! I'm about to be involved with redefining the communication strategies (blogs, email, etc.) for a nonprofit org. They currently blog for and email members, but I felt that they weren't reaching an audience beyond those who have already bought in. Using social media for outreach seems the obvious next step, but I wasn't sure how to re-prioritize the time spent in online efforts. So:

"If you incorporate social media, what are you letting go of or cutting back on? Why?"

I think incorporating a social media aspect might mean splitting the time that would've been given to the blog, website, and member emails in half, since ultimately those things are all ways of reaching the same group of people. I'd utilize the rest of my web time using social media to engage new members.

Dominique Hind

There is a lot of work that can be done by utilising your networks and associates. I have recently done an analysis of my own blog looking at what worked and what hasn't. One of the biggest drivers of traffic to my blog was via social networks (using my blog URL in my profile and updating my status). This is something that non-for profits can use as well. The only cost is time. For other insights into what works with driving traffic have a read of this post: http://dominiquehind.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/whats-working-on-my-blog-stats-update/

I would be really interested to hear your feedback.

Beth Kanter

Dominique:

I recently did a ROI analysis on my blog
http://tinyurl.com/6qk7w2

Traffic isn't the only benefit - and the investment is time.

Laura Quinn

Okay, I'm a little late to this party, but... thanks for your shout out to our presentation.

Yes, I'm honestly a little troubled by this slide myself. It's a really useful structure in trying to cover all of Online Communications in an hour and half (not easy!), but it does imply that email is the only way to communicate with your friends online. I think that email is an incredibly effective method for this, and much more proven than other methods, but clearly other things - blogs, RSS feeds, social networking sites, etc, etc - also can help.

And we're more feeling around for a ratio than actually saying that 1/3rd to each of these areas is it. Though do note that when we say 1/3rd to Outreach, that's not synonymous with social media - we include things like search engine optimization and creating buzz-worthy website resources in there.

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