I was lucky enough to meet Ivan Boothe at the first (or maybe second) Netsquared Conference back in 2005 and have been following his work for years. Ivan Boothe helped start the Genocide Intervention Network in 2004, and was responsible for communications, web development and social networking strategy. He has since started doing freelance work on his own at rootwork.org. So he cautioned me that some of the information might not be entirely up to date that he shared on listserv including a pointer to his awesome slide show with audio.
Ivan is one of a small number of nonprofit early adopters in social media and social networks - he has a couple of years of experience under his belt - so his wisdom is priceless.
He describes how the Genocide Intervention Network uses social networking and in this description you'll find a great example of the first step in social media, listening, if you venture onto social networks.
Ivan says their organization's social networking initiatives have been successful in building the "brand" of an anti-genocide constituency. Ivan notes, "Social networking is a long-term approach and using traditional metrics of advocacy or fundraising it may not look like much. But over a long period of time social networking is actually critical in building an effective, educated political constituency."
The senior management of the organization was very supportive of their social networking efforts. And as Ivan notes, "They were often looking for creative ways to integrate social networking approaches into existing campaigns." Although he doesn't say, I suspect this happened through ongoing discussions and developing small proof of concept experiments and reiterating and reflecting on successes and not so successful efforts.
What I think is really key as Ivan points out is the lack of a generational divide in getting buy-in from the organization's leadership. The Genocide Intervention Network is an organization founded and driven by younger people.
So, what is the right fit to use a social networking strategy? Ivan suggests:
Social networking is a natural fit for an organization that wants more than an ATM of donors or a list of petition-signers, but active and engaged political organizers.
I'm so glad that Ivan is adding his presentation and wisdom to the WeAreMedia wiki! Thanks Ivan.