Randi Zuckerberg at Facebook invited me and Stephanie McAuliffe from the Packard Foundation to lunch at Facebook today in their new offices in Palo Alto, a former Hewlett-Packard Building. As Randi explained, since it was Friday it was corporate dress up day and the cafeteria's menu was comfort food. So, lunch was delicious spoof on fast foods - including a double-cheese burger dubbed "The Big Mark." All the ingredients were sourced from local farmers and no disposable utensils or plates as the "chef culinary overload" explained. We had lunch in the cafeteria that was bursting with energy, perhaps because of the "Facebook Poke"option on the latte machine (a shot of expresso). We then moved upstairs to the roof top lunch deck where I asked Randi some questions that I crowd sourced from people via my Facebook Fan Page and took some photos.
I've been using my Facebook Fan Page as a focus group to generate ideas for content about using Facebook effectively for nonprofits. A few days ago, I posted a request for questions to ask Randi and she graciously answered:
1. Is there a statistical reference for total money raised in Facebook Causes? Is there an entity that publishes statistics on all money raised on Facebook? (Donald Peterson)
That's a great idea and something perhaps Causes might do. They recently announced they have raised $10 million over the past two years.
2. Will there be improvements in Facebook functionality/design of groups and communities so they can find one another - what I call "distributed social good."? (Eddie Harran)
The big barrier right now is privacy issues, but our product team is hard at work on improvements. I can't say thing more because of NDA, but keep an eye out for improvements in the next 6 months.
3. What is Facebook's burn rate? (Allan Benamer)
I am not sure what a burn rate is - if you can define, I'd be happy to see if I can share the information.
4. When can I create a FB event from a remote system? (James Young)
If you mean mobile phone by "remote system" - there are different apps that let you do that. Each phone app - blackberry,
, etc - does its own thing. We don't have control over them. So, some allow creating events, but others don't
5. Can you comment on the value of using Facebook for community building, social networking, and true peope-to-people giving? Also can you mention the book. (Ted Hart)
I think that Facebook less about dollar raising than friend raising. In April, 2009, we celebrated reaching 200 million users and we designated 16 nonprofits to receive the proceeds from virtual gifts. The organizations said that the most valuable part for them was that it helped increased the number of Fans who joined their pages. Thanks for mentioning the upcoming book!
6. Is Facebook going help how nonprofits use Facebook to further their success? Have they documented good nonprofit success stories? (Kyle Reiss)
That's a great idea. Right now I've started the Nonprofits on Facebook Fan Page where we post case studies and useful articles.
7. When will they launch a program like Google Grants for nonprofits where theyd onate advertising? (Dennis Yu)?
We are headed in that direction and in the early early stages, but we want to make sure that whatever we do to do support nonprofits has impact and it is strategic.
8. I'd like to know what kind of research they have done on brand identification of Nonprofit Facebook pages and of Facebook power users/influencers?
It's hard to do research like that because there are so many different causes/organizations using Facebook. And each one has its unique influencers. The best thing you can do is do research/listening as you implement your Facebook presence.
9. I wonder about how much Facebook really knows about us? Well, not so much for individuals, but for social movements involved in sensitive subjects?
Privacy is the most serious issue here at Facebook. For example, employees do not have access to users personal information and if privacy is abused the employee is immediately fired. If we don't have the trust of our users, we don't have anything.
10. Will Facebook add a "dislike" button? What happens if someone shares bad news? I can't "like it" (Will Coley)
Write a comment and say you're sorry!
11. Will Facebook create a featurer where you can pass along someone else's status like retweet on Twitter?
I started a movement myself to do this and Mashable wrote about it.
There many, many more questions than I had time to ask and Randi had time to answer. A lot these questions were about feature requests. Randi suggests submitting your feature requests to the developer's forum. They read and respond and you can find out when it might be implemented.
In May, I had a chance to listen to a webinar by Randi sponsored by NTEN and shared some notes on tips and best practices for setting up a Facebook Fan Page. Recently, Frank Barry shared a guest post on this blog called "4 Tips for Facebook Fan Pages." And, just yesterday Smart Blogs wrote about the success of the Lupus Foundation on Facebook and Heather Mansfield wrote an awesome post "10 Insights Gained From Spending 7280 Hours on Social Networking Sites.
I'm always looking for great stories about how nonprofits are using Facebook that I can share on this blog. Have one? The best way for me to hear about them is to join Facebook Fan Page Focus Gruop and post it there.