Yesterday, I had an opportunity to be interviewed as part of a series of online interviews with nonprofit social media gurus about how to use social media. The month long event was hosted by the Case Foundation and called "Gear Up for Giving." The other gurus included respected colleagues and friends Holly Ross, Marnie Webb, Allison Fine, Katya Andresen, and Geoff Livingston. (Sarah Koch from Causes will be the last session on Thursday)
I'd like to dissect the format and share a bit of the content. I think this format could be easily be used by many nonprofits, even those who share policy research. There were some terrific questions asked, and while I took a stab at the answers, hoping sharing the questions might inspire a few guest blog posts.
The sessions used an hour long talk show format with Case Foundation's Kari Dunn Saratovsky as the host. The tool was a live streaming platform called Ustream.tv that lets anyone with an inexpensive web camera and internet connection to broadcast to the world. Ustream provides a live streaming video window, an archive of the video, the ability for the audience to log into the chat room and ask questions and a social stream.
Live streamed talk shows have been used quite artfully by social media experts over the years. Chris Pirillo comes to mind. I remember my colleague, Jonny Goldstein, launched his show in the fall of 2007 and gave a terrific talk about live streaming technology and web talk shows at Podcamp Boston in 2007.
Engaging the audience is a very important to the success of this genre. This requires giving your audience plenty of opportunities to ask questions prior to and during the event. For this series, there was a guest post on the blog and a request for people to ask questions via Twitter, Facebook, or email.
Kari came to my house a half hour before the interview went live. She booted up her laptop, plugged into my Internet connection, and set up her Webcam. She has a list of questions that had already come in via email and started with those questions. During the hour, she asked questions, I answered. A simple conversation, except that we a couple of hundred of other people were following along in the chat room, Twitter, and Facebook. As new questions came in through the Ustream chatroom, Kari would select them as follow up questions.
While Kari was sitting next to me in my home office, her colleagues Kristin Ivie and Sokunthea Sa Chhabra were in the chat room engaging with the audience, watching the "social stream" (comments from Twitter and the chat) and forwarding questions to Kari to ask live via AIM. After the interview an archived copy of the video was uploaded into Youtube and an after the interview blog post.
Ustream also has a feature that lets you put a marker in the video and tweet that section of the interview. (You'll see those below and the Case Foundation Twitter account is tweeting these tidbits today)
I was a little nervous that an hour-long talking head interview might be boring. I brought a couple of props to make it fun and more interactive, including my finger puppets. I used them to answer some of the questions and to make a few points.
And the Winners Are
The Case Foundation was also raffling off a Flip Camera and $250 donation to a nonprofit. I decided to give away copies of Chris Brogan and Julien Smith's Trust Agents, Shel Israel's Twitterville, and Nancy Smith, John Smith, and Etienne Wenger's Digital Habitats. We asked folks to leave a comment on the blog post sharing why they wanted the book. (I'm going to ask for follow up case studies ....)
Some Highlights from the Interview
The first question that Kari was terrific. What 3-5 questions should organization's be asking as they venture into social media? I actually got a chance to respond in the comments of the blog right before the interview:
- Is your organization ready to be a learning organization? That is value "mistakes" as opportunities to learn and improve what you're doing?
- Does your leadership understand the potential value and is willing to invest in low risk experimentation?
- Can you articulate a clear set of "starter goals" that might incorporate learning?
- Can you shape and identify a beginner starter project (s) that doesn't take too much time?
- Are you ready to engage and build relationships with your stakeholders?
Here's a list of the questions that were asked and link to the spot in the video where I answer it. If you have follow up questions or want to share your answers to these questions. Leave me a comment! Better yet, if you'd like to write a guest post answering the question, leave a comment too.
- How do you balance cross generational voices within your organization, and who should own the soc media?
- What should orgs ask themselves before diving into soc media?
- We dove into social media without listening, how do we regroup?
- Does reverse mentoring actually work?
- Should we invite our entire mailing list to follow us on Twitter?
- How do we tie all our varying soc media outlets together?
- If people aren’t participating in the discussion on your org, are you not reaching your audience?
- Should nonprofits ask facebook users to join causes, join fan pages or both?
- Where can I find demographic data on different soc media venues?
- Why are nonprofits always playing catch up with soc media?
- Should we track our Twitter followers and Facebook friends to gather info for fundraising?
- Should soc media always drive people back to your website?
- What applications should you use for tracking links?
- How do we measure the effectiveness of our soc media efforts?
- How important is it for nonprofits to monitor their brand?
- How important is it to have policies and guidelines within your org for soc media?
- How should I manage the expectations of my company execs when it comes to soc media
- What are some suggestions for online fundraising strategies?
- How do you balance the time needed for approval with the need to answer your community in real time
- What is the future for social media in the nonprofit world?