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« Social Media in the Nonprofit Workplace: Does Your Organization Need A Social Media Policy? | Main | If a Tree Tweets In the Forrest of Twitter, and No One Sees It, Does It Exist? »


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I think we have a bunch of tire and a bunch of tower but not quite yet the hub and spoke. I'm optimistic we'll get there eventually.


Beth asked me after the last comment:
what's required to get you to the hub and spoke? Why do you think you're the tower/tire? what works what doesn't ? B

I think what's required for us is education. We still have lots of people who have no idea that one or the other is happening. We need a way to tell everyone involved in the Red Cross that we have these engagement points online and encourage them to use them. In a move toward that goal, we're posting to our intranet a comprehensive explanation of our philosophy and instructions for how to get involved.

Will Hull - eCommunciations/eDevelopment Specialist at United Cerebral Palsy

I tend to think that we are a mix of tire and hub and spoke models. Because we are, as is typical with a nonprofit, immersed in our worlds, moving a hundred miles per hour, we often don't have the time for the communication necessary to fill each other in at all times. At others, we stategically implement a message that is consistent and reflective of a campaign.

Jeff Jackson

I use to work for what might be the largest non-profit in the US - healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente. I left three years ago, but am still a healthcare member. The organization, like many, is very complex with 400 medical facilities around the US, 120,000 employees, and has what is called the most far-reaching labor-management partnership with 8 international unions and more than 35 locals. I'm not sure of whether Kaiser employs externally focused social media for any purpose, but the members website is pretty broad in what it offers such as on-line communications with your MD, on-line prescription refills, on-line advice nurses and on-line connections to various member and non-member topic-specific professional and/or peer support groups (ie for skin cancer, etc.). I just had to diagnose an issue with my doctor while I was in Mexico and he was in the US. I share this example as one that we might want to learn from because there is a compelling value-added (one's health) that has members and non-members connecting formally and informally around immediate life-saving issues. I'm somewhat removed now so it would take time and energy to find the right contact person, but it just has me thinking as we explore the use of social media for social change, it might be good to look at those who are dealing with immediate and personal life/death issues to see whether they organize differently than those that are working on longer-term change. I believe something like 50% of Kaiser's 8 million members use some form of the on-line services and I've heard the adoption of the new technologies was quick.

When it comes to the three organizational models provided above, I would see the Kaiser model(s) as perhaps a hybrid where there is some stuff that is good for member/member dialogue (with little if any editing) and some stuff that I would much rather have a healthcare expert at the center (like my doctor) to inform my health care choices. More questions than answers here.


Great post and off I go to share it...

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