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May 2010

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Hi Beth, I found the information on your blog very intersting and helpful! I'm writing a thesis on the implementation of social networks in non-profits and I was wondering if you know (a source where I can find) an estimate how much such a project would cost. I would really appreciate your help! Thank you very much! Carolin

Holly Hight

Hi Beth, My organization has about 130 people on staff with 1 central office and 8 regional offices. The majority of staff work from our central office - 100 people. All the people who make important strategic decisions for our organization work out of the main office. When I consider our social media strategy (we don't have one), it's difficult to be on the same page with those who make decisions in the main office. I don't see those people every day and I'm not at a level of leadership within the organization to greatly impact change. I try to be proactive by sending my supervisors and director level staff resources for creating social media guidelines and encouraging them to be present on FB, etc. Our organization is very slow to adopt any change, so I'm strategizing with other staff about how to move us forward with our goals for online media. I've been asked to do a training for my department on social media - not "What is Twitter?" but a training to get the "creative juices flowing." I am still clarifying my goals for this training. I will look to your site as helpful resource in designing the training. Would you mind looking over my outline and goals once it's put together?

Donna Childress

Thanks, Beth - this is an interesting piece. I work with a nonprofit that is building online communities in which its members can share info. While the nonprofit itself is ready to make the move, the challenge is the audience. Many of the members are not familiar with social media. While they seem to understand the benefits of being able to share online and are game to try, many have difficulty understanding how to post, what listserv etiquette is, etc. We have done Webinars and some in-person trainings, prepared documents complete with screenshots, and posted how-to reminders on the listserv, with limited success.

As such, our nightmare was emailpalooza, when people got confused about how the listserv works and began replying to the entire list, generating 50 or so e-mails in a single afternoon and many angry people. There are also the folks who are too intimidated to post at all.

We have the "learn as you go" thing down pat, still trying new approaches (next trying educating people one-on-one and enlisting member champions), but it's a slow process. I'm wondering if others have experienced this and have any advice.

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