Last month marked three months since I started at nonprofit Back on My Feet and launched a concerted effort to share more member stories and help develop a better, broader online relationship with our volunteers, members and supporters.
The first step in that process was to reawaken our social media accounts — the best platforms to create Web communities and ones buttressed by an organizational blog that I hope to more formally announce soon. Because our organization is all about accountability, we wanted to see how we’ve done.
I thought some lessons or benchmarks might be able to be garnered for others interested in social media use by nonprofits or other organizations, so I’ll share our progress below.
In the past six years, those brand-name behemoths of an industry that didn’t exist at this decade’s beginning have reached every corner of the developed world. When something, when anything reaches that level of prevalence, there’s going to be some backlash.
So, yes, a medium devoted to regular updates and structured around Web-based interactions is derided for self-reflectiveness and impersonality. But, of course, there is value to be gained, too.
Nearly two years ago, it was apparent to me that, with the explosion of Web communities, it was necessary to be everywhere online.
Lame? Yes, maybe, but your byline is your brand and all of that goodness. That’s still true, but can we agree there still room for consolidation in our Web presences?
By a rough count — and I mean rough because I got bored quickly — I think I have worked up more than 60 profiles or pages or public accounts or what have you. That’s absurd.
As Web communities mature, so too will our ability to discern what has value for us and our interests, and the list of these stupid profiles will become more and more ridiculous. OK, we already know what’s good and what’s not, but the something must shift.
Just what will that maturation or consolidation look like do you think?
And only because I wouldn’t want my idle research to go to the wayside, below, I plunk down all those online presences I counted.
Updated: July 2, 2009 @ 11:43 p.m. with another app. Updated again: Sept. 16, 2009 @ 10:12 p.m.
The world doesn’t need another Twitter post. But, with the surging number of third-party Twitter applications and posts and stories surrounding the buzz service of the moment, I find it’s easy to get lost.
Admittedly, I’ve done my fair share of Twitter coverage here, as with social networks generally, but I wouldn’t take the title of social media guru if it was gifted me. I just thought it was worth sharing the few services I do find helpful, particularly for those using the tool to grow a Web product.
We thought bringing together two niches — the geography of Philadelphia and the industry of technology and innovation — and diversifying revenue streams — going beyond advertising — was a new enough model that it might catch the eye of a judge or two.
We walked into a meaningful business, social and startup community in a major metro region’s creative economies and began reporting, relying on our interests in social media, community reporting and professional and ethical journalism.
We recently introduced advertising — a small first step in monetization –and feel that a grant for $10,000 could afford the three of us an opportunity to work full time for perhaps as much two months or more. Considering how pleased we are with our traffic growth and the response from the community, we’re thrilled by even the chance at the opportunity to give full time to a project none of us have been able to offer even part time thus far.
Unfortunately and entirely unsurprisingly, there is some stiff competition from the nearly 100 submissions that were entered. Below I share some of the more interesting submissions I saw and my thoughts on our viability.
Google that. Digg that – though not Digg me. Facebook me; the confluence of Twitter and tweet and twittering. You don’t LinkedIn someone, which might relate to how Facebook could crush its professional conterpart if it would only offer a more restricitve and private version of a person’s Facebook profile for colleages.
Mostly, news stories on Twitter include a nut graf that looks something like the following passage from a recent piece in the New York Times near-obsessive coverage on the social medium:
In its short history, Twitter — a microblogging tool that uses 140 characters in bursts of text — has become an important marketing tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, promising a level of intimacy never before approached online, as well as giving the public the ability to speak directly to people and institutions once comfortably on a pedestal [Source].
Rightly so, considering Twitter just turned three, hardly a new phenomenon. But all these folks joining the game, following that common nut graf, I think, are missing the point, particularly journalists.