Archive for Social Media

Apr/15/13//Cynthia Silva Parker//Featured, Social Media

Four Essential Facebook Updates for Nonprofits

The following post has been reblogged from our colleagues at Nonprofit Tech 2.0.  We hope you find it as useful as we did.  Check out the complete blog post here!

Hopefully your nonprofit has grown accustomed to the fact that Facebook is a constant work in progress. That said, some recent upgrades to Facebook Pages have a big impact upon your nonprofit’s presence on Facebook and with the site-wide launch of the new News Feed and Social Graph Search coming soon, many more changes are likely to come.

Before you fall behind, make sure that your nonprofit is current with these four recent Facebook upgrades:

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Apr/24/12//Gibrán Rivera//Social Media

5 Tips for Social Media Success

The following post are 5 tips that will help in your Social Media strategy for any organization.  These are just 5 easy tips out of 10 that can be used in order to strengthen any social media platform.  We hope that you find these extremely useful. 

Why should businesses bother with social media? From Twitter and Pinterest to Facebook and Google+, the social realm can bring the human element to a product or service. A Facebook page enables a company to share behind-the-scenes photos or answer consumer questions. On Twitter, that same company can offer coupons, or get in touch with a person immediately over a complaint.

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Nov/17/11//Curtis Ogden//Social Media

8 Tools for New Possibilities

I’ve really appreciated recent conversations with my colleagues Melinda Weekes and Gibran Rivera about how the use of on-line technologies is not just about the technology, but the new possibilities that they reveal for interaction and creation in both in person and virtual spheres.  I’ve been impressed by stories about and personal experiences of some of the social media tools out there that show how they are able to help us supplement, extend, and innovate around collaboration for social impact. And I’m enjoying playing with some of these in my various client engagements.  Here are a few tools for new possibilities, and I’m eager to hear what experiences you have had with them, as well as other ones not mentioned here, that have helped you realize the greater potential of collaboration and collective intelligence.  Thanks to Matthew Dryhurst at Craigslist Foundation and the Working Wikily team for a number of these leads! Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov/11/11//Curtis Ogden//Social Media

Love and Social Media

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Jun/01/11//Curtis Ogden//Social Media

Re-Gifting the New Economy

So many new and interesting tools out there with the potential to use the virtual sphere to reconnect us person to person, and perhaps fuel the new economy. You might also want to check out this article by Bill McKibben on some neighborhood developments using technology in Burlington, VT.

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May/26/11//Curtis Ogden//Social Media

Getting Listiki With It


I am just getting familiar with this new tool that is still in beta (the creators would appreciate any feedback about it). Wondering what applications you may see to collaborative social change work. I am imagining polling people in a system for key resources, ranking the best sites to hold a convening, possibly doing something related to stakeholder identification . . . . And while you are pondering this, check out Kare Anderson’s list of collaboration related sites and books, add to it, or create your own.

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May/18/11//Curtis Ogden//Featured, Social Media

Infectious Action

I’ve really been enjoying reading The Dragonfly Effect, by husband and wife team Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker. Having just recently shared the opening powerful story about Teams Vinay and Sameer with my wife, I was delighted to see this slide show come up via Twitter (how appropriate). Take a look (don’t be intimidated by the number of slides, you can move through them very quickly). It’s also a great example of how to tell a story with PowerPoint. Curious to know what thoughts and possibilities this inspires in you.

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Feb/02/11//Curtis Ogden//Social Media

The Engagement Shift

I’ve been working with a couple of organizations and initiatives lately as they discuss enhancing their strategies for stakeholder engagement.  Throughout all of this work is the emerging awareness that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in our field with respect to what engagement means and looks like.  This, of course, has been captured by many writers and thinkers who have been looking closely at what social media is enabling (see, for example, Clay Shirky’s work, the Working Wikkily blog, or the writings of Beth Kanter and Allison Fine).  And at the same time there is a realization that this is not just about technology, but a return to some of what we’ve forgotten as well as a step towards something new. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov/19/10//Gibrán Rivera//Social Media

Web of Change – the Movie

Web of Change from Web of Change on Vimeo.

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Oct/19/10//Gibrán Rivera//Social Media

Movement is Not Hierarchical


Part Three of a Response to Malcolm’s Missive

See Part One and Part Two

I’ve said a word about my point of agreement with Gladwell, and then a word about my first point of disagreement, I will wrap up this series with my second point of contention – Gladwell’s apology for centralized hierarchy.  The popularized story of a civil rights movement “run” by a few male leaders and a few national organizations is actually offensive to the rich history of a diverse and decentralized movement that provided an ecology through which the notion of civil rights could thrive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct/18/10//Gibrán Rivera//Featured, Social Media

Tweeting Up a Revolution


Part Two of a Response to Malcolm’s Missive

See Part One

Gladwell misses the mark with two key parts of his argument.  First is his misunderstanding of how weak-ties and strong-ties play play out in social media networks.  Second is his defense of hierarchical, centralized structures, which is based on a clear (and popular) misreading of how the civil rights movement actually happened. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct/12/10//Gibrán Rivera//Social Media

Strong-Ties Weak-Ties


Part One of a Response to Malcolm’s Missive

“The revolution will not be tweeted” – No sh*t Sherlock!  But let me start with what I did like about Malcolm Gladwell’s annoyingly limited article.  Revolution can only happen in the real world, it is neither virtual nor abstract.  Revolution can only be measured as actual, successful and good when it has a real impact on increasing people’s capacity – people’s power – to determine their own destiny.  A true revolutionary act, the sort of revolutionary act that re-defines power relations, will always be a risky endeavor – power most often has to be taken, for it rarely ever surrenders itself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun/29/10//Gibrán Rivera//Social Media

Is Social Media a Responsibility?

Microsoft Word - web 2.0 logos.doc

Are you amazing?  Are you one of those people who are working to define the next phase of movement?  Are you connected to a crew of local organizers, activists, innovators, dreamers?  If you are an amazing movement builder then I want to be able to follow you on Twitter and I want to be your Facebook friend.

I find myself travelling from place to place and meeting some truly amazing people, I keep getting hip to really interesting projects and innovative approaches to the work of social change.  I’m connecting to my tribe; I’m getting to know the people who are actively redefining the way we do social change.  Here is the problem though – I can’t keep up with all of them!  And here is where I notice an important distinction.  When these people are using social media tools I can at least have a sense of what they are up to, I can get a glimpse of how their work evolves – but if they are not, then I’m left with hearsay. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec/03/09//Curtis Ogden//Social Media

Twitter and Creation

“What does Twitter do to our relationship with Creation?”  This was the final question in a wonderful conversation the other day with Liz Parsons, Co-Director of Contextual Education at the Boston University School of Theology.  Our free-ranging dialogue ended on this note as we were exploring potential win-win formats for field placements for BU students at social change agencies.  What would be in it for the agencies?  Stating my belief that many students bring with them more natural collaborative inclinations and social media savvy than “seasoned’ social change leaders, I posited this as a value proposition inherent in members of the younger generation.  Which got us firmly down the Twitter path . . .

When Liz’s provocative question popped, my mind split.  On the one hand, I could see the case being made that Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools provide an additional and unhelpful buffer between us and the world.  Too much reliance on the technology can, as essayist Bill Holm writes, “separate and deracinate us from nature and one another” removing “any sense of from-ness or connection.”  The question looms whether we need any more mediation of our experience when so much suffering seemingly stems from disconnection.  In a follow-up message, Liz mentioned that when her husband purchased a laptop, it came with an ongoing slide show of nature photos.  “As if we have to be reminded,” she wrote, taking the words out of my mouth.

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Nov/10/09//Gibrán Rivera//Social Media

Stay in Touch

We probably met at a beautiful place and had a great experience together.  I might have facilitated, and that gave me the privilege of forging a stronger point.  We connected; we recognized each other as part of this same tribe of people who are committed to ushering forth the future that is so badly wanting to emerge.  We sense a shift, and we want to be a part of it – to make room for it.

I don’t want to be exclusive, but I’m not talking about everybody who was there.  I’m talking about you, with that unusual spark in your eyes and that incredible sense of excited anticipation that shows up even if you can be a little shy.  It was a real connection, and we both want to keep it alive.

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Oct/21/09//Linda Guinee//Social Media

Scooter Reflections on Social Media #4

This morning on the way to work, I was reflecting on the incredibly successful National Equality March that happened a couple of weeks ago – and which I observed from friends’ posts online and on TV.? This was a march organized quickly with very little money. It apparently took much less money and much less time than previous marches have required thanks to the use of social media.? It was organized through social media organizing by groups like Stonewall 2.0 – using all the latest approaches to organizing – and counts were that about 200,000 people showed up, most of them young and energized and calling for equality at a Federal level, calling for Obama to make good on his promises to the LGBTQ community.

There are some great videos (friends reported that there were a HUGE number of flipcams at the march – and a look at youtube proves that to be true – as well as large numbers of slideshows put to music). So not only was the organizing done online, but the march itself went viral right away.

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Sep/29/09//Gibrán Rivera//Featured, Social Media

Web of Change

I have so much more to say than I can possibly write in one post, plus I’m just getting back so there is still so much to integrate, so much that is yet to unfold – Web of Change was AMAZING! It certainly was that retreat experience that so many of us are familiar with, the lovely high that comes up when we drop our guard together – yes, it was that, but it was also more than that. Web of Change was also a brief experiment in taking some of the best principles of life online and applying them to the offline world.

Change is of course the gathering call, the convening is meant to foster the intersection of social media and social change. We were surrounded by people who care, and who are also smart, and bold in their thinking. The fact that the convening is oriented to people using social media to make change means that they are inherently familiar with what the emergent paradigm feels like – it is decentralized, self-organized, open source, generous. I’m not saying that every single one of us can now live within this emergent paradigm, but there is an awareness of this transitional moment and an intuitive understanding of it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun/24/09//Linda Guinee//Social Media

Another Digital Divide? What’s Your Experience?

Monday, I was working with two different clients, both of whom talked about the great potential technology holds for making their work easier, helping with engaging people and moving the work forward. At the same time, there were deep concerns expressed about what may be another digital divide – that being the divide (within those who have access to technology) between those who naturally gravitate toward the use of technology (the geeks among us) and those who either find it incredibly difficult (or even incomprehensible) and/or those who don’t like technology and find it a totally inadequate substitute for face-to-face conversations. This is on top of the other digital divide – the divide between those who have access to technology and the internet and those who don’t. At the same time, due to climate change and the economic collapse, many groups we work with are cutting back (or even eliminating) travel to meetings and re-thinking how they’re working together.

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Jun/17/09//Linda Guinee//Liberation, Social Media

Scooter Reflections on Social Media Plus – the Sequel

First things first! We learned last night that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the nominations of Bonnie Jenkins as State Department Coordinator of Threat Reduction Programs (an Ambassador level position) and Eric Schwartz as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. IISC has worked closely with both Bonnie (currently at the Ford Foundation) and Eric (currently at Connect US) for a number of years and send our congratulations! Both are highly qualified and deeply connected to the community of nonprofits working on foreign policy and peace and security. Very good news. Now, onto the full Senate for confirmation!

As for reflections on social media, there’s a new Clay Shirky TED video describing the shifts based on the new forms of media – the ways that new media allows for a whole new many-to-many communication. He gives examples of the ways the Chinese government has tried to maintain control (in new ways). He also talks about the Obama campaign demonstrating a new way of operating – encouraging and allowing for participation on its website even when the views and organizing were going against Obama’s position. Take a look:

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May/13/09//Linda Guinee//Social Media

Brave New Borderlines

My brother Dave sent me a link to this TED video today – Seth Grodin talking about how the internet has ended the culture of mass marketing and shifted things so that we’re able to find those who are like us (or interested in the same things we are), engage them and start movements to create real change. Pretty amazing stuff! You’ll hear him talk about the challenge to ALL of us to lead – and grow into leadership.

I love this – love his challenge to all of us to start a movement within the next 24 hours! AND this raises some questions for me.? How do we make sure our movements are not just people like us? How do we ensure that we continue to engage across differences, meet at the border lines? Where does social justice come into this? How do we, at the same time, move into and take on this new way of organizing while continuing to push ourselves at all times, challenge our own thinking, continue to grow into liberation?

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Apr/29/09//IISC//Social Media

A Blog for the Blog-less

I find this video fascinating. My girlfriend showed it to me a few months back as she presented on theology and social media for her graduate program. Aside from the breadth of topics that bloggers can post on, this video gives us an insight on how vital technology, and specifically the Internet, is becoming to our everyday lives.

There is no denying that blogs allow individuals to have a voice. If that voice is read and responded to, communities are created, not limited by physical space. These virtual, content-oriented communities are especially strong in arenas such as Twitter. Twitter is a dynamic and responsive interface for conversation. Blogs have the same ability, though the conversation is not necessarily as seamless as it can be on Twitter. Regardless, the powers of shared thought, understanding and education are alive in these worlds and there exists a great potential to create real action, and even social change.

What I often question is how this will all play out over time, because though blogs are a tool which are not limited by physical space, access to their creation and use is limited. Blogs, and social media overall, are limited by the resources one has at their fingertips (pun somewhat intended), be it a computer, Internet access, electricity or even literacy.

History shows us those with technology often grow at an exponentially greater rate than those without it. So how do we most effectively create sustainable social change with the aid of social media, without further separating ourselves from the majority of the world (which doesn’t have constant access to a computer)?

Hugh Jackman, Australian dreamboat and actor, recently said he wanted to donate $100,000 to charity and asked his Twitter followers who he should donate to. After thousands of suggestions, Jackman said he would donate $50,000 to two different charities, Operation of Hope and Charity:Water. Both are incredible organizations. Most inspiring though is that this a success story on the power social media has to aid in social change. (Credit where it is due, my knowledge of Jackman’s charity donation is again the result of my girlfriend.)

Today we can communicate in ways rarely dreamed of five years ago. To have a voice, to contribute to conversation, to act, are all invaluable to the promotion of justice in our world. From Iran to Twitter, our need to bridge the gaps has never been more pressing, and our potential to create sustainable social change has never been so great.

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Apr/16/09//Linda Guinee//Social Media

Scooter Reflections on Social Media Tools


Riding into IISC this morning by scooter, I was reflecting on some things that have happened in the last week as a way of getting ready for a conversation I;ll be in this afternoon about how to bring more social media tools into our consulting practice. As we are working globally with groups (among which is a beginning field of Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace) and are attending to our carbon footprint, we’re looking at ways to deepen our practice in this regard.

A few things came to mind. I was reflecting on a number of important things I’ve seen happen for advocates over the past week on Twitter. The Moldovan “twitter revolution” that came about because six friends were drinking coffee, discussing how upset they were about what they saw as election fraud and decided to try to start a flash mob, gathering their friends to protest. They were expecting a few hundred to come but by the time they got to the square, 20,000 people were waiting – and the votes had to be recounted. (Click here for an article about this.)

Or the Egyptian blogger, journalist and human rights activist Wael Abbas, who was arrested over the weekend and tweeted constantly everything that happened to him. This was passed around on twitter so that he ended up with hundreds more people following him by the end of the day – and was released. As Ervin Staub talks about in The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults and Groups Help and Harm Others, this was a powerful demonstration of the importance of bystanders actively witnessing atrocities and making it known that they are – in this case, in a virtual space.

And then there was the Twitter and Facebook firestorm that happened over the weekend about Amazon’s “de-ranking” books with gay and lesbian content. Within a few hours, the story was the top story on twitter and (from my small section of Facebook) was also one of the most frequent things being written about on Facebook. People were quickly signing petitions, passing along information about how to write to and starting a boycott until they changed the policy. Within about 24 hours, came out with an apology and has promised to fix it. (Click here for an article about this.)

While I personally am waiting until the books are all ranked again before I’ll shop from Amazon, it’s clear to me what a difference social media tools can make. They’re fabulous for spreading news quickly and for organizing a response.

And what about how to work together virtually – beyond quick responses to situations? What are the tools for that? I’ve been thinking a lot about this – more to come!

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