News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Social Media Has Feelings Too

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 8:59am

Flickr Photo: Capt KodakIt's not about the technology, it's about the people.

You are not marketing, you are building community.

In case you need to remind yourself, or others, of these principles, check out Twistori. It's a perfect example of what social media is all about: people. It exposes the humanity that makes social media so powerful -- our love, our hate, our thoughts, our beliefs.

The next time you're thinking about how to get your message out in social media, visit Twistori. Then think about how you can help inspire, motivate, and excite the people in your community instead.

Ask the Expert Chris Brogan Edition: A Members Only Event

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 1:15pm

Chris BroganAre you an NTEN member? Then you're in luck! Chris Brogan, social media expert, is going to be kind enough to share an hour with us next week for an Ask the Expert session.

Okay, so Chris prefers to say he's not an expert, but that he advises people on social media use. That doesn't change the fact that he's smart and savvy on the social media front. One of his specialties? Starting and maintaining conversations with stakeholders.

If your organization is trying to figure out how to move your stakeholders from passive listeners to passionate participants, this is your golden opportunity. NTEN Members get exclusive access to ask questions and hear them answered, for free!

Join us on Monday, May 5 at 11am Pacific for this phone call and live chat. The event is free for NTEN members, so sign up today.

The Long Tail of Trust

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:32am

Let's see how many social media metaphors I can cram into one post, shall we? :)

Jeremiah Owyang has a piece today about trust. I don't know if you've felt this lately, but I certainly have: we're head over heels for trust in the sector these days. I wrote a bit about it back in November. Katya Andresen and Mark Rovner think it's one of the seven things everyone wants. Search for "trust" on Beth's Blog and you'll come up with myriad posts. Search for trust on the NTEN website and you'll get dozens of job listings where "building trust" is in the job description.

But back to Jeremiah's post. Want to guess what the number one source of trusted information is for most Americans?

Are You Measuring Success?

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 9:16am

Flickr Photo: NCBrianChris Brogan is one of my social media heroes. I really respect his approach to the power of these tools and how we should use them.  (And you can learn more from him at our Ask the Expert session on May 5th -- free for NTEN Members!)

Chris has a great post today about Online Community Management in which he shares how he would measure a community manager's performance:

Affinity Group News: Calculate Your Computer's Carbon Footprint, New Drupal Group, and Austin 501 Tech Club on Facebook

Submitted by Anna on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 3:48pm

Earth Day spurred some conversation on NTEN Discuss about how to figure out carbon emissions for every watt a computer uses per hour. Dean Matsueda wrote that he had seen and used carbon-footprint calculators online to gauge household, car, and air travel C02 emissions but would like to drill down to more specifics, like computer use.

Walt Daniels gave this response:

Carbon footprint is a simple multiply if you have the watts/hr and number of hours. watts/hr is what is hard to come by for most computer setups unless you have a meter on it because the usage depends on too many things,like duty cycle and how you have the power savings features on your computer set.

Gavin Clabaugh lets us know that to do it right, you need to meter the machine. He uses a Kill-A-Watt (a simple one costs about $20).

And Dave Shaw, H4 Consulting, added:

The Bridge is Back: The 2008 Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:54pm

2008 Bridge ConferenceThose of you in Fundraising know it's all about communicating your mission and building relationships.

Those of you in Communications share the goal of growing your constituencies while increasing support for your cause.

Wouldn't you love to get together and share tips, strategies, resources, and contacts?

You got it! Brought to you by AFP and DMAW, the 2008 Bridge Conference will have over 75 sessions, more than a thousand of your colleagues, inspiring keynote speakers, plenty of networking opportunities, and the "very best of insider tips and trade secrets."

But wait, there's more! If you're an NTEN member, you have the golden ticket. NTEN Members can register for the conference at the low member rates -- and if you register before June 1st, you get to go for the best rate available!

Get in touch with me to get your golden-ticket registration details.

What's that? You're not a member of NTEN yet? Take advantage of this and other benefits of membership by joining NTEN today!

Citizen Media Legal Guide -- Know Your Rights

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:33pm

Flickr Photo: ourlady ofdisgraceDoes your organization blog? Do you encourage folks to post pictures online? Perhaps you have a video podcast?

If your organization uses social media tools, you want to bookmark the Berkman Center's new Citizen Media Legal Guide. It's not completely built out yet -- I couldn't find any information about Libel and Blogs for example. But the resources that ARE live are great. Here are just a few resources that address some of the questions I hear all the time:

I am especially looking forward to the forthcoming "Special Content" section which will cover enticing topics like "Employee Blogs." Did that sound sarcastic? I really mean it. I'm excited to see some really practical guidelines to which we can point the sector.

Personal Tech Solutions: Getting & Staying Organized with Social Media

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 11:42am

Flickr Photo: not waltonSince I became Executive Director of NTEN last November, the number of things I've needed to stay on top of has exploded. On any given day, I need to be an expert in:

  • Social Media tools and strategies
  • DNS settings
  • Nonprofit and Board Governance
  • How innovative nonprofits are using technology
  • The state of municipal wireless
  • Email open rates
  • Human resources laws
  • Anything and everything NTEN members are up to
  • And everything anyone is saying about NTEN

My old way of managing information was not cutting it. Although I use a lot of social media tools, I was very email-inbox centric. My inbox was the place I kept articles I wanted to read later, ideas I wanted to follow up on, and all of my to-do items.

The result? If you emailed me in the last three months, I probably didn't respond very quickly, if at all. That's no way to lead a membership organization.

You Are Not Your Target Audience

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 04/23/2008 - 8:32am

Brian Reich, EchoDitto

If you are in charge of marketing, recruitment, engagement, or fundraising for an organization, you spend most of your time looking for some tiny advantage -- something to generate buzz and differentiate your offering from the crowd of other organizations. There are, after all, thousands upon thousands of not-for-profit groups doing excellent work in local communities around the globe.

Too often, the decisions that organizations make when it comes to online marketing, especially non-profits, are dictated by "shiny object syndrome", a terrible affliction that results in a marketing path based on whatever is newest or generating the most buzz of the moment, instead of what will truly be effective.

To be successful, organizations need to share, clearly and consistently, the societal impacts of their efforts. They need to provide hands-on experiences that the user can explore and understand, and they need to demonstrate their commitment over time.

Mission Over Membership in Online Advocacy

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 2:42pm
Charles Lenchner, DemocracyInAction

Online advocacy at its best is about giving more citizens more power to act together in creating social change. At its worst, online advocacy is a fundraising technique and promotional strategy that can work, while generating some very negative inadvertent outcomes. Organizers working for the common good need to do a better job of articulating good online advocacy strategies and resisting demands that our work be measured in dollars raised or a higher public profile.

What we have at stake is not (just) the integrity of our cause or organization, but the effectiveness of our mission.

The conflict between the different ends of the online advocacy spectrum can be captured in a phrase: Mission over Membership. When we focus on mission, we can sleep well at night, knowing that the actions we request from our supporters will in fact lead to the change we want effected. If, on the other hand, we use the language of change primarily in support of fundraising and organization building, we run a serious risk: that online advocacy messaging becomes devalued, along with the emails from our organizations.