social media

NTEN Members Online Round-Up: How-tos, Cool Tools, News, and Social Media as Boon or Bust?

Submitted by Annaliese on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:55am

LOLnptechLet's start with the How-Tos.

NTEN member Amy Sample Ward points her blog readers to a helpful how-to published by Global Voices, "Blogging for a Cause". I think Amy's doing a good job of this herself!

Michelle Murrain, NTEN Board member, continues her helpful series of posts about open source tools by discussing Filezilla, an FTP application. She also includes a helpful post about data portability, pointing out that, with more organizations working in and with Web 2.0, they need to understand what data portability is and why open standards are important.

Judi Sohn offers an update on her organization, C3, which was recently featured on Lifetime TV. She also catches her readers up on staff additions, technology implementations, and the sad loss of one of their advocates.

Twitter, KickApps, and 0 to 2000: A Trio of Tools and Tips You Can Use Today

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 02/01/2008 - 4:26pm

Flickr photo by red5standingbyLet's kick off February with some advice for getting your organization (or yourself) advocating for your cause with free social media tools.

First, there's Twitter. This tool should be familiar to the NTEN community by now, but just in case you're tuning in for the first time, Twitter is a free social networking/micro-blogging tool that allows you to submit short updates to your network via the web, your mobile device, or a third-party application; you also receive short updates from the network you're "following."

How to apply it to your mission:

  • Update your volunteers, constituents, and friends with the latest news about your cause (a bill, a candidate, a campaign, an event, etc.).
  • Organize attendees or participants at an event or project in real-time.
  • Engage a community on a personal level -- Beth Kanter leveraged her network on Twitter to help her win the Giving Challenge.

You may want to read this article on Read/Write Web about Twitter's emergence as a viable communications platform. Note the helpful information and considerations for how to use it!

The ROI of Social Media

Submitted by Brett on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 4:55pm

Beth Kanter, Social Media Guru

Over the past year, as more and more nonprofits have figured out how to integrate social networking and social media tools into their communications strategies, the question has remained: Do these tools and strategies really help nonprofits reach outcomes? While many of the tools are free, we still need to ask, "What's the value (ROI) of investing our time?"

Let me begin with some basic definitions from Social Media gurus:

Campaigns and Twitter

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 2:13pm

Just a couple of days ago, NTEN member and Social Media for Nonprofits expert Beth Kanter kicked off a great discussion about how NOT to use Twitter for your organization.

The key takeaways are:

  • don't use Twitter as a blowhorn for your canned PR;
  • don't think of Twittees as a captive audience;

and, everyone's favorite:

  • don't Twitter without love.

I was really moved today to see one cause doing everything right with Twitter: the Frozen Peas Friday campaign from the Frozen Pea Fund.

Here's how it's working:

NTEN Member on the Record About Getting Started with Social Media

Submitted by Annaliese on Mon, 12/17/2007 - 8:10am

Continuing my recent theme of sharing the advice NTEN members have for nonprofits who are wary about jumping into the seas of social media for their causes, I want to point out Michele Martin's post on her blog, The Bamboo Project.

It offers initial steps an organization can try within the comfort zone of its own network: its staff.

Evolving Tools for Your OrganizationEvolving Tools for Your OrganizationIt makes sense that the best reason anyone has for learning and using a new tool is that it makes his/her life easier or better.

When organizations look at social media tools as a new obstacle rather than a tool, they're naturally going to be wary of them. If they can turn those perceived obstacles into useful components of their professional lives, they'll end up leveraging them for their causes with confidence -- and maybe even gusto -- rather than with fear.

Michele not only explains which tools (blog, wiki, a social network) an organization can employ internally, but great applications for them like project management and staff training resources. Check it out!

NTEN Member on the Record to Address "Social Engineering" on the Web

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 12/14/2007 - 3:17pm

Last week, I pointed to Britt Bravo's blog post encouraging nonprofits to confront their fear of blog comments. But another NTEN member, Marnie Webb of CompuMentor, brings up some important points in the NonprofitTimes that nonprofits should consider when navigating the new terrain of the social web.

The topic of "social engineering" affects organizations whether they've launched a communications plan using the social web or not because, as Webb puts it, "whether they give their employees permission to or not, [the employees] have social networking sites."

This can be a good thing -- and usually is -- because it's likely that the staff members of a nonprofit organization believe in the cause and will be natural mouthpieces for the mission. But in some cases, as the article points out, there's the potential for sensitive information being released and, depending on the nature of the issue or cause, exploited, even harmfully.

Like Bravo, Webb thinks that nonprofits don't need to fear the social web -- but she offers some good tips in the article to help organizations avoid problems and stay in control.