Twittering for a cause – what is the potential?

April 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I have been a blog-o-holic lately, reading like it is going out of style, trying to find the answer to: how does social media help fundraising? So, as you probably already guessed, it’s a little early to tell, and depends on what you are up to. But there are some great reports out there about how organizations use it best, like this whitepaper courtesy of Nten, the scoop on the money-making  Twestival for charity:water and this study of social media for social causes.  I love this one — it focuses on donors age 30-49 online habits.  This group is looking to give to organizations that they trust and are credible, and the study implies that they trust bloggers and the media, as well as their friends.   In a conversation for my thesis research I learned about an organization that got a grant from a foundation because it was so active on Twitter.

So this tipped me over the edge of curiosity, and I finally  joined up: @emilydavila.  I am still a rookie, but I am excited about the potential because Twitter really is a conversation.  While Facebook keeps you up to date with your friends, wherever they are, and is fun and gossipy and occasionally useful for planning a fundraiser or pimping a new article,  Twitter at its best is a professional conversation.  If you want to join twitter,  join with a point of view.  In my case, I am on there for Sustainable Health Enterprises, a social enterprise start-up selling low-cost sanitary napkins in Rwanda.  

So far, I have signed up to follow other social entrepreneurs, foundations, women in business, general non profit gurus and super bloggers like Beth Kanter, Chris Brogan or Sean Stanndard-Stockton.   For me, twitter is about people I don’t know, but would like to know, like these 6 wonder bloggers, or the communications people at the Skoll Foundation who were going bananas on twitter during their recent world forum.  

So, I jumped in the pool and am having fun.  I would love to hear from others how twitter has helped them accomplish organizational goals.

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taking back the cognitive surplus (from the TV)

May 2, 2008 at 1:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I love this speech.  It is about how we are living in an era of surplus leisure time that is being gobbled by the TV, and he argues that we are now using wikis and social media and taking back some of this time for social benefit…. 

“And this is the other thing about the size of the cognitive surplus we’re talking about. It’s so large that even a small change could have huge ramifications. Let’s say that everything stays 99 percent the same, that people watch 99 percent as much television as they used to, but 1 percent of that is carved out for producing and for sharing. The Internet-connected population watches roughly a trillion hours of TV a year. That’s about five times the size of the annual U.S. consumption. One per cent of that is 100 Wikipedia projects per year worth of participation…

“I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she’s going back there to see if Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn’t what she was doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, “What you doing?” And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, “Looking for the mouse.”

Here’s something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here’s something four-year-olds know: Media that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way change. Because four year olds, the people who are soaking most deeply in the current environment, who won’t have to go through the trauma that I have to go through of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching Gilligan’s Island, they just assume that media includes consuming, producing and sharing.”

Alltop forgot two-thirds world

March 12, 2008 at 3:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Oh my god they have created a non profit dashboard web-agregator for you. http://nonprofit.alltop.com/
I no longer have to continue on my quest to understand bloglines or DIGG and de.li.cious. Alltop is a one-stop shop for websites and RSS feeds on entrepreneurship, philanthropy, academia, bloggers and non profit everything. Except for everything listed is majorly US-centric!

What drives me crazy about US philanthropy is that most of the money stays within the US. The majority of giving may currently come from the US, but other regions are catching up, with exciting initiatives like the African Women Development Fund. We need to be in conversation  and support regional funding mechanisms that may be more sustainable and culturally relevant. The future of philanthropy is not only within our borders. So the work of this small blog is not done.

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