June 29, 2009

Tweetcamp: Online network moves to offline community

Amy Sample WardThis past Saturday, I participated in an experiment: Tweetcamp! The combination of a Tweetup and a BarCamp.  (Those links are to definitions!)  What this created was a chance for people who use Twitter to come together offline to create community. There is no agenda to the conference as it is co-created by the participants throughout the day.  It is for the community, by the community, all thanks originally to Twitter.

n2thinktankThis month’s Net2 Think Tank asks: How do real-world (offline) events fit into social media conversations and campaigns?

I think that my reflections about Tweetcamp are an excellent fit to answer this question!  And I hope they help you think about the way your organization uses opportunities online and offline to create community.

What worked?

Cross-section of participants: It was great to turn up to an event and have every person I talked to have a different line a work, a different reason for using social media tools, and a unique goal for what they wanted to get out of the day.  One way to accomplish this is to ensure you have a diverse set of organizers – you will tap into networks that do, eventually, overlap, but the influencers you target will push a great diversity of participants toward the event.

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June 29, 2009

NPtech + causes + open source + social media

JD LasicaAs part of our silo-busting effort at Socialbrite, we’ll be showcasing cool technologies that haven’t received enough attention in the nonprofit and social change worlds. So here’s a one-minute video, announcing the launch of Socialbrite, that I created last night on Animoto:

Introducing Socialbrite.org. Nonprofit tech + Causes + Open source + Social media.

We’re using it at the top of our Media Center.

Check out Animoto: They’re doing amazing things with a very small staff. You can try out a few remixes for free, and choose from music and images on their site; after that, it’s 3 bucks a video or $30 a year.

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June 29, 2009

Socialbrite releases Creative Commons plug-in

Esteban Panzeri

JD LasicaWe’re happy to launch today with the news that our lead developer, Esteban Panzeri (above), is releasing a new WordPress plug-in to the WordPress community. It’s called Creative Commons Reloaded, and it lets individual blogs or group blogs assign Creative Commons licenses on a post-by-post basis.

That’s especially useful at sites like Socialbrite, where some of us (me, Beth, Ken) release our works under a CC Attribution license, while others (Amy, John, Katrin) use a CC Attribution Noncommercial Share-Alike license. Creative Commons lets you fine-tune your copyright, allowing others to reuse it as you specify.

I asked Esteban, a tech guru/analyst at Lenovo in Buenos Aires, why he developed the plug-in on his own time. “I think the old copyright model is outdated,” he said. “It does not fit the digital era. I’m convinced that it strangles creativity and it is bad for business. Creative Commons is a good step in the right direction. With so many excellent blogs out there, I thought it would be a nice way to help all those authors get a simple way to license their work. That and ‘giving back to the community’ that has helped me achieve so much.”

He cited Michael Geist’s recent post pointing to a new Harvard Business Chool working paper that suggests weaker copyright protection has benefited society.

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June 29, 2009

Introducing Socialbrite: Why we’re here

Socialbrite team

JD LasicaSocialbrite.org fills a glaring gap in the social media world. While young people and early adopters increasingly turn to the social Web not only to socialize but to communicate, explore new ideas and share new experiences, nonprofits and social change organizations are still generally stuck in the top-down, one-way world of Web 1.0.

The young and the wired are moving at an accelerating pace away from old-school destination Web sites and toward the social media ecosystem embodied in the real-time Web. In this new world of Twitter and Facebook, of citizen journalism and astonishing grassroots campaigns like Twestival, it’s easy to feel befuddled by the dizzying pace of change.

socialbrite rings 143x143iThat’s why eight leading nonprofit technologists and social marketing experts have come together to create this learning and sharing hub. Socialbrite is here to offer articles, videos, resources and tutorials on how to take command of all this Web 2.0 jazz and put it to work for your organization or cause. (We created a cheat sheet for you to help tweet our launch.)

And please note: We’re here not only to show how social tools can be used to advance the social good – but to learn from you as well. We’ll be republishing some of these articles on learning wikis, and everything here is released under a Creative Commons license, so we hope you’ll take part in this ecosystem of sharing.

A sharing and learning hub

We invite you to cruise around the site — and we hope you’ll help us spread the word. You’ll notice that we’re not starting from scratch. You’ll find:

• A directory of Web 2.0 Productivity Tools in dozens of categories that can help organizations get a handle on the social Web.

• A Social Media Glossary that offers a deep, friendly introduction to dozens of social media terms in plain English.

• A first-of-its-kind Twitter widget that tracks tweets about nonprofits or social causes in real time.

• A Free Photos Directory, Free Video Directory and Free Music Directory that offers nonprofits, cause organizations and Web publishers a guide to hundreds of online resources for adding legal, high-quality content to their own websites, blogs, newsletters, printed materials or online presentations.

• A Causes widget that points to charitable actions and donations on other sites such as Global Giving and Facebook Causes.

• Scores of additional articles, guides and tutorials to help newcomers and veterans alike get better acquainted with this fast-moving space.

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June 29, 2009

Why Twitter won’t replace email marketing

© Photosani

© Photosani

John HaydonEarlier this week, I spoke with an executive director at a large non-profit who wanted to know how she could replace email marketing with Twitter.

They have been using email marketing as the prime way to engage current supporters, but had been less than desirable results in recent months.

After spending considerable time discussing their strategy and past results, I had to break the news to her:

Twitter is not a replacement for email marketing

Just as you would never replace socks with shoes, or boxer shorts with swimming trunks, Twitter should not replace email marketing. There are several reasons for this, which I’ve outlined in the following graphic:


Twitter strengths

  • Very cheap and easy to use.
  • Highly viral – An open network that is unlike any other social media site.
  • Organize base – around events, around campaigns, Tweetups, Hashtags.

Email marketing strengths

  • Highly targeted messages that aren’t limited to 140 characters.
  • Activity can be measured, even down to the user level.
  • Messages can be personalized in response to each individual choices – people can opt-in to different lists.

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