July 19, 2011

How DoSomething engages young people

 

Make it easy to participate, make it mobile — and don’t forget the fun!

JD LasicaOne of the great success stories of online advocacy has been DoSomething.org, a not-for-profit that encourages young people to use the power of online to “do good stuff offline.”

Last fall I moderated a panel at BlogWorld Expo with DoSomething chief technology officer George Weiner, and last month I co-presented a Social Media for Social Good bootcamp at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service with George.

“This generation is far more engaged than anyone can possibly understand or measure due to the amount of conversations going on in social media.”
— George Weiner

So during a brief break in the action I got him to talk about how DoSomething spurs 1.2 million young people a year to take action on behalf of a social cause they care about.

“Young people have this amazing thing they can do that doesn’t require car, money or an adult,” he says. Simply put, any young person — 25 or younger, with a sweet spot of 16- to 17-year-olds — can launch a social cause campaign about any cause they feel passionately about.

The nation’s largest cause site for young people, DoSomething has about 30,000 cause projects started by young people.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo

Success comes down to a combination of factors


The annual DoSomething Awards airs on VH1 in August.

The site’s success comes down to these factors:

• They make it easy to participate by lowering the barriers to entry.

• They’re laser-focused on catering to young people.

• They make it easy to take part in campaigns via mobile devices.

• They try to make causes fun by emphasizing use of participants’ social networks. Continue reading

September 28, 2009

Social media for social action

social-media

And a day of workshops devoted to blogging best practices

JD LasicaI‘ll be among the trainers on hand on Oct. 23 for Social Media for Social Action, a day of training and workshops geared especially for Oakland nonprofits and community organizations.

Interested in blogging, Twitter, Facebook & other social media tools for your organization, but not sure how to measure results, plan a campaign, or whether you have the time? Start here: Join us for a day of high-quality, low-cost workshops tailored to your needs.

Look for a full day of workshops led by a team of social media and multimedia experts from Public Media Collaborative, Spot.us, Oakland Local, Socialbrite.org, The Center for IndyMedia and Newsdesk.org.

When: Oct. 23 (a Friday), all day

Where: Tech Liminal, 268 14th St., Oakland (510) 832-3401

Cost: $10; no one turned away for lack of funds

Register: On Eventbrite or purchase your ticket on the Techliminal site

Volunteer: [email protected]

East Bay blogging workshop

The following day, it’s the Return of East Bay Bloggers.

Get together with other East Bay bloggers for a day of workshops, meetups and talk. Learn hands-on skills with multimedia, talk about growing your community, and ponder making money. Join us in knitting our communities together and celebrating individual voices in the East Bay! Continue reading

June 10, 2009

20 tips for mobile advocacy

mobile-advocacyKatrin VerclasMobile social marketing works in increasing awareness and moving people to actions. It is also becoming an effective way to engage users and constituents. Throughout our experience with mobile campaigns, we’ve run into the some great campaigns and some failures as well. In our ongoing series of articles and case studies on using mobiles for advocating for an issue and engaging a constituency, here are our top ten things that nonprofits should and shouldn’t do when running a mobile advocacy campaign.

The dos of mobile advocacy

1. Mobile messaging should be about interaction, not just pitch — a hard notion to learn for advocacy organizations used to pushing email messages by the millions. Mobiles offer a unique opportunity for interacting with a constituent. Advocacy organizations need to think about mobile marketing as a conversation, a way to talk two-ways with constituents.

2. Trust is key as the mobile medium is so very personal. Gain permission and offer relevant and timely content that is valuable to the recipient. Note how to opt out regularly and never ever spam.

3. Pull people to mobile interaction through other media — ads, billboards, the web and offer, in turn, mobile interaction with those media. Think of mobile as an acquisition tool.

4. Know your constituency. Be careful when targeting your demographics and make your ask accordingly — asking an older constituency to upload mobile photos is not going to be very successful.

5. Be relevant. Offer timely news and functional updates that are of interest to your audience — and be clever. Just by way of an idea: The American Lung Association could offer air quality updates via sms for where I live. If engaged in a campaign where I am signing a mobile petition, for example, let me know how it’s going — how many signatures have been gathered, for example. Remind me of events I have signed up for or activities that are part of an organization’s campaign. Give me information I want and need just-in-time when I need it.

Continue reading