Lessons Learned: Nonprofits and Social Media

Beth Kanter tagged me in a meme, asking the question “What if I could start all my social media and nonprofits work over from scratch? What would I do differently? What lessons have I learned that will stick with me for 2008?”

New Year is a great time to reflect on the past and begin to put things in order for the coming year ahead; so this is a timely request where I can look back over my learning during 2007 and begin to explore the future. (by the way, Happy New Year Readers!)

So, here is some of my learning:

  • What can a social network do for you? Why do you join one network over another?

    On of the biggest things that I learnt this year about social networks is that they can potentially eat up lots of time. I’m on a wide range of networks and I have to gauge which will have the most benefit to me and the people that I want to connect with. Each network must have their own purpose and place.

  • Participate! Conversation and connecting with others is important

    Commenting on others blog posts, engaging in discussion and sharing ideas is essential. It builds relationships and community. I wouldn’t have met all the fabulous people that I did in 2007, without participating and getting involved. A year on, I have a new circle of friends, inspiration and conversation.
    It’s like being in a playground on your first day at school. You can choose to stand there all alone, or meet others and join in the fun.

  • Manage information overload

    There’s so much out there and finding ways to manage information and innovation is key. My RSS reader is always overloaded (new year resolution to tidy it up!), and I use Twitter, Facebook and Ma.gnolia to manage new emerging information and news in addition to my RSS feeds.

  • Keep your eyes open to new possibilities

    Social media is evolving fast. Keeping up with emerging networks and technologies and evaluating their potential is really important to me. I can use all of my other lessons above to share, participate, discuss and get involved to keep on top of new technologies.

In 2008, I forsee that the use of mobile web will grow stronger, and the social media tool that I can’t wait to see get into it’s next stage and use is Seesmic.
I think it’s going to be a great year ahead. I aim to keep supporting and evolving nonprofits in their use, involvement and participation on the web too.

I’ll leave you with a thought from a recent post Social Media, only a matter of time from Amy Ward, who also writes about nonprofit technology. The article highlights the growth of social media. It also raises some key questions for nonprofits to consider when exploring the use and potential of social media.

How can you do your work and serve your community better with more tools and users?
(At the end of the day, you still want to be saving the world and not just connecting, right?)

Filed under Nptech, Social Media.