Archive for November, 2008
It’s with pleasure and delight that I am informing all SocialButterfly readers that the blog has moved! No worries, it’s still me. I was using wordpress.com, and I’ve decided to utilize WordPress.org and host the site on BlueHost. I’m hoping that once I catch up my learning curve on the technical side of things, this will allow more interaction and features in the long-run.
- Thus, please find me here: http://fly4change.com.
- When linking to SocialButterfly, either now or in the future, please use the link to the new site: http://fly4change.com, and the new site’s permalinks for specific posts.
- For the new RSS reader link, click here.
- For those subscribed to SocialButterfly’s e-mail newsletter through Feedburner, no worries. I automatically switched you, so you will continue to receive the new updates.
Thank you for your understanding and patience, as the new site still has some kinks I’m am working on addressing. I welcome any feedback or responses.
- Kivi Leroux Miller took this challenge above and beyond by giving a shout out to many, including those who participated in her tagline challenge for HIV/AIDS. (Which, if you are interested in HIV/AIDS work, have you seen what Bloggers Unite, NIDA and AIDS.gov are doing for World AIDS Day 2008?).
- Avi Kaplan wrote a wonderful thank you to Stacey Monk for her mentorship and for the hard work she is accomplishing through Epic Change. To those not familiar with Monk’s work, I too will vouch for not only her hard work, but for her genuine passion and firm conviction in Epic Change’s mission. Monk is definitely, as Avi says, a true inspiration to our sector.
- Steve Cunningham took time to offer a personal note thanking both his life and business mentors. Steve also made a point to refer to these mentors as heroes, a label I think well-deserved. For often, being a mentor takes extra time, a longer email, a phone call back or the extra support that only a mentor can offer.
“To my heroes in business and in life – thank you for teaching me that if you never stop learning and believe in yourself, great things are possible. You have made more of a difference than you could ever imagine. I owe you a lifetime of gratitude.
- As for myself, I have many people to thank who have made my dream of moving, living and working in Washington D.C. a reality. This includes:
- My employer and my boss – who I continue to admire and learn from everyday.
- My graduate professor Fritz Cropp who allowed me flexibility in my graduate research scope, the tools and knowledge to bring it together, and believed in the vision I set before myself. Plus, he reminded to live a little every now and then.
- My friend Lacey, for without you, I know I would not have survived the practical joys (and challenges) that come along with moving from Kansas to Washington D.C.
- All the amazing, social media, social marketing and non-profit minds that exist within the blogosphere, Twitter…it is you all who propel the conversation and demand more of us practitioners everyday, and I love every minute.
- To the new friends I’ve made, you rock. You are solid, supportive, and good people.
- To my beloved fiance, I love you. Each and every day. Who would imagine we’d go from running hurdles on the track together to fast forward, living our dream in Washington, D.C.
- And finally, my parents. Words cannot express. At the very least, thank you for teaching me to 1) always believe in your dreams and 2) always believe in working hard to achieve them. And that along the way, you can never be too gracious.
With that, I hope this Carnival session encourages you to share the love. Extend a hand. And tell someone the difference they’ve made in your life.
Thank You. And an early Thanks.giving to you and yours.
Get out of your comfort zone. This includes myself, often I am use to comfortably perusing my usual blogs in my RSS reader, however, when I first found DigiActive over the summer, I immediately knew I needed to get out more. DigiActive brings together a team of international bloggers from SIX continents and offers great content from diverse perspectives. The change movement knows no boundaries.
I must also give Amine, from DigiActive the award for patience. Amine and I conversed at the end of August, and I am just now getting up their interview. Thank you Amine and the DigiActive team for your world-class patience. Without further adieu, enjoy!
Blog Name: DigiActive.org
Blog Explained: The group blog at DigiActive.org is part of DigiActive’s overall mission to help grassroots activists around the world use technology to increase their impact. DigiActive also publishes guides, such as “A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism” and maintains a digital activism map. DigiActive is also in the process of launching a research program (R@D), which will provide actionable analysis for the benefit of digital activists around the world.
About the Author(s): The site features an international group of bloggers from six continents from countries including Iran, Morocco, China, Cameroon, the US and Germany. We come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Some of us work for NGOs while others are students or journalists. All our bloggers are volunteers and write for the site because of a passion for digital activism.
Why do you blog? A few answers from some of the DigiActive team members include:
“I love to write about things I love” –Kate Brodock
“I write for DigiActive because it gives me an excuse to keep up to date on the cutting edge of digital activism. Activists “hacking” online applications, creating new uses for platforms like Facebook or Google Earth and turning them into tools for change, that’s what gets me up in the morning.” – Mary Jocye
“I’m blogging for DigiActive because I have a crush on digital activism. Blogging let’s me share the product of this splendid connection with a global community, which is another thing I will never really understand, but always be amazed of.” – Simon Columbus
“It is a fantastic opportunity to investigate and learn about this increasingly important movement. I work in a part of the world where these tools are underutilized but needed with urgency, and I use my work to educate and involve the people around me.” – Tamara Palamakumbara
What first prompted you to blog? DigiActive was started by Mary and Amine, who met on Facebook and built DigiActive together before ever meeting in person. Our ambition was “to create a center for the global digital activism movement.” With an ever-increasing number of partners, we are still working to achieve that goal.
Why digital activism? What is it, and how do you know when it’s successful?
Digital Activism is defined as digital actions taken by grassroots organizations or individuals to achieve a social or political change. It means taking the power of the new global reach of user-generated content and turning it towards the purposes of social justice.
It’s hard to know when digital activism has succeeded. Clear-cut cases of digital success, like the Help Fouad campaign in Morocco are rare. Even when a goal is achieved, it is often the result of multiple campaigns, not only digital ones, and often it takes years to achieve these goals. I don’t think there’s a clear formula for success. Digital activism is not about quantity of people you can reach, but it’s about the quality by which you reach them.
What’s the impact digital activism has, or could have, on our community?
One of the greatest strengths of digital activism is that it allows people to collaborate closely regardless of physical location. As mentioned previously, Mary and Amine developed the idea for DigiActive and built the site without ever meeting. In fact, they still live on different continents. Talia edits for the DigiActive blog from Boston, even though our correspondents are dispersed across the globe. I think the two biggest technical advantages that digital activism has are 1) the speed at which technology is being introduced, improved upon, and made widely available and 2) the number of tools that are available, which enables users to use the one that best suits their situation. It’s not a one-sie-fit-all. It’s a custom-tailored approach. The biggest qualitative advantage of digital activism is, as mentioned, the ability to connect to so many people and get yourself in front of large number of eyes and ears!
If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?
“Hope Street” – Simon
“The Beginning” – Kate
“TechCanHelpUChangeTheWorld Blvd.” – Mary
Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?
Some of the answers from the DigiActive team include: An international group of passionate grassroots activists, committed to the goal of realizing the human dignity of all the world’s citizens. Dalaid Lama and Dave Barry. Maybe Jon Stewart too.
What was the last URL you added to your RSS feed?
- An incredibly active Kenyan blog called Sukuma Kenya.
- The last English-language blog I added to my feed reader was Life under electronic conditions by German sociologist Benedict Köhler
- Six Pixel’s of Separation, A Thousand Cuts and Treehugger
What’s your favorite blog post and why?
Successful digital activism campaign are always fun to write about. Whether it be about young Egyptian activists using Facebook to organize a country-wide strike, about Jamaican gay rights activists who use blogs and the internet to fight to get into a UN AIDS meeting or about activists in Morocco who used the web to coordinate a successful international campaign to free the “Facebook Prisonner”. However it is also important to consider the limitations of digital activism and provide useful information and guides on how to best harness its potential.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?
- Don’t be afraid to express yourself – everyones experience and opinions count.
- That it takes a global village to write a blog.
- It’s a great way to meet and to get to know incredible people from around the world.
Past Blogger Neighbors Include:
- Osocio @ Osocio, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Beth Kanter @ Beth’s Blog, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Beth Dunn @ Small Dots, nominated by Beth Kanter
- Len Edgerly @ LenEdgerly.com, nominated by Beth Dunn
- Stacey Monk @ Epic Change, nominated by the Twitter-verse
- Jason Dick @ A Small Change, nominated by Stacey Monk
- Roger Carr @ Everyday Giving, nominated by Jason Dick
- Andre Blackman @ Pulse & Signal, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Laura Stockman @ 25 Days to Make a Difference, nominated by Roger Carr
- Karama Neal @ So What Can I Do?, nominated by the Carnival of Change
- Julie Zauzmer @ 52 Ways to Change the World, nominated by Karama Neal
- Vanessa Mason @ Subject to Change, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Stephanie Gulley @ HeyStephanie.com, nominated by Vanessa Mason
- Aaron Ferster @ EPA’s Greenversations, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Julia Barry @ New Moon Media, nominated by the YPulse Conference
- Rosetta Thurman @ Perspectives from the Pipeline, nominated by Avi Kaplan
- The DigiActive International Blogging Team, nominated by SocialButterfly
This continuous series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ email@example.com.
It’s about that time of year again. And instead of just going through the motions “again” this year – the Carnival for Non-Profit Consultants and SocialButterfly are asking those in the non-profit sector to take time for reflection and pause. Often times, we get too caught up in the deadlines and the thrill of the moment, that we overlook giving ourselves…a moment. After all your hard work and dedication, at the very least, you deserve a moment.
Do you know anyone else who deserves a moment? Tell us about them. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a person. This edition of the carnival asks submitters to “Give Thanks!” by taking a moment and sharing the tools, resources, mentors, etc. that you appreciate.
This is your opportunity to give a shout-out. Even if it’s a quick e-mail blurb, all messages of gratefulness will be shared.
Theme: “Give thanks! Tell us which tools, resources, menotrs, etc. have aided you or what you are thankful for this past year.”
Deadline: Monday, November 17, Midnight
To Submit: Submit your permalink to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the BlogCarnival submission form. If you are sending to Yahoo directly, please include the edition date in your subject line.
In hopes to not influence responses, I will withhold my commentary on why I am inquiring about the topic: advertising on blogs. Instead, I will refer SB readers to the quick, 10-question survey I created, and look forward to sharing and discussing results. All responses are anonymous, unless designate your blog’s URL.
Feel free to share, as the more people that share their experiences, the bigger picture we will receive. Feel free to share with friends and colleagues as I am depending on a snowball sample for this informal survey. Gratzi
Today, over 10,000 bloggers from around the world will unite to raise their voices on behalf of more than 40 million voiceless refugees.
Some have wondered about the potential of blog awareness days and what their potential and impact may be beyond raising….[wait for it]…awareness. However, awareness can lead to action. To be honest, before Bloggers Unite announced it’s “Bloggers Unite for Refugees United” initiative I was not that connected with the issue. However, due to BU + RU efforts, I am now more engaged. And that in my book, is a direct result of Bloggers Unite.
As the BU resource page says, “Knowledge can bring change.” Though it may not be a direct correlation, change begins with individual action, and individual action must be born with passion and knowledge. (Some of my social marketing friends will argue there is much more involved in behavior change. I concur. This being one of the reasons I encourage the study and application of social marketing.)
Because I concur, Bloggers Unite brings the issue before us. The challenge then, is how will we respond? On the BU resource page, they offer a number of resources to begin with, including:
Disclaimer: In my professional life, I currently have a working relationship with Bloggers Unite for an upcoming project that I am looking forward to share with SB readers in the very near future. =)
With the launch of Change.gov, commentary on Obama’s social media strategy and success have been made here, here and here. Yup, here too. Some are even calling Obama and the government integration of new media tools through Change.gov the Digital New Deal while others wonder about the extension of the Obama brand and community – post election.
Social media is awesome. Grand. Influential. Amazing. In my professional role working with government agencies, I must admit that my first reaction to Change.gov was, “Sweet, I can’t wait for this priority on social media to trickle down among other government agencies. Man, that would make our job so much easier.” Or, would it?
Because now, instead of talking about why to do it, the opportunity to implement may [hopefully] increase, meaning we must show results. And, Obama set the bar high.
Granted, Obama’s campaign is an amazing case study that aided in achieving an important end objective – getting Obama elected. However, Obama’s online success is due to more than social media.
- Obama’s campaign was newsworthy as according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism. This encourage the public to be interested and engaged. The study found that:
“Overall, the presidential campaign filled 54% of the newshole as measured by PEJ’s News Coverage Index from Oct. 27-Nov. 2. That represents a slight uptick from the previous two weeks when the election was at 52% (Oct. 20-26) and 51% (Oct. 13-19). The race for the White House was the dominant story in all five media sectors, most notably in cable, where it accounted for 84% of the airtime studied, and on the radio airwaves, at 65%.”
- Obama created the Obama-brand. If you work in government, you may understand some of the government’s sensitivity to the word brand. And from the outside, how the public might react to the government branding or marketing itself. (Hence, the whole debate back when to transition from health communications to health marketing.) However, the Obama-brand has become widely accepted and adapted while maintaining a consistent message to diverse audiences across a range of platforms.
- The number of resources available. Obama’s fundraising numbers were out of the roof. Not every project is as fortunate. This is why highlighting and emphasizing ROI is important and critical.
- Obama was the first, and it was sexy. Being the first is always advantageous. In the government 2.0 sector, Obama led the way in showing how to leverage a comprehensive social media plan to create an online presence that connected with the overall program’s mission. Not only did he do it, but he made it sexy by implementing creative elements that encouraged not only online users, but also online ambassadors.
- Obama and his team understood the essence of social media online and off line. This is the biggest one I think. Obama’s message tapped into the cornerstone of social media – help me, help you, help me, empower America. Did you get lost in that? Web 2.0 is about the conversation and Obama is encouraging conversation with him and among each other. The Change.gov Web site communicates it best:
“Share your vision for what America can be, where President-Elect Obama should lead this country. Where should we start together?”
He took the essence of social media tools and made it his mantra. He is change, but he needs you to help create that change. You want change, but you need him to lead that change. Brilliant.
In your opinion, what other factors outside of social media helped mold Obama’s online success?