I recently started thinking about how nonprofits can find people interested in their issue and organization by using social bookmarking and blogs.
Social Bookmarking using del.icio.us
A nonprofit can use social bookmarking by bookmarking their organization site, blogs, and other related sites about their issue. Then they can see if any users have already bookmarked their sites and what tags they use. From there they can view a tag stream to find new resources.
I bookmarked the American Red Cross website on del.icio.us. There are 48 others who bookmarked this website. I then click on where it says 48 other people. It takes me to the following page.
If I look on the right, I can see a list of the most popular tags used to tag the American Red Cross website. These tags include charity, donate, disaster, relief, hurricane, volunteer, katrina, health, nonprofit, reference, education, aid, medicine, and emergency. I could then click on each of these tags and find more bookmarks with these tags.
If I scroll down the page, I can look at each user and see what they tagged for the American Red Cross. I can also click on each user and see what other bookmarks they saved and the tags they use.
Some users include a link to their website on the top of their user page. If users provide a link to a website, I can learn more about them. If you have a website or blog (or any other site), I encourage you to include that in your user information so it will show up in your user page.
Social bookmarking can help nonprofits in many ways. By bookmarking blogs, blog entries, and nonprofit websites, nonprofits can see how many people bookmark a site. They can also see who is interested in their nonprofit or topic.
Blogs and Technorati
In addition to social bookmarking, nonprofits can search blogs to see who is writing about them or a particular topic.
For example, I want to find out what blogs mention the American Red Cross. I go to technorati , and click search. I then put in "American Red Cross", and I get the following screen.
30, 171 blogs/blog entries mention the American Red Cross.
I can then go through the list and look at these blogs. I can comment on them and contact these bloggers.
Now I want to find out what blogs link to the American Red Cross website. On technorati I put www.redcross.com in the search and I get the following screen.
I see that 15,114 blogs/blog entries provide a link to the American Red Cross website.
I can then do the same as I mentioned above.
* Note: I used the American Red Cross as an example because of the recent disasters.