Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Social Media Club, Social Networking, and Nonprofits

I attended the May DC Social Media Club meeting on social networking. It was very interesting and I was so excited when nonprofits were mentioned as examples.

Social networking sites mentioned in the meeting were Facebook, MySpace, Second Life, and a few others.

One of the first examples mentioned was about The Humane Society using MySpace. They get about 100 new friend requests a day. They have a
profile for the organization as well as a profile for a seal named Sammy the Seal. The seal has a blog and has more friends than the profile for the organization. I have noticed in my research of social networking for nonprofits that people are more likely be friends (or join a group) with a specific issue/campaign and not be friends with an organization.

Examples from Second Life include ISTE and American Cancer Society. One thing that was mentioned about ISTE is that their presence is for their members and they actually show powerpoint slides at their virtual meeting. You can read more about how they use Second Life at
ISTE Second Life. The American Cancer Society holds a virtual relay for life in Second Life. I've written about this topic briefly here. You can read more at Second Life Relay For Life.

Another nonprofit example that was shared was a campaign by Greenpeace called
Green My Apple.

Things I learned:

  • Organizations want to do more with web 2.0, but members may not want to use these tools.
  • You can measure the success of social networks not by the number of friends but by the number of new friends a day and who is clicking on links to the network pages
  • People are noticing how nonprofits are using social networking and other web 2.0 tools