The following is from the book The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine. ”Connecting with social media to drive change.” Chapter three talks about understanding, mapping and weaving social networks.
“Social networks allow Networked Nonprofits to transform an idea or grievance into an army of passionate supporters for social change, in an instant.” Networked Nonprofits strengthen and expand these networks by building relationships. With these relationships we engage and activate the organization’s efforts. Networked Nonprofit identify, reach and cultivate the influencers within their social networks. This is key to growing very big quickly and inexpensively.
There are a variety of social networks:
- Personal– like family, friends, neighborhood, etc.
- Professional– like colleagues in organizations, funders, government agencies, associations, etc.
- Self-organized– like Facebook where people “friend” each other.
- Nonprofit– pulling people out of their databases and connecting them to one another through online social networks.
“Social networks are simple, intuitive structures.”
Nodes- two main components: people or organization. Ties- connections made between networks. Without this networks don’t exist. Hubs- larger nodes within networks. Can make things go “viral” online. Core- inner cluster of people who do most of the work on any project or effort. Clusters- are groups of people who are connected to one another, have few connections to rest of network.
Network Counterintuitive Characteristics:
- The network’s edge or periphery is vital to its growth. The periphery plays a critical role in the elasticity of networks, enabling them to grow and expand rapidly.
- Effective networks are made up of a combination of strong ties, like relationships, and loose ties, like friendly acquaintances.
“It is important to “see” a network to understand how it works and how it can be strengthened and expanded.” Network mapping- tool used to see a network. Low-tech, like a hand-drawn network mapping and analysis. High-tech, like social network analysis software. Social capital- is the stuff that makes relationships meaningful and resilient. “Social media builds social capital.”
- People are easy to find online and on many channels.
- Talk is cheap.
- Serendipity, accidental discovery, is enhanced online.
- Reciprocity, mutual exchange, is incredibly easy.
Network weaving- coined by Valdis Krebs and June Holley. A set of skills that help strengthen and build social networks by weaving networks. Network weaving activities include:
- Introducing and connecting people to one another.
- Facilitating meaningful conversations.
- Sharing resources, links, and information.
- Building relationships with network members.
- Working with multiple channels, with different people.
- Treating all members as equals.
- Inviting people with differing points of view into conversation.
“Network weavers provide reasons for people to care about causes and organizations.”
This chapter has giving me an insight to how social networking works and how it can be applied to weave networks together by simply stating, “hey (insert name here) I’d like you to meet (insert name here)…”