New New Media and The Networked Nonprofit Book Reviews-More Depth

After reviewing the book New New Media by Paul Levinson it states many useful social media tools:


“Bloggers are often referred to as citizen journalists, to underline the fact that a blogger need not to be a professional journalist to write and publish about news.”  One of the reasons why I enjoy blogging is the fact of not being a professional.  We all make mistakes and it only seems fair to let those practical errors occur in a blog.  I wouldn’t mind reading a blog full of errors if the author has little experience in writing.  I can understand the difficulties of writing.  I would expect professionalism in professionals.


“This used to be called “word of mouth.”  But “viral” is something more, because digital word of mouth can reach anyone, anywhere in the world, and millions of people, instantly, in contrast to old-fashioned spoken word of mouth, which can only reach the person right next to you or, in the days of just landline telephone, the other end of your phone connection.”  To me I think viral YouTube videos only get “viral” by just one interested person.  All it takes is one popular kid to share with all his/her friends his interest in a YouTube video.  The same goes for one powerful businessperson, share a video with co-workers and achieve YouTuber status.  “Oh yeah Bob over there is our YouTuber, he finds interesting YouTube videos to watch and share.”  In my retrospect I’m not powerful or popular; I’m just an observer.  I like to observe the videos that become viral and wonder how I can become powerful and popular.  Believe me an attempt has been made with the “My Name is Oscar” YouTube video, May 8, 2012 it has 100 views.  That’s pretty viral to me!


“…”exclusionists” or deletionists want to limit the entries on Wikipedia, while “inclusionists” want to keep and expand them.”  I would choose to be an “inclusionist” I want to expand and keep in mind information.  I don’t like the idea, that entries on Wikipedia could be deleted.  I would rather know than not know.  If someone with a terminal illness finds a cure for cancer, but doesn’t know any languages known to man.  This person only speaks and writes jibberish.  If an exclusionist saw this entry I’m sure would delete it, thinking it was a mistake or test to posting to Wikipedia.  I would like to think inclusionists would want to expand, keep and research the means of such a peculiar entry.


“…an index for all news published on the Web, and it serves as an instantly updating digest of news, or an online newspaper of newspapers.”  I didn’t find this to be of much interest.  I mean instantly digest of news that seems cool.  I guess we have no need for newspapers anymore.  If we have the technology why do we still have physical forms of communication, like newspapers, magazines, letters, books, encyclopaedias, dictionaries etc?  Could the physicality of these objects be the case?  Does physically turning the page interest some people?  I would want to read a physical book from a library and own a digital book to prevent clutter.  I don’t carry a bookshelf everywhere I go.


“MySpace’s “music pages” are especially revolutionary.”  Back in the day when I had a MySpace account I would play with customizing my page by adding music for viewers to listen to.  In some MySpace pages I found this feature to work well, in others I thought it was plain old annoying and distracting.


“Facebook’s origins as a way for college students to “meet” each other- see what they look like, what their interest’s are- without having to physically meet has shaped the growth of its online communities.”  I became aware of Facebook around the time college started in 2007.  I didn’t use it to meet other college students really more or less I used it to connect with students from high school and if the opportunity of friendship arose in college then yeah I would see what they looked like and take a look at their interests.  Facebook to me now is like a playground full of sharing.


“Interpersonal communication consists of one person sending a message to another person, in which the second person can easily switch from being a receiver to a sender…Mass communication consists of one person or source sending a message to many people at the same time, with these many receivers not having the capacity to become senders.”  I started Twitter 2012 and have learned so much about other people that use Twitter.  I’m a person that likes to observe and finding out information.  I like seeing people’s reactions to current events, games, movies, everyday activities etc. It’s the human things we do that make you interesting.  I plan on using Twitter to promote my art.  I also plan to start up conversations with fellow humans.

Second Life

“You can pause a video on YouTube, stop editing on Wikipedia, leave your profile page on the screen and grab a bit to eat without missing too much on Facebook or MySpace, but to leave the screen when you are connected to Second Life is, literally, to leave your avatar frozen or sleeping- this is what you through your avatar will look like to all the other avatars in your vicinity- and, of course, your avatar will neither see nor hear anything they say or do.”  Having an avatar is like having a second you.  A clone placed in the virtual world if you would like it to look exactly like your physical form.  Second Life is full of opportunities in business, super hero (flying), dating, talking.  I found this virtual world to be an opportunity to opening up and trying new things.  Let’s go to the Sexy Nude Beach!  “My dragon penis is enormous!”  Oh the memories I’ve obtained from playing around with Second Life, what a joyous experience.


“You need a microphone and a sound-recording program to produce a podcast.”  At first I thought podcasting was like screen casting. The more I read the more it talked about radios and audio.  It seems that podcasting is mainly audio-based, not technically visual.  I thought wrong whenever someone would talk about podcasting I would expect like a visual.  I found out it was like a music player used in MySpace, where you have to click the play button to activate and listen.  This is great for people that can’t see.

Dark Side

“Online gossiping hardens into cyberbullying when the nasty messages are directed at a target, so the target sees them, and the people sending the messages work intentionally or unintentionally not as disparate individuals but as a group.”  After reading this chapter I found it sad how far people were willing to go to hurt one another.  I will admit that I cried when I heard a victim of cyberbullying hung herself.  I would think to myself, isn’t there something someone could have done?  Can’t they prevent people from saying a nasty combination of words?

Election of 2008

“President Obama successfully struggles against the forces of legal caution an inertia to keep his Blackberry, his staff discovered upon moving into the White House that its telecom was stuck in a “technological dark ages”, with no Facebook or Twitter, not even Gmail.”  I’m not much into politics but when I read this I couldn’t believe how dark the White House was in the technology world.  I mean no Facebook, Twitter or Gmail that would be torturous.  I check my Facebook and Twitter almost daily.


“…”the wireless, portable evolution of media should continue to the point of providing any individual with access to all the information of the planet, from any place on the planet, indoors and outdoors, and, of course, even beyond the planet itself as communication extends into the solar system and cosmos beyond.””  I found mobile media to be interesting because it’s being used more and more around me.  I see that my friends all have a phone that has access to the Internet, where they can check their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media tools.  I remember back in the day when I had a honking clunking phone that didn’t really have Internet access.  Its amazing how sleek and these phones are these days.

After reviewing the book The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison it states many useful guidelines:

Intro Networked Nonprofits

“Social media tools integral to nonprofits fall into three general categories of use:

  • Conversation starters like blogs, YouTube and Twitter
  • Collaboration tools including wikis and Google Groups
  • Network builders like social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter”

Nonprofit Challenges and Trends

“Millennials, are young people born approximately between the years 1978 and 1992, with their passion for causes and fluency with social media, are also a part of a powerful new force for social change called free agents.”

Understanding Social Networks

“Social networks come in many shapes and sizes:

  • Personal social networks that include family and friends, neighbourhood’s members, fellow congregants and hobbyists.
  • Professional networks of colleagues within organizations, plus people who work at collegial agencies, funders, government agencies, associations, and more.
  • Self-organized networks of individuals on sites such as Facebook where people voluntarily “friend” one another.
  • Networks of people created by specific nonprofit organizations.  This means in essence, pulling members out of their databases and connecting them to one another through online social networks that organizations like charity: water are hosting on their Web sites.”

Creating a Social Culture

“Social culture strikes at the heart of what organizations value and how they operate.  Organizations with social cultures:

  • Use social media to engage in two-way conversations about the work of the organization with people inside and outside of the organization
  • Embrace mistakes and take calculated risks
  • Reward learning and reflection
  • Use a “try it and fix it as we go” approach that emphasizes failing fast
  • Overcome organizational inertia through open and robust discussions
  • Understand and appreciate that informality and individuality do not indicate a lack of caring, professionalism, or quality
  • Trust staff to make decisions and respond rapidly to situations, rather than crawl through endless check-off and approval processes”

Listening, Engaging, and Building Relationships

“Organizations need to be patient, resilient, and resourceful in building relationships with many people in many different ways.  And they need to appreciate these efforts honestly, sincerely, and publicly.”

Building Trust Through Transparency

“Organizations are transparent when

  • Leadership is straightforward when talking to various audiences.
  • Employees are available to reinforce the public view of the organization and to help people when appropriate.
  • Their values are easily seen and understood.
  • Their culture and operations are apparent to everyone inside and out.
  • They communicate all results, good and bad.

Making Nonprofit Organizations Simpler

“Simplicity clarifies organizations and forces them to focus their energy on what they do best, while leveraging the resources of their ecosystem for the rest.”

Working with Crowds

“Crowdsourcing can be classified into four categories

  • Collective intelligence or crowd wisdom
  • Crowd creation
  • Crowd voting
  • Crowd funding

Learning Loops

“Learning loops unwind over the course of multiple efforts.  Monitoring helps organizations adjust sagging efforts immediately.  Stronger programs and processes increase online supporters’ engagement.  Organizations can see significant financial return from a well-executed campaign.”

From Friending to Funding

“…successful fundraising efforts using social media include the following:

  • Credibility
  • Simple, compelling messages
  • Urgency
  • Spread out the giving
  • Donor recognition
  • Storytelling lives on

Governing Through Networks

”…governing boards can act more like social networks:

  • Create a private social network
  • Join public online social network
  • Create an open invitation to board meetings
  • Post draft agendas online
  • Train board members in social media and network weaving
  • Meet somewhere new
  • Share information and data”

Social Media Terms

Social Media- The peer-to-peer communication and user-generated content made possible through the advent of participatory “Web 2.0” tools such as blogs, online social networks, multimedia sites, and text messaging:

  • Blogs– Web log, a platform that allows an author to publish content online.
  • Chat Room- Allows multiple people to communicate through real-time messages.
  • Listserv– An electronic mailing list that distributes messages to subscribers via email.
  • Message Board– An online community hosted in a series of topical discussion forums.  Participants can post new topics via discussion threads and others can reply via comment.
  • Microblog– A form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them.
  • Multimedia– Nontext-based digital content, from mp3s to video to photos, that can be published, shared and tagged online.
  • Review Sites- Web sites that enable sharing, ratings, and reviews.
  • Social Networks– Online communities of individuals (nodes) who are connected to each other via ties.  Social networks form through many types of social media platform, including blog networks, listservs, and Google Groups.  Larger social networks, such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, serve a wide variety of interests and geographic areas.
  • Social News Sites– Web sites such as Digg that enables people to submit and rank news stories, listing the most popular stories first.
  • Virtual World– A computer-simulated environment that enables users to interact with each other and manipulate the digital ecosystem via their personalized avatars.
  • Wiki– A Web site easily edited by many people simultaneously, allowing them to think together, strategize, share documents and create plans together.

Web 1.0– The first era of the Internet, which began in the early 1990s with the advent of the World Wide Web and e-mail.

Web 2.0– The second era of the internet, starting in the late 1990s, through which online information became inexpensively storable, shareable, and participatory through the advent of social media tools.

I will keep in mind everything that I’ve learned through these two books.  I will use these new tools and apply them to my life and connect with the world.  I would recommend using both of these books again.  Although I favour The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine over New New Media by Paul Levinson.  I still learned something from both of them.  I learned from New New Media: about different social media tools, advantages and disadvantages to chatting online, taking risks in life are definitely worth it and to have  fun when communication with others.  I learned from The Networked Nonprofit: about nonprofit organizations, that transparency is important, to keep it simple, to apply guidelines from book to actuality, that I’m a Millennial born 1989, theirs just so many things I learned from this book.  The guidelines above are what I’ve taken away from that book.  It was definitely fun apply knowledge to actuality.  Wasn’t having fun a goal?  I for sure had fun experimenting with social media tools and find it extremely useful for my Visual Arts major.  I plan on creating art for art’s sake by creating an account where the viewer can’t see who the creator is.  I think having the anonymous character will help the viewer focus more on the art instead of the artist.  I think it would be interesting to create numerous unknown characters and see if viewers can follow my artistic fingerprint.  That would be something I would continue to research in as well as observe the people and surroundings around me.  Sharing is a good thing, no matter the amount.


New New Media and The Networked Nonprofit Review

Through the exploration of reading two books, New New Media by Paul Levinson and The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine, I have learned so much about social media tools and their importance.  Each of these books had their helping hand in learning.  Which book was more influential and helpful?

The book New New Media, by Paul Levinson talks about new new media, computer-based forms of communication: blogging, YouTube, wikis, Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and podcasts.  A lot of what Paul Levinson does in this book is compare and contrast the new new media with traditional media.  He also goes into talking about the alterations of professionalism, consumerism, artistry and performance through this internet based media as well as political concepts.  Although I liked the typography used throughout the book I’m afraid this book put me to sleep.  I would read the chapters and after reading it I would forget what I had just read.  It was almost like I was set on automatic read mode.  Reading it but not obtaining anything.  I had to read each chapter twice in order to grab the concept.  I have grown to like some parts of the books:

  • Typography- The typography in the book seemed simple and safe, using Arial and Times New Roman or sans-serif and serif font.  I think it worked well to separate chapter from text.  I find typography to be one of the most important choices when making a book.  I find this fascinating because I want to someday become an illustrator.
  • Cyberbullying- I really enjoyed how cyberbullying was brought up in chapter 6 pages 112-113.  It’s important that people know words are just as hurtful online and offline.  It saddens my heart to hear an adult would do such a thing to a child.  Creating a fake person in order to trick hearts and then projecting depressing words causing death.  I personally think some sentences shouldn’t be allowed in any chat related situations.
  • Second Life- This chapter came in handy when learning about social media and mmorpgs.  I used this chapter to help me create a chapter of my own.

I have also grown to dislike some parts of the book:

  • Politics- I personally dislike politics, so when I had to read about Ron Paul and Barack Obama I felt like a fish out of water.  I knew who these candidates were but I didn’t feel comfortable reading political facts found from various sources.
  • References- Some of the references Levinson use although close to current may not seem relevant as the book furthers more into the future.


I have learned that it is our generation where the world is full of texting, tweeting, blogging, Facebook and MySpace and other social media tools each are used to interact with peers and to connect with the outside world.  This book has shown me more options to connecting via online and interacting through social media.  Also this book has taught me to be more patient with what was being obtained.  I can’t say I favour this book as much as I favour the book, The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine.


This book talks about using social media to improve and change people’s behaviours and expectations around charity and non-profits.  Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, wikis, blogs etc.  I found this book to be more interesting compared to Levinson’s New New Media because I learned a lot of new material and information actually stuck:


  • Free Agent/Millennial- I am a free agent, individual working outside an organization to organize, mobilize, raise funds and communicate with others.  I am also a millennial, young people born between 1978 and 1992.  I was born 1989.  This was interesting to find out the category I would be placed under in a non-profit organization.
  • Bullet Lists- I liked how this book included various different bullet lists to help simplify how to do something.  Steps to becoming a networked non-profit, levels of engagement, strategies for simplifying one’s work life with social media.
  • Social Media Powers Social Networks for Social Change- This was a subheading on page nine in this book and sums up a lot about the importance of social media.  Without social media how would the world change for the better?  It seems to me social change relies on the connections and interactions of social media users on Facebook, Twitter and etc.
  • Transparent- Be transparent like a glass house, be straightforward when talking to various audiences, communicate good and bad results, consider everyone inside and outside of the organization as resources for helping to achieve goals.  Don’t put up walls hiding away, like fortresses.  I see non-profit organizations as wanting to be seen?  Glass houses allow that to happen.
  • Crowdsourcing- The process of organizing many people to participate in a joint project, usually bite-sized projects.  “Crowds can’t be trained like seals, but they can be guided.”  I see this being applied to people reading this book being guided instead of trained on how to become a non-profit organization.
  • Learning Loops- On page 132, the learning loops framework helps me understand visually what they are talking about.  I enjoy how they have made this book with simplicity in mind, not losing the reading by providing visuals like tables, charts, pictures, figures etc.
  • Conclusion/Questions- I really enjoyed how this book had a conclusion summarizing the chapter and reflective questions.  Both help understand each section that much better.  I think having a “do’s” and “don’ts” section on pages 118-119 was very smart and helpful.  These questions at the end aren’t right or wrong questions, more like suggestive guidance and reflective accompanying the following chapters.


This book was a great read, there wasn’t much I disliked.  The only thing I could find as a possible error would be the ending of chapter one missing its conclusion.  All the other chapters had a conclusion and I thought this book did a great job with consistency with the exception of one chapter not having that conclusion.  I personally didn’t mind it; in fact it got me thinking. Why?  Is the conclusion to this chapter placed at the end of the book or is that the overall conclusion for the book?  I have a hard telling sometimes.  It would be genius if you had intended the ending of the book to have the conclusion to tie all the chapters at the end.


All in all, I would recommend reading The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine, as opposed to reading New New Media by Paul Levinson, since it was more influential and helpful.  As for some improvements Paul Levinson could do are probably including some pictorial elements to get his point across.  I got lost in so much text and references.  As for reading this as an introduction to social media, I think this book did a great job.  I learned about new forms of communication and interactions.  Out of all the social media tools, I would have to choose Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Google + as continuations after reading this book.  I will continue using social media to increase acknowledgement, not for my sake (like my performance) but for my art’s sake.  I want to experiment more with social media organizations and create my own mini free agent project, using some tips and guidance from The Networked Nonprofit book.  Instead of creating art with my name, I plan on experimenting with the unknown attribute of creating art.   I will make art for art’s sake.  Saying such a proclamation may have outed my plan in being unknown.  Good luck trying to find me.  I want to place my artist fingerprint and see if people can tell.

Wellspring For The World Updated

Wellspring For The World’s website has made a remarkable recovery!  The site was coughing broken code all over the place.  The images weren’t displaying correctly, the wording on the right panel were running off the page, the contact information needed some rework and some reorganizing needed to be done.  What I’ve done to aid this site in making it user friendly includes:

  • Clickable flash images, now the images on the right panel are clickable.  I have no idea where all the images are that they’ve used.  It’s still a mystery.  I really wanted to add another image at the top right corner to get rid of wasted space, but unfortunately this “Joomla” is very touchy.  Every little thing I tried to change, changed the site drastically.  At first I thought fixing the right panel was going to be easy, add some line breaks to make it fit in the border.  Some how the buttons to subscribe and donate disappeared.  I got real worried because I had no idea how to get that back.  Luckily I had help with that problem and I fixed it right away.
  • Reorganized content and text, I moved the news displayed on the home page to the “news” button.  I moved the video to the front page and in its place I made a “Wellspring Pictures” button and displayed all their recent pictures.  It was a mystery figuring out how to display pictures; I had finally figured out what the “media manager” did, it held images.  The images I was in search for weren’t in this area although I figure out “upload” means to upload something onto the database.  I had uploaded the recent pictures provided by Wellspring For The World.  I reorganized the text by placing the contact information at the bottom of the page.  I had tried to increase the navigation text, but that was a failure.  I tried everything, no luck.  Some sites are easier to fix when the CSS is labeled efficiently.  I didn’t know what changed what, I saw a “font-size” in the CSS and increased every single one of them keeping in mind the original size.  I didn’t want to repeat the disappearance of donate, and subscribe buttons again.
  • Added Facebook “like” button and “follow” twitter buttons, in order to keep this site connected with the world.

Like I had mentioned this “Joomla” site is very touchy, one slight change could screw the whole thing up.  I had to step around mine fields on this one.  All in all I think the changes made to the site makes it more user-friendly.  “Follow” and “Like” Wellspring For The World!

The Networked Nonprofit Chapter 3 Summarized

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)…”

The Networked Nonprofit Chapter 2 Summarized

The following is from the book The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine.  ”Connecting with social media to drive change.”  Chapter two goes into talking about the 20th century, millennials, free agents and rules of engagement.

Some interesting facts I thought this chapter had to offer include: 2005 nonprofit organizations employ 12.9 million individuals 9.7% U.S economy.  2008 nonprofits total revenue was $307.65 billion.  These two facts are interesting because I didn’t know so many people were employed in a nonprofit organization, its fascinating.  $307 billion is quite a chunk of change.  “This expansion has been the creation and growth of individual organizations, with own missions, staffs and revenue needs.

“20th century caused nonprofit organizations to turn inward and pull away from their own members and communities.”  Several important events first includes the rise of professional staff.  Second the numbers and size if private foundation grew.  Third organizations began to define success.  Fourth information technology enabled organizations to raise money from more people through direct mail without having to interact with them personally.  Not all nonprofit organizations keep their communities at arms length.  Many do, they lose control of the outside world from the being pressured to fund their organizations and from trying not to drown in this fast-moving environment.

Millennials are young people born between the years 1978 and 1992.  Hey look I’m a millennial.  I was born 1989.  Millennials are digital natives.  Their passions are fluid; they support organizations at certain times when moving to do so, and then they will go away.  This chapter then goes into talking about Free agents- individuals working outside of organizations to organize, mobilize, raise funds and communicate with constituents.  They are not by definition millennials but many free agents are young people.  Take advantage of social media toolset, to do everything organizations have always done, but outside institutional walls.  On page 18 of the chatper I found this story to be touching:

“In December 2007, 10 year old Laura Stockman pledged to do 25 good deeds leading up to Christmas in memory of grandfather who died the previous year.”  She started a blog, sharing her ideas and efforts with other people, including several influential philanthropic bloggers.  She had 16,000 visitors and raised thousands of dollars for causes like the ASPCA.  This just goes to show, anyone one capable of communicating can help.

This chapter talks about rules of engagement (working with free agents):

  • Get to know the free agents.
  • Break out of silos.
  • Sort out feelings about issues.
  • Don’t ignore the newcomer.
  • Keep the welcome sign lit.
  • Let them go.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow.

Imagine using some of these rules in other applications of life.  The rules of engagement (relationships).  These rules seem ideal to life in some cases.

The Networked Nonprofit Chapter 1 Summarized

The following is from the book The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine.  “Connecting with social media to drive change.”  Chapter one talks about the difference between atom-based work and bit-based work as well as social media tools and social media myths.  Atom-based work- taking physical action (cleaning up beaches, testing water).  Bit-based work- taking action online (social media, FaceBook, Twitter).  This chapter used the word “engage” quite often.  “…engage people locally and energetically on behalf of the organization.”  “…engage people in shaping and sharing their work in order to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services, or advocate for legislation.”

The social media tools they talk about fall into three categories: Conversation, Collaboration and Network.   Conversation includes  startes like blogs, YouTube and Twitter.   Collaboration includes tools likes wiki and Google Groups.  Network includes builders like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.  This chapter then goes on to talk about young people.  I gathered four key elements: Think, Connect, Engage and Work Together.  “Social media use is becoming ingrained in the way that people relate to one another and work together.”

Social media myths:  social media is just for kids, our constituents aren’t online, face-to-face isn’t important anymore, social media isn’t core to our work, using social media is hard, using social media is time consuming (which is true in some cases).  Each of these myths are that just myths.  Chapter one ends with social change and powers for social networks.  “Change happened because individuals began to adjust their behaviors based on the norms developed within their social circles.”  Social change- any effort by people and organizations to make the world a better place.  “Conversations activate the natural creativity and passion that people bring to causes they care about.”

I would imagine many people want to help, they just don’t know how or where to start.  Reading this book, seems like a great start to helping out.  I personally plan on putting a little aside each paycheck for nonprofit organizations.  Every little bit helps.