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Nonprofits and Social Media

By Tom Watson on December 29, 2007No Comment

Beth Kanter, one of the real experts of using social media to benefit nonprofit organizations, has a different kind of New Year’s post up – four lessons she’s learned about social networks and nonprofits. This one struck me in particular, given my personal (very rewarding) experience with newcritics:

2. Size doesn’t matter:   It isn’t how many people are in your network, it is how you well you know them and your relationship.  It isn’t about quantity or friend collecting.  It isn’t about broadcasting your message or lecturing.  Grow your network slowly and get to know your friends and be helpful.  And, if you find yourself in the position I was in – with lots of people requesting to be friends, find out why first.  Don’t just accept them. Seek out tools that will help you manage your relationships efficiently, not gather or collect more friends.

For those who don’t know, newcritics is the group blog/social network I started last January to bring new voices to the dying art of media criticism – we’ve got about 45 bloggers and it’s really become a  very tight, supportive social network for its members. As Beth says, it’s not a massive group of people – daily usage is around 200 people and the regular commenters are there at least weekly. But it’s been more rewarding to me than my participation in much larger, better-financed efforts. I plan to share some of the lessons I’ve learned with newcritics in writing CauseWired.

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