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23rd February
2011
written by Catherine An

So Anna and I just got off a webinar about the new Facebook pages offered by Andrew Cohen, managing editor at Forum One. (Disclaimer: Forum One is our internet strategy/website development/all things geeky consultant. But they do offer some good notes about Facebook for new users!).

Yesterday, Anna sat in on a call hosted by Network for Good on ways to improve web writing and compose better micro-content for social networks (specifically, fundraising on social networks).

And just this morning, I got a call from an eager outreach officer asking me to embed some video on our social networks to support a homelessness radio marathon streaming live from Kansas City, MO.

And so I find myself again at that juncture between social change and social media.

At the Alliance, we continue our struggle to find the right balance between traditional and social media outreach. We work hard to assess and re-assess the value and return of our Facebook page, our Twitter account, our blog. And based on the community online, based on the emails I receive, and based on the chatter around the office, I know that we’re not the only ones to struggle with these not-really-new-anymore mediums.

Me – I’m a luddite-in-disguise (and it’s not a great disguise either). As much as I like the new and shiny tools online, I’d really rather not have to learn a whole new thing – especially if it’s going to take more than two minutes.

But here’s what keeps me tweeting away: the way people consume information has fundamentally changed (just ask the print industry). And while some people may cling to the newspapers and weeklies, they’re hardly in the majority anymore. News breaks on blogs, announcements happen online, and when I want a brief overview of what’s happened overnight, I pull up my Twitter feed – not the New York Times.

And as an organization dedicated to informing the field of homelessness, it’s our responsibility to reach people where they are.

That’s just the view from here. What conversations are you having in the office about social media and online outreach?

Image courtesy of Matt Haughey.

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6 Comments

  1. Great post. I find it encouraging to hear how you’re working to reach audiences online. Here, we’re talking more and more about how to reach not just people interested in affordable housing, but also actual residents and the people whose lives we’re working to impact using social media.

  2. Colleen
    23/02/2011

    There’s a great clip of the homelessness marathon that’s happening right now from Free Speech TV; getting this clip to your blog spot proves that I am no longer a luddite!

    http://www.livestream.com/freespeechtv/video?clipId=flv_0e1814d0-4b9c-4a04-ae5e-4aad23f4eae1

  3. bg
    23/02/2011

    I think the power of social media has been especially evident given its impressive roles in the recent uprising in Egypt, organizing in Wisconsin, and how individuals access information. It’s amazing to think how social media has become such an integral and indispensable resource for so many organizations. It is a great equalizer, giving organizations (big and small) a platform to reach people not only across the country, but around the world, with a simple click of a button. The 14th Annual Homelessness Marathon is utilizing social media and the internet to bring the individuals at the front lines of the homelessness crisis to a national audience. Here’s a clip from the broadcast: http://www.livestream.com/freespeechtv/video?clipId=flv_f7af985e-dc24-46be-954f-6bb2f7dae2af

    Check out the broadcast on freespeech.org and check them out on facebook.com/homelessnessmarathon or facebook.com/freespeechtv

  4. [...] blogged about social media and it’s role in creating social change – something we’ve been thinking [...]

  5. 02/03/2011

    PLEASE HELP……I AM ON A MISSION TO HELP. ARE YOU GOING TO JOIN AND HELP? WE NEED TO GET THIS STARTED NOW.

  6. 02/03/2011

    IT’S ALL ABOUT HOMELESSNESS….AND….VERY POOR LIVING CONDITIONS. IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS AND ARE ABLE TO HELP.
    HOW CAN YOU GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT, WITHOUT DOING SOMETHING?