#begoodbesocial – my take.

BeGoodBeSocial logoNot long back from the first meeting of #begoodbesocial at The Melting Pot in Edinburgh. If you work in the non-profit arena in Scotland and you haven’t already heard about this then get over to the website and have a gander.

There are a few meetups designed for the social media savvy in Scotland but the concentration lies mostly on harnessing social media for business success so it was really interesting to have a group of people talking about social media for good. Kudos to Ross McCulloch for pulling off a very successful evening.

From my perspective, as someone who is trying to introduce social media into an organisation that has not used it before it was comforting to hear that others face the same issues as myself. It was also satisfying to hear that those who are pushing the boundaries of social media within the non-profit sector in Scotland are doing so with similar aims to those I have for my organisation.

In particular it was great to hear Rosie McIntosh from Oxfam Scotland talk about citizenjournalists.org.uk a project launched by Oxfam Scotland to try and build a base of citizen journos that take social media beyond “clicktivism”. It’s an intriguing idea and I just love that there’s no media hype connected to it, just the true belief that we can all change the world one small step at a time.

Following Rosie’s presentation some good points were raised about branding (or lack of) of the site and the danger of other charities being able to “hijack” the site for their own causes. I wish I’d spoken up but I didn’t, I’m a relative newbie to this world afterall! What I wanted to say, as the conversation moved from cause hijacking to the constant competition for funding was this.

We all talk about the difficulty of introducing the doubters to social media, about the fact that we’re basically having to affect a culture shift within our organisations, we talk about telling them its about the people behind the Facebook, the human web. We talk about sharing information on Twitter, we Livestream events, we Slideshare ….. why then are we not taking this opportunity to extend that culture shift into the whole sector, to realise the true possibilities open to us, to really share, to work together?

Maybe I’m being naive but if we really all do go into work in the morning with the aim of changing our own small corner of the world just imagine what we can achieve with a powerful tool like the human web. If we’re all good and social together we can surely achieve so much more, and hey we’re already making huge cultural changes, why not just push it that little bit further?

2 thoughts on “#begoodbesocial – my take.

  1. I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog! I think there’s great opportunity for harnessing the power of social media in the nonprofit sector – I have to as it’s what I do for a living. There are great examples out there of things that work, and the defining thread to each of them is collaboration, partnership.

    For example, one way to build awareness and support for your org is to partner with another and have a Facebook contest. You each create a post, link to the other’s page, and announce the challenge to your followers. It’s up to the followers to get more “likes,” more donations, more fans, etc, but the real power is getting your name in front of hundreds of new users.

    Another example is using your network of followers at Twitter to inspire action for a cause. This is something that happened organically in my community among the local tweeters. You can read the story here: http://www.spaighttalk.com/2010/09/20/what-do-you-mean-by-activate-the-house-that-twitter-built/, but really it’s a simply story of people coming together and doing something extraordinary. Everyone does what they can and the collaboration creates something much bigger.

    I think examples like these and more (Text for Haiti: http://mashable.com/2010/01/13/haiti-red-cross-donations/, is another) are great to give to the naysayers as proof that social media is more than just connecting with friends and acquaintances. Social media is, in fact, a powerful set of tools to raise awareness, funds, and ideas that will change the world – even if it’s just your own little corner of it.

    • Hi mandi, thanks for taking the time to comment. I absolutely love the #saveteecycle story, it just shows what can be achieved. Great idea to partner up and run a Facebook competition as well. I think ideas like that are fantastic ways for small non-profits to bolster their online presence, it’s all about finding new and interesting ways to engage and when you’re starting out, and probably doing a hundred other things as well as social media, it just makes sense to collaborate.

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