Tuesday, February 19, 2013

16 TakeAways

'Tis the peak season for big social media conferences around the country, and CauseGlobal caught up with two of the year's first this past weekend, the Media That Matters 2013 conference in DC on Friday and the just-ended Social Media Weekend gathering at Columbia. [Social Media Week kicks off today and we'll be there, too!]

(User-recommendations versus vendor-PR):
Rebel Mouse. Founder Paul Berry, former CTO for the Huffington Post, asked himself while creating this social media publisher/aggregator, "Does the world really need yet another social media service?" You be the judge. This tool is for helping NPOs create a "social front page" out of the most popular bits of information in their Twitter and Facebook streams, updated in real time. They look a bit like Pinterest pages — all highly visual and updated dynamically from a feed, or many feeds (users choose). Berry says Rebel Mouse can help nonprofits engage better with key supporters in the conversations that matter the most. Here's how PBS used a Rebel Mouse page to share viewer reactions to Hurricane Nemo (photos, videos, and 6-second Vine videos) as it was happening. Here's the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Rebel Mouse page, an information graphic from its survey data. How might your nonprofit better convey its impact and relevancy using a real-time social media aggregator?

* Soundcloud: This is a social audio service that can help organizations create short sound clips (from their iPhones or other mobile devices) and share them dynamically. NPOs can interview an issues expert or a key supporter who can help you make the case for urgency around your cause. How does it work? Upload the audio from you iPhone or recording device to your NPO's Soundcloud page and their direct supporters there to hear it, or embed the audio clip into your organization's home page or blog. A cause might use Soundcloud clips to send a "thank-you" or a brief testimonial from someone your cause helped, and this content also can be tweeted. Recent examples: this recording of what the meteor last week sounded like as it crashed into Russia, courtesy KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. The New Yorker is using it, too, here

Vine. Twitter's new 6-second video-sharing app that lets organizations and individuals share clips with motion and sound. Here's a post on the app by Nonprofit Nate, on the "21 Nonprofit uses for Twitter's new Vine Video App."

Jollyfy. It's a new video recording and sharing app for iPhone and iPad that allows people to record videos during a conference or fundraising event or gala and create a group video album of the collective experience. Think Flickr for short videos.

TwylahA Twitter organizing tool that helps you focus and convey your tweets around your organization's top brand attributes or goals. Here's a link to some nonprofits using Twylah. Here's the Twylah page set up by Doctors Without Borders. Use Twylah if your mission needs to be more clearly defined, or if your staff has a tendency to go "off mission" in its tweetstreams and other communications. Getting clarity around mission is at the core of a nonprofit's success on social media; Twylah promises to help cause leaders stay on-message.

Statigr.am: A tool to measure audience engagement around the Instagram photos you send and share. NBC uses statigr.am to gauge its audience around the news photos it shares; nonprofit groups that are especially well-suited to sharing photos (environment, animal, arts and education organizations) might consider using this tool as part of its volunteer and donor outreach programs. Here's an example of a fundraising page on Statigr.am.

WhoSharedMyLink: This is a tool that does what its name suggests. Check it out here.

OneQube: Another measurement tool, but this one for real-time insights into trends, participants and content appearing in #hashtag conversations. See this sample from Social Media Weekend.

Sparkwi.se. Sparkwi.se helps nonprofits integrate their engagement metrics and data with the stories that they tell. It pulls data from around the web or out of NPO spreadsheets and data dashboards, and displays it graphically in simple widgets. Nonprofits can put their Sparkwi.se dashboards together in any way they choose, incorporating everything from follower counts on Twitter to MP3 files of audio to video clips and photographs and infographics that contain only the most relevant information and data about themselves and their key issues. Fast Company recently gave it rave reviews. See this Sparkwi.se dashboard for Future Leaders of Kenya and this one for Barefoot College. Co-founder Wendy Levy, who I met Friday in DC, says: "We need to get beyond measuring page views and Facebook views, to get a better assessment of how our work as change-makers is actually changing the world around us ... We (nonprofits) are walking and talking data sources, and if we cannot convey that data and convert it into information that helps us make change and measure our impact on the Earth as organizations, then we will be left on the porch while the train leaves the station, and we might as well be shouting into tin cups connected by string."  

Many cause video storytellers are expanding their reach with transmedia campaigns, aimed at promoting awareness, engagement and fundraising across multiple platforms, online and off. Among notable examples from the #MTMDC conference Friday:

* Cause video-maker Nancy Schwartzman and her groundbreaking "The Line" video about young women and teen rape, and the mobile app she developed to promote the film that has now been downloaded more than 50,000 times in 23 countries. Called Circle of 6, the app gives young women a quick, "always on" way to get advice from the six people they trust the most, precisely at the time they need it the most. The inspiration for the app came from Schwartzman's interviews with hundreds of teens during the making of her cause film. During the filmmaking, Schwartzman said, she "let target audience input help drive the direction of the film, so that it became less a video that I made and more of a video I made with my target audience, together — to help others." 

*  Manhattan Filmmaker Roland Legiardi-Laura, co-director of "To Be Heard,"  created the mobile platform, "Power Poetry," from the film to help further promote his push to improve literacy in New York's public schools and on the streets of the city. 

* Pultizer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are releasing a Facebook game on March 4th as part of their transmedia "Half the Sky Movement" campaign. Announced at Saturday's Social Media Weekend gathering, the Half the Sky game title is to be an adventure game targeted at making mainstream audiences more aware of the trafficking of girls and women as sex slaves — and other issues facing females in the developing world (as well as here at home). Produced by Games for Change and co-funded by Zynga.org, the Ford Foundation, Intel, the Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations, among others, the game joins the book and PBS video series, all geared to the mission of ending the oppression and abuse of women and girls worldwide.


Evidence-based marketing is the next big thing for nonprofits, says UNICEF's Impact and Analysis Coordinator Sebastian Majewski — of the first cause data analysts in the nation. Think data-driven messaging that stresses proof of impact, as well as better strategies for engaging new funders. "This is all about a nonprofit moving from, 'I feel we should do this or that' to 'I know we should do this '— moving from feeling to knowing," Majewski told Social Media Weekend attendees. "It's also about understanding supporter and stakeholder sentiment over time. It's about knowing who is driving communications and the conversations that matter to your organization the most. It's about knowing exactly how your organization can add value in order to be recognized."

UNICEF is the most popular charity across the two main social media networks, Twitter and Facebook, with 1,010,614 followers on Twitter and more than 1.7 million likes on Facebook, say Social Media Weekend organizers. Says Majewski: "Don't monitor your nonprofit brand using social media analytics," he says. "Monitor for the issues your brand wants to be amplified."

Build impact measures into your projects from the start, so your projects are less about experimentation and more strongly tied to mission, says Sparkwi.se's Wendy Levy. Adds Sally Osberg, our friend and President of the Skoll Foundation: "I'm tired of raising awareness. Where's the change?" Cause supporters are demanding proof of impact as never before.

Data philanthropy is among the most important new areas of giving. Big data —- the terabytes of data collected daily across the world by governments and businesses and nonprofits and schools — contains hugely valuable information for nonprofit causes, if only organizations could translate this information glut into insights they could use to help solve social problems and more effectively target their efforts. In the past year or two, new nonprofits and causes are cropping up to make that happen, and a new form of philanthropy, called data philanthropy. See this post by our friend Lucy Bernholz on the coming influence of Big Data on the giving sector.

* More tips from the tweet-stream of Social Media Weekend, from blogger Karen Sieminski:
Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 6.36.23 PM

Cause Global will be attending this week's social media uber-gathering, Social Media Week NYC, and participating on a panel we helped to organize at NYU on Crowdfunding for Causes, here.

Hope to see you there!

-- Marcia Stepanek

(PhotoIllustration: istock.com)


Anonymous Zohar Rom said...

Thank you for this array of new tools.

I’m rooting for Circle of 6 and Half The Sky to be so successful that copycats pounce!

February 19, 2013 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Marcia Stepanek said...

Zohar -- Great to hear from you, and thanks for your input!

February 19, 2013 at 4:14 PM  

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