social media

Blogs vs. Wikis - Oldschool but funny

Found this funny video on Nancy White's Fullcirc website. The discussion blogs vs. wikis is a little 2003ish - I'm glad to see online engagement mature beyond this question and new tools evolve. 


How will Barack Obama employ social media as president?

What a wonderful day! And plenty of observers have already noted the key role that the Internet and social media played in the successful campaign of Barack Obama. But the question that strikes me is: when he’s President, how will he utilize the hundreds of thousands of MySpace friends, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, members, and SMS opt-ins, just to name a few, to advance his policies and­ ­­politics­? Are we on the verge of a new era of eParticipation in politics?

Youtube Annotations with Hyperlinks

I've played around with Youtube's video annotation but not until recently did I discover that it actually allows users to include hyperlinks (why wouldn't it, duh?). In the meantime there are a couple of great examples where filmmakers have put together a series of short movies where the viewer decides the course of the story. The concept is obviously not new, but all of a sudden available to anybody and really taking 5min bite-size online video to a different level.

I really think this would be a great way to present information in civic engagement projects, where participants make trade-offs and see a different course of action depending on the choices they make. Will put a demo together shortly...

An Introduction to Facebook Activism

facebook_guide_cover300pxDigiactive, a site devoted to digital activism, has released a guide called A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism. It's a quick read with insights and case studies of how Facebook can be used for campaigns. Many of the tips are helpful for anyone looking to use Facebook to support their eParticipation efforts.

[via Beth Kanter's Blog

The POST Method: A systematic approach to social strategy

One of the biggest takeaways from the fabulous book Groundswell - winning in a world transformed by social technologies, which I just finished reading, was the POST Method as a simple framework of how to approach social software:

Is your company [organization] doing its social strategy backwards?

If you started by saying "we should do a blog" or "we should create a page on a social network" or "we should create a community" the answer is probably yes.

post_method_2I've been there and am confronted with this approach pretty often in our work. Following the POST Method seems obvious, but it's important to re­mind ourselves frequently to go through the steps one after the other. Whether you're a customer care agent selling cheap airfare or an urban planner trying to capture citizen feedback online, the POST method gives you a simple tool to ­participate successfully on the social web:

P is People. Don't start a social strategy until you know the capabilities of your audience. If you're targeting college students, use social networks. If you're reaching out business travelers, consider ratings and reviews. Forrester has great  data to help with this, but you can make some estimates on your own. Just don't start without thinking about it.

O is objectives. Pick one. Are you starting an application to listen to your customers, or to talk with them? To support them, or to energize your best customers to evangelize others? Or are you trying to collaborate with them? Decide on your objective before you decide on a technology. Then figure out how you will measure it.

S is Strategy. Strategy here means figuring out what will be different after you're done. Do you want a closer, two-way relationship with your best customers? Do you want to get people talking about your products? Do you want a permanent focus group for testing product ideas and generating new ones? Imagine you succeed. How will things be different afterwards? Imagine the endpoint and you'll know where to begin.

T is Technology. A community. A wiki. A blog or a hundred blogs. Once you know your people, objectives, and strategy, then you can decide with confidence.

This may sound simple to the sophisticated readers of this blog. But it works. Try it. Think your strategy through. Even if you're just clarifying your own strategy, this should help you explain it to your boss.

You can find more information about the book and its authors on their blog >>

Yahoo Local adds community suggestion board feature

Yahoo just added a community suggestion board feature on its Local site for two California cities where citizens can post and deliberate about local issues.  People rate the suggestions, comment on them, subscribe to posts about particular issues and spread the word by printing flyers, adding events and forwarding posts to neighbors.


From "...for instance, on the Sacramento "Neighbors" site, people have suggested that the city needs more downtown gas stations, more urban farms, and a dog park. It turns out the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen is seeking volunteers and a group is volunteering to help with painting projects.

The pilot test is also running for San Carlos, south of San Francisco. Following a three- to six-month trial, the feature will roll out nationally, Yahoo said.

"We're providing a forum for the community to air considerations," which ideally will lead to action, Frazier Miller, general manager of Yahoo Local, said on Wednesday. "We think people are very passionate about their local community. This is a Web 2.0 site for people to talk about local community issues."

It's interesting to see big players jump on the hyperlocal bandwagon. Also, I'm fascinated by the overlap with's Issues Forums. The interesting question will be: Is simply offering the right features enough to build community and to be heard by decision makers?

Citizen Superheroes - Social media and government

I like the way Tara Hunt pitches the advantages of the bottom-up Web2.0 to government in an entertaining way. Found over at Beth Kanter's blog.

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