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Facebook is a social network encouraging real identity — each user has a single account under their full, real name. Facebook began among US college students but has quickly expanded to people of all ages around the world.

6 September 2011

Organizations concerned about the privacy of their visitors — especially those at risk of being tracked by repressive governments who could lean on social networking companies to release user data — should carefully weigh whether a given social widget is worth the risk in privacy. Moreover, these organizations should absolutely provide a privacy policy that specifically lays out what’s being collected and by whom, and may also want to consider suggesting ways for those at risk to circumvent this data tracking.

9 December 2010

Earlier this year, Facebook announced they were dropping support for new custom tabs that used Facebook Markup Language, although you could still specify a particular application tab as your landing page, including custom-page-creating applications. Indeed, a custom landing tab was recommended as a Facebook best practice for nonprofits.

Now, however, it appears all visitors to a nonprofit’s Facebook Page will be directed to the Wall. What’s more, with tabs being de-emphasized by their move to smaller links under your profile, it’s less obvious how new visitors can find out more about your organization.

13 November 2009

Last week, Special Envoy to Sudan Gen. Scott Gration sat down with representatives from Save Darfur and the student network STAND for an unprecedented live Q&A, webcast directly from the White House website. The webcast was notable not just for its interactivity — members of both STAND and Save Darfur were encouraged to submit questions, which were then asked directly of Gration on air — but for its accountability.

23 February 2009

Just a quick note to say I’ll be speaking as part of Social Actions’ “Using Facebook for Social Change<” webinar on Thursday, along with Susan Gordon, the nonprofit coordinator of Causes<, and moderated by Beth Pickard< and David Karp< of Firstgiving<.

You’re invited to join in a live and open text chat to discuss how you can use Facebook for social change. This is your opportunity to share experiences and ask questions about how people and orgs can do outreach, inspire action, and fund raise on the Facebook network.

24 October 2008

In this presentation from the Democracy in Action Community Conference 2008, I talk about some of the successful approaches for nonprofits in using social networks like Facebook and MySpace, and social media like Flickr and YouTube. I give detailed examples of how the Genocide Intervention Network, where I served as director of communications and Internet strategy coordinator for four years, used social networking to achieve its goals in membership development, advocacy and fundraising.

19 November 2008

Ivan Boothe helped start the Genocide Intervention Network< in 2004, and was responsible for communications, web development and social networking strategy. He has since started doing freelance work on his own at rootwork.org<. So he cautioned me that some of the information might not be entirely up to date that he shared on listserv including a pointer to his awesome slide show with audio.

Ivan is one of a small number of nonprofit early adopters in social media and social networks — he has a couple of years of experience under his belt — so his wisdom is priceless<.

Ivan says their organization’s social networking initiatives have been successful in building the “brand” of an anti-genocide constituency. Ivan notes, “Social networking is a long-term approach and using traditional metrics of advocacy or fundraising it may not look like much. But over a long period of time social networking is actually critical in building an effective, educated political constituency.”

So, what is the right fit to use a social networking strategy?  Ivan suggests:

Social networking is a natural fit for an organization that wants more than an ATM of donors or a list of petition-signers, but active and engaged political organizers.

4 May 2008

Those groups that have found advocacy success on FacebookFacebook is a social network encouraging real identity — each user has a single account under their full, real name. Facebook began among US college students but has quickly expanded to people of all ages around the world. tend to adopt
an approach that USES the one-on-one nature of the site. As one small
example, I spoke to a group of pro-choice activists a few weeks ago,
many of whom work with students on college campuses. When I asked how
Facebook fit into their work, the overwhelming response was that it was
essentially an email replacement — they employed Facebook messages to
reach individual supporters or small groups of supporters when they
were preparing for events or promoting a particular message. The
Genocide Intervention Network demonstrates a much more comprehensive
and strategic approach but the same basic idea: as Ivan Boothe wrote last year<.

Note that Ivan is describing something very different than traditional
mass communications: he’s talking about working closely (no doubt
frequently one-on-one) with people on Facebook and other networking
sites over a long period of time to help build a cadre of very
committed activists
— something that most electoral campaigns (and even
most issue advocacy campaigns) simply can’t do, whether because of lack
of time or lack of resources.

25 October 2007

Our experience, overall, has been that local people are really out in front on organizing [the anti-genocide] issue, and we’re just creating the tools, putting the tools in their hands, and giving them the resources to take action. For instance, the 1-800-GENOCIDE< Hotline, the Darfur Scorecard<, things like that are giving people the resources to take action.

In our experience, they’re already out there doing a lot of stuff. I know when we began a couple of years ago, and were just sort of starting our outreach on FacebookFacebook is a social network encouraging real identity — each user has a single account under their full, real name. Facebook began among US college students but has quickly expanded to people of all ages around the world., we found there were already dozens of Facebook groups around the issue and working on these issues. It was just about networking them, giving them resources, giving them support in the work they were doing. That’s what we’ve been trying to do since then.

26 July 2008

Sociological research and commentary on the use of social networks like MySpaceMySpace is a social network that is not built around a single identity. Users can and do have multiple profiles, with no restrictions on the “names” they use. MySpace is used by many musical groups., FacebookFacebook is a social network encouraging real identity — each user has a single account under their full, real name. Facebook began among US college students but has quickly expanded to people of all ages around the world., LiveJournalLiveJournal is a social network built around blogging. Users can “friend” one another and restrict some or all blog entries to their friends. Users can also join blogging communities built around particular topics., Xanga and YouTubeYouTube is a social network built around video content: posting, sharing, rating and commenting. by teenagers in the United States. danah boyd is a PhD candidate at the University of California Berkeley and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

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