How to Read “Social Media for Social Good”

I noticed in my description of what to do in Week 1 that I didn’t give any real instructions for how to read SMSG.  Let me give you what are called some pre-reading notes.

Introduction. Identify points that seem relevant to you but make sure you take note of

  • the definitions of web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. These might be coming up in your other classes; they will definitely come up on the job or with organizations.
  • the goal of reaching 5,000 followers on social networking sites.  I don’t know many local organizations that have reached that number; pay attention to it when we look at Facebook.
  • Heather Mansfield’s advice to enjoy the flux and the play that comes with social media and the ever evolving technology.  If you hate the change and hate trying new things, social media (and this class) will not be for you.

Chapter 1.  This chapter is all about “the static web” or websites, enewsletters, and “donate now” campaigns. As the name “static web” implies, these aren’t the exciting tools, but they provide great return on investment, so we (as social media experts) still need to pay attention to them.  Rather than just read this chapter and make a few notes, I recommend that you:

  • spend a few minutes navigating the website of one large and one small nonprofit website, just to get familiar with them and to get a feel for their “persona.” From this website, you can go to Surfrider, Charity: Water, or International Red Cross (big) and small (Charism, Lakes and Prairie Community Action Plan, or The Arts Partnership).
  • read the the chapter with these websites up, and check to see which principles the websites employ, which ones they don’t.
  • pay particularly close attention to the advice on “good writing” but this course will emphasize writing more than it will emphasize design and technical knowledge, although all three will be relevant.

Go through these chapters and the nonprofit websites with Blog Essay #1 (#be1) in mind. A good analysis of the persona of a website, as developed through the writing, design, and integration of social media, would make for an excellent first essay.

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