“[A]lways seeking ways to improve”: HIT, Inc. and Its Media Ecology

Here’s my analysis of HIT, Inc.’s media ecology. It’s a long one, but it’s worth it!

Christian Weber

After examining the ways in which the Dacotah Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Bismarck, ND, uses – or, more aptly, fails to use – its online presence to amplify its presence in the communities it serves, I chose to take a look at HIT, Inc., another local nonprofit. I visited its website and Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages to get an idea of how it integrates its social media presences into a cohesive and effective system, an ecology of outreach efforts intended to increase community awareness of the organization and its services. While what I found wasn’t particularly impressive, – not a single tweet since 2015! – I recognized 1. each page included an accessible link to HIT’s website; and 2. the content available on each social media page was interesting, relevant, and reflected the stated goals of the organization. Its efforts to get in on this fraught…

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Have you heard of the Dacotah Foundation?

Hi, again! I chose to take a look at how the Dacotah Foundation uses social media. Spoiler alert: their approach needs some work.

Christian Weber

Unless you’re 1. a long-time resident of Bismarck, ND, Mandan, ND, or Fargo, ND; and 2. working in community mental health services in one of those areas, your answer is probably no. Although the Dacotah Foundation has provided community mental health and addiction services in Bismarck and Mandan for over 50 years, it’s largely unknown, especially when compared with similar local organizations like Pride, Inc. and HIT, Inc. It’s not very difficult to understand why this is. Pride and HIT operate blogs on their respective websites as well as active Facebook and Twitter pages. The Dacotah Foundation’s Facebook page has fewer than 300 “likes,” and its website looks like some artifact dredged out of a dial-up-era forum.

The Foundation

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The Dacotah Foundation was founded in Bismarck, ND in 1965. A second location opened in Fargo in 2003. It offers a wide variety of services intended for people with psychological and…

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Who Do You Want to Be Online?

Hi, all! Here’s my “Who do you want to be online?” post. Let me know what you think!

Christian Weber

“I am the little man who smokes & smokes.
I am the girl who does know better but.
I am the king of the pool.
I am so wise I had my mouth sewn shut.
I am a government official & a goddamned fool.
I am a lady who takes jokes.”

I’ve defined my identity by my interests, by my accomplishments, by my relationships, by the expectations imposed on me by others, by my reactions to those expectations, by my appearance, by my habits. One thing’s remained consistent, though: I’m always trying to be someone else. When I choose to attend church services with my parents, I’m Søren Kierkegaard, lambasting the dispassion of organized Christianity and advocating authenticity and committed, even reckless, religious faith; when I’m at a bar with my friends, I’m Christopher Hitchens, ridiculing religious fervor of all kinds, excoriating untenable political positions, and drinking “enough to kill…

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Week 3: Social Network

Natalia, But Online

It seems as though blogging, tweeting, Instagramming, and the like seem to work together to fulfill a complete social media experience. Each platform seems to satisfy a specific need. For example, twitter is used for microblogging, Instagram collects photos which gives it visual appeal, Facebook is intended for a mixture of photos and words, and blogging satisfies the need for lengthy word usage.

Organizations use social media to build community predominately using Facebook and email newsletters. I’m involved with an organization called “Blessed is She”, which is an online Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and website organization that promotes Christianity for women. Pictures of flowers, coffee, rosaries, and pretty young moms with babies are some examples that describe how this organization works. What is unique about this group is that they offer Facebook ‘groups’ and an online membership that you can be a part of. If you sign up for their membership…

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Week 2: Long and Short Forms of Social Media

Natalia, But Online

Chapters 2, 4, and 7 in Social Media for Social Good talk in depth about how Non Profits use Social Media, specifically twitter, and blogging. By developing a ‘presence’ on these various social media platforms, nonprofits can effectively and efficiently reach broader audiences, achieve their goals quickly, and overall improve the goal of their organizations (whether that be to raise funds, raise awareness, or advocate). Here I will discuss overall social media usage (where people can use it correctly and incorrectly) and the role that Twitter and blogging can play in the success of an organization.

Chapter 2 recommends time and time again that an organization be sure to fully understand and plan their social media usage before even beginning. Coming up with policies procedures to share information is essential! One of the worst things, the author says, one can do to their organization is to haphazardly set up their…

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Planned Parenthood’s Online Community

Here’s my week 3 post! Let me know what you guys think!

New Ways to Think about Social Change

Today, “media ecology,” the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs, encapsulates the insane number of ways people can, and do, connect with each other. New social media platforms are developed every year and utilized by millions of people every day, so it’s necessary for nonprofit organizations to cultivate an online brand on various platforms.

Millenials catch a lot of flack for being addicted to social media and technology, but our sense of community hasn’t ended because smartphones have ruined society. Communities have simply shifted, in many cases, to an online environment, which actually allows for a wider audience and support base. People are no longer limited in their scope by geographical location, which makes it much easier for nonprofits to raise awareness and money. Anyone can donate money online anytime, as long as they have a…

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My Experience with the Red Cross

Here’s my Week 3 post about the Red Cross and how it fosters a valued sense of community (and helped me overcome my fear of needles). Enjoy!

Dean Brooks' Blog

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I’ve been donating blood to the Red Cross ever since I was 17. I’m not sure what attracted me initially to contributing to this non-profit that has been around for over a hundred years. It may have been a desire to give something essential that wasn’t simply money. I was just a high schooler after all, working at a Save-A-Lot supermarket on the weekends at the time. I wasn’t exactly flush with cash. It may have been a desire to finally overcome my fear of needles. I’d suffered a crippling syringe-phobia ever since I was five and had to be strapped down to the examination table for my booster shot (certainly not a preferred early memory). Probably it had to do with the idea that the simple action of giving a pint of my blood could help someone’s life. That appealed to me more profoundly than giving…

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