In the works: a (really) rough draft…click HERE.
In the works: a (really) rough draft…click HERE.
Part 1.I have chosen Weebly as the site to design my final project on. I have to be honest the words “easy to use” are what drew me in. I am not too savvy navigating websites and I really appreciated how there is a side bar next to the design that I am working on where you can literally pick what you want and then drag it in. I will be continuing to play around with it today, but so far I was able to upload pictures, change the cover picture, add a title, and insert a graph.
Part 2. I am going to have several pages that people can click on for the different areas of my argument. I think claim is going to be “Although social media and use of technology through the internet have become a large factor in the success of nonprofits, in order for an organization to most effectively reach it’s audience, both parties must take steps to ensure they are properly utilizing their time.” This is a bit of a twist from what I originally was looking at (just the ways social media/technology benefit a nonprofit) but I stumbled across an article for a nugget post a couple classes ago that was speaking of the ways one should allocate their rime on social media to truly reach effectiveness and this got me thinking. (Much of what I found before speaks of the benefits of technology which is all super useful. I will probably make a tab “Ways technology is already being utilized by nonprofits and what this leads to”)
However, this new post suggests that in order to properly allocate your time on social media, there’s more than just posting and putting the information out there that needs to be considered ( only 35% of time should be spent engaging with the audience. (I’m assuming this is the actual postings) 20% of time should be creating and curating content, 25% should be researching and planning and 10% should be spent respectively analyzing past performance and collaborating with your [ public relations/ social media] team. And this got me thinking. Well if there is a certain way that social media teams of nonprofits should be looking to utilize their time to properly get information out there, is it possible that there’s a certain way the audience needs to respond in order to actually get them engaged? For instance, how many people actually follow nonprofit organizations as part of their time on social media? Do people even use social media as a means to access information or are they using it as a form of displaying their life? I am considering this because of another article I found that interested me. It was something big in the news recently when an Instagram model exposed the truth behind social media, saying it turned her life into a lie. But it was argued back that it was just the context in which she chose to use it. I think in order for people to really benefit out of technology and social media and to be able to fully absorb information that is being thrown at them, they need to be willing to receive it. I will look for stats about this on what most people use technology/ social media time now and then from that, figure ways nonprofits can improve and still manage to reach these audiences.
I think use of social media as a way to benefit nonprofits is kind of a given. Plenty of nonprofit organizations have looked to instagram, twitter, Facebook, even snapchat. But what is not considered is HOW these organizations are using those outlets. Are they considering the specific audience at hand rather than just assuming social media/technology allows them to reach a large audience?? How much more effective are posts if one truly stops to consider the ways to reach an audience? And just as much, theoretically, an audience should be working to seek this sort of information. They must be willing to receive all the information nonprofits make available to them.
This thought vector looks at whether one’s personal circumstances affect their response to the given area of technology they are investigating. (In this instance, go fund me and how people’s economic standpoints affect if they choose to give or not) This considers the audience as having much control.
On the other hand, this thought vector seems to be looking at social media as the side with more “control” rather than the audience at hand. It discusses the influence that media has on one’s self esteem/body image.
I want to consider in my own paper both what kind of influence use of social media can have, but also what a stronger impact it can have if targeting a specific audience, knowing this audience will respond a certain way. Ex. using key words in social media posts to induce giving. Last class I decided I want to figure out ways that nonprofits can even further improve in their use of technology and I think this could be one way: seeing both sides of influence and keeping in mind the audience is still a factor. It’s not just posting, putting the word out there and expecting that to be enough.
Searching back through my blog posts looking for my sources makes me wish that I had done a better job of actually properly tagging each post. I didn’t really know how to for a while so I used to just #tag like this until I realized that wasn’t the correct way to do this. I also wish that I had kept all my sources in one place, regardless if this had been a blog (I guess that’s what this blog post serves as) or in just a spreadsheet. It would have made re-finding everything much easier even if everything was not properly tagged.
Similar blogs: I think this investigator is looking at nonprofits as well, but in a different perspective.
-Source 1: This has been all over the news online recently-a 19 year old instagram model Essena O’Neill announced that her life via social media was a “lie” and went back and edited all captions accordingly stating how many shots were taken in order to get that “right picture” and how fake she felt this all was. One particular article addressing this is the one HERE.
-Source 2: An article written by social media CEO Zach James:
calls out this Instagram model and redirects her as the lie, “You were the lie, not social media” Zach James choose Facebook as the way he chose to speak out about his thoughts on Essena O’Neill .
Both of these articles have resulted in a debate all around online (I just saw something in VCU’s own commonwealth times about this the other day) addressing whether social media is entirely detrimental or if it is all dependent on how it is used. Personally, I don’t have accounts for twitter, instagram or snapchat. But I do have these accounts under my nonprofit’s name and it is used as a mean to reach a large audience at once. Nothing about the posts made with these Camp Kesem accounts is even remotely close to a lie. I post updates about fundraisers, events, activities, etc. I do keep track of likes and how many shares and followers we get but the reasoning behind this is entirely different than that of those possessing personal accounts.
We use these statistics to allow us to know what are better times to reach our audience, if our posts were effective etc. (Facebook will actually tell you when you have a page how many people viewed your post, and what percentage more it is effective versus other posts) rather than as a means of self-validation.
–This other source differers in not even considering any negative aspects of technology. I suppose this is because it is looking at non profits exclusively rather than anyone’s use of social media. It speaks of how posting daily is a constant reminder of the mission, and reinforcing that to the public. It also allows organizations to engage and connect at a personal level while simultaneously reaching a larger audience. Ex. Being able to respond to posts or comments or tweet back answers to questions.
–Source #2 differs in identifying the exact specifics a nonprofit should consider while using technology in order to utilize it effectively
This article also argues choosing the right network, content, how often you post etc. It is not enough to just use social media and expect it to reach it’s full potential in benefitting a nonprofit . It is only beneficial if it is used properly. Facebook takes number one for best network, twitter is second and Youtube is surprisingly third over instagram. (according to 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report)I had not yet considered this as a form of technology that nonprofits utilize (even though I am currently in the midst of creating a PR video for Camp Kesem to post on youtube for #givingtuesday)
Part 3 (Making the call!!)
-My personal stance on this is that social media is all how use it. In nonprofits, businesses, and other like organizations it can be very beneficial. And I also don’t think that these organizations should be the only ones to have access to use of social media or are that this is the only “right” way to utilize this form of technology. In fact, these organizations would have no audience to reach toward if the general public did not use social media. However, I do agree that it should be used for conveying ideas, messages, and news — and accurate information at that. By no means should it be used as a determination of self worth.
An image found on the second source from Part 2 on recommendations to effectively use social media:
This source– I actually found when doing research for a course I am taking about the financial management of a nonprofit. I was looking for sources specifically aimed at the importance of transparency* in a nonprofit and what I found is that technology is a key factor in nonprofits being able to successfully do so. This was another aspect of the benefits of technology that I had not yet even considered.
The Independent Sector recommends that every nonprofit include the following on its website:
Vision and mission
Code of ethics
Conflict of interest policy
Audited financial statements
List of board members and officers and staff
List of contributors
Any accreditations (Better Business Bureau)
Rating body (CharityNavigator)
Being able to be transparent is a key factor in accountability and accountability ultimately results in the success of a nonprofit. This list of what is now suggested for every nonprofit to showcase consists of ten entirely different concepts in regards to the status of an organization. Being able to reach all this information at once is just revolutionary if you think about it. Prior to technology, how exactly would one go about finding all this information in a timely manner?
(On another note, I really need to figure out whether I want to focus on the future of nonprofits or if I’m comparing to the past..it seems like my nuggets vary a lot on where I stand with this)
*Transparency is defined by essentially being open with the public about the financial status of an organization ( listing all documents easily assessable online the website), disclosing any errors the organization makes and informing the public in times of both good and bad.
This post from another blogger is similar in how it presents technology making people feel a certain way. Previously, I had looked at this idea in terms of social media and key words used. (I actually know Camp Kesem has certain guidelines and key words we aim to use when branding and promoting) Now, in terms of transparency, I am looking at how having the power to easily access can affect how one feels toward potentially donating.
This source is one I found that talks of the benefits and barriers of technology in nonprofits. I did not yet specifically search for transparency but I am sure there is something. I wonder if it was considered a benefit or a barrier. (perhaps it is much more work for an organization to compile all these??)
Key words to consider:
Ted Nelson: “Technology is intended to be a creative process with the users in mind. Utilizing social media must be done with the audience in mind just as much! So I see studies say that the target audience of donors is X ages of teens and young adults vs. and older generation now. Well posting in social media allows non-profits to reach this demographic. Using what they are used to, keeping audience in mind is exactly how to maximize benefits of technology. Hmmm now I must wonder how can we even further engage them. Interactive posts perhaps? We must engage our audience! Nothing is effective without engaging the audience!”
Licklider: “I see this as a great plan. Perfect example of how the human brain and the minds of a computing machine partner together.Yes, it is true human minds can devise plans. We devise plans to build relationships with those around us, plans to access the greatest audience possible. But could we put these plans in action without the assistance of computing machines?”
Bush: “ I must agree. Well, I do believe it could be done but perhaps it would take much more effort. This in turn would result in a company, or nonprofit in this case, being much less efficient. That time spent working towards meticulously acting out these plans is of value especially to a nonprofit organization. By using a thinking machine, this is wonderful. It takes away some of the work man has to do, making our labor less strenuous.
Licklider: “In simple terms, using social media to reach x amount of people all at once is much more efficient.”
I think that all the investigators I choose and truly any of the ones we looked at all together would be supportive of technology and thrilled at the ways it can be used in the nonprofit sector. In my mapping my dreamers post, I referenced: Man-Computer Symbiosis (J.C.R. Licklider), Personal Dynamic Media (Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg), and Computer Lib (Ted Nelson).
It was even stated that not using technology or not knowing how to use technology is essentially just foolish. “Literacy and understanding vs. use of- Can one use technology and yet not truly understand it? What are the benefits of actually being “computer literate?” Personal Dynamic Media: “Computers are simply a necessary and enjoyable part of life, like food and books. Computers are not everything, they are just an aspect of everything, and not to know this is computer illiteracy, a silly and dangerous ignorance.”It’s intentionally excluding one’s self from something that is becoming vital to the success and knowledge of mankind. Now, it can be utilized to further businesses, causes, or drive a mission.
I do feel like this point would have been argued though, what if we are “accessing”, reaching this audience but not truly reaching them because they aren’t technology literate. Facebook offers a benefit that shows you when you post from an organization’s page how many people you “reached” in a day and what percentage higher this is than past posts. How do you know you are really “reaching” these people though and engaging them rather than just receiving a scroll by our picture?It should be taken into consideration the integrity of the “results” we are seeing.
After considering some of these different perspectives, my investigation not only will talk about some of these tools that are commonly used by nonprofits but also ways that these tools can still be improved to be a bit more tailored to whatever given audience.
“The computer is as inhuman as we make it. The computer is no more “cold” and “inhuman” than a toaster, bathtub or automobile (all associated with warm human activities).”- computer lib/dream machines
This nugget ties into what I plan to research as far as non-profits utilizing social media. Use of technology as a means to reach donors is only as inhuman as we make it to be. With engaging, welcome and grateful posts, we can feed lasting relationships. I feel that some may argue that thanks over social media shout out or on a website could be less impersonal than a handwritten note. However, I think this nugget really ties into a point I mentioned in my last post. The generation that nonprofits are now targeting for both involvement and contributions is a younger generation. This generation does see “computers”, technology, and social media as a source of connection rather than older generations who might see it as inhuman. Personally I feel that social media holds a familiarity to younger generations and seeing non-profits on social media may actually be very refreshing. With changes in what our target audience is looking to see, it is essential that non-profits keep up accordingly. Like this nugget says, it’s only as inhuman as we make it.