Twitter Story: Broadcast

Although social media can facilitate conversations and relationships, it can also be used pretty effectively as a broadcast mechanism, Twitter included.

One of the truisms of association management is that our members don’t pay attention, don’t read what we send them, and often don’t know what’s going on, even when it’s something that *should* be really important to them.

Twitter can provide an additional platform to get the word out.

I’m going to call myself out here. I never seem to know when the ASAE calls for presentations for various conferences open and close. Yes, ASAE sends emails and posts the information to the web site, and yet, somehow, I always seem to miss it (see above re: not paying attention, not reading what they send me, and not knowing what’s going on, even when it’s something that’s important to me). You know when I spot the announcements? When asaecenter tweets them out (i.e., Nov 9th tweet about AM2010 call, which I actually spotted and am currently working on a submission as a result).

Guy Kawasaki is the master of Twitter broadcasting. His use of Twitter is somewhat controversial, but he’s up front about the fact that he uses it as a medium to broadcast his answer to the question: “What’s interesting?” It’s not a conversational mechanism for Guy.

This is not to say that it has to be all one or the other – I would hope by now that it would be clear that Twitter can fulfill a number of functions at once – but could your organization use an additional platform to get the word out about what you’re up to? Could Twitter be useful for that?

Tagged in the Changeblogging meme

Mads tagged me in this conversation that originated with Qui Diaz of Livingston Communications.

To quote Qui:

“Changebloggers, as defined by Britt Bravo, are ‘people who are using their blog, podcast or vlog to raise awareness, build community, and/or facilitate readers/listeners/viewers’ taking action to make the world a better place.’ These actions occur across nonprofits, government, corporations and the general civic sector.”

Much like Maddie, I wonder if I really qualify as a changeblogger. We all know about ASAE’s “Associations Advance America” slogan, but we also all know about plenty of associations that are doing “advance the interests of our own industry at the expense of everyone and everything else” work, too. I now work at a place that focuses on promoting the missions of moderate to progressive nonprofits online. But I have often wondered how much one person can do.

I was raised to give money and time to causes I believe in. My parents stressed that no matter how much my own resources might be strained, there are always people more in need. No matter how tight things have been for me personally (and in grad school, things were DAMN tight), I’ve always given at least small amounts of time and money away. Over the years, I’ve tended to focus on women’s rights, LGBT rights, groups that help the poor, hungry, and homeless, animal protection groups, and arts organizations.

Several years ago, I had a bit of an epiphany. I was writing my monthly smallish (relatively speaking) check to a large international environmental protection organization. And I realized that my small contribution would barely register. At the same time, I realized that my beloved DC, land of taxation without representation, gets periodically screwed. Since all politics is ultimately local, I made the commitment to give only to organizations that directly serve my local community.

So even though I am well aware of the severity of global issues, I’ve chosen to focus on doing what I can to make my neighborhood and my city a better place for the people who live here. And I’ll answer the questions below with that in mind:

What is one change – big or small, local or global – you want to see in your lifetime?
Congressional representation for the residents of Washington, DC

Who is already working this issue that you think others should support?
DC Vote, the DC Statehood Green Party, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Adrian Fenty, and Representative Tom Davis ( Republican, but a good guy who’s unfortunately retiring at the end fo 2008).

How are you going to use your Web/tech/marcom skills to further this cause? (Or, what are you already doing that works?)
That’s a good question. I’ve participated in all the marches and letter writing campaigns and I educate people outside the area about the situation whenever possible. But I think it’s time to think about how I can put more of my “money” (resources) where my “mouth” (aka this post) is.