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Strategic Social Media comes around Spring Quarter at the University of Oregon. Look for new content in April 2010.


March 20, 2010

Is Social Media Turning Us Into The Matrix?

June 2, 2009

In eight days I’ll finish my MBA.  Great, right?  Well, without an obvious “next step” (translation = no job), I’m right back where I started two years ago.  Uncertain times like this drive me into a big picture, naturally reflective state – “What should I do with my life?” “What do I value most personally?” and “Is social media turning us into the Matrix?”

Ok, maybe that isn’t your typical what-the-hell-does-it-all-mean question, but this is a social media blog, so work with me.

Neo emerging from the Matrix looking nasty!

Neo emerging from the Matrix covered in goo.

In the Matrix all humans “live” in plugged in cocoons that facilitate all of their interactions electronically.  They see, talk, hear, feel, taste, etc through gigantic (and rather nasty) plugs that connect to their brain.  No physical interaction is necessary; it’s all done electronically.

I first noticed the Matrix at the University’s Student Recreation Center.  Everyone was plugged into their iPods or the exercise equipment, no talking, no looks, just zombie-style power walking and Stairmaster.  Everyone is in the same place but very much alone.

The Matrix also lives on the bus, where college students text, IM, surf the web, and talk on their phones.  No face-to-face interaction, only electronic communication.

The Matrix is most prevalent, however, in class.  It’s no secret that many (most?) students are on Facebook, Google Chat, Twitter, and email consistently during lecture.

Any bets on how many of these students are doing school work?

I'm sure they're all following the lecture.

This isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing; it’s just an observation.  I think we can safely say that social media has increased the ability of all of us to be, well – social – at least electronically, but with networks much more diverse than we were able to maintain before.

But what price do we pay for social media?  Is social media decreasing our ability and comfort with communicating physically, through face to face interaction?  After all, when Neo emerged from the Matrix, his body was weak, he had to heal and build strength before he could survive in the real world!

While I’ve been amazed at the amount of interaction that students maintain through social media, I’ve been slightly underwhelmed by their ability to translate that electronic interaction into physical interaction.

No one talks to each other at the gym or on the bus.  In class, people might Google Chat about lecture, but not ask questions verbally.  I’ve had group members who remained silent during group meetings only to unload all their thoughts in a brain dump email after the meeting was over.  A number of my fellow students question the value of meeting face-to-face period, saying “we can all just figure it out through email.”

Could it be that the more you use social media, the more comfortable – and reliant – you become on it as a means of communication?  We all know it’s tough to introduce yourself to someone face to face, and it seems that younger generations are practicing that interaction less and less.

I spent some time researching this topic (or at least as much as could be expected from someone who is graduating in eight days) but was unable to find a direct answer to my question.  There are a number of articles posted on both the perils of social media usage in the classroom, and the potential benefits.  One article proclaims that continuous connection to electronic devices is killing face-to-face interaction, while another suggests it could actually create dissociative disorder.  I found a couple of people asking the same question, one from his video blog, and another who realized he was being unsocial while on his computer during a Superbowl party.   There is even a survey trying to figure out the answer!

Lucky for me, I don’t have to find an answer.  I can use this social media interface to ask – WHAT DO YOU THINK? After all, social media is all about dialogue and creating conversations.  So let me know:  Is social media turning us into the Matrix?  As electronic communication facilitates more and more of our daily interactions, will it decrease our real world ability to connect face to face, or at the very minimum, devalue face to face interaction?

I’m all ears – or eyes, I guess.

Jesse Thomas

facebook:  Jesse Thomas

Surfing the Web with the “Google Wave”

June 1, 2009

Next time when you’re on your computer surfing the web, watch out for the new wave quickly approaching; that is Google Wave.  As if Google doesn’t have enough presence on the internet already, it is now taking on a new direction heading towards the HTML 5 standard with their new application.

Google Wave was developed by Lars and Jens Rasmussen, and Stephanie Hannon as a tool combining email and instant messaging in a program with a layer of added functionality.  It is a service where users are able to communicate and collaborate together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.  Wave has a left-hand navigation tool bar and list of your contacts, a main wave inbox screen, and a number of indicators that shows when new content has appeared in the thread.  This original wave thread can then be opened up into another pane where you can instant message friends, upload pictures, make edits wiki-style with group collaboration, and add new wave members all in real time.

The Google Wave is in early stages of development and will only be a preview of what is to come from this new platform of communication.  Google’s plan is to introduce the wave in three phases; the first is to introduce the product as a web application, second where developers are able to get involved and make gadgets and sites for the wave, and third to fully launch the Google Wave protocol.  Once these phases are implemented, here are some scenarios of what can happen on Google Wave:

  1. Multi-person thread. If more than one of your contacts is online at the same time you are, you can talk with multiple people together in real-time on the same wave.  You can either start typing and your friend can see the message instantly, or delay the message being sent by going into “Draft” mode where you can save it and send the message when you want.  If a friend arrives late in a group conversation and wants to catch up on what is being said, they are able to rewind the wave using the “Playback” feature.  They are then caught up as they watch what was being said and can now add to the dialogue in real-time.  On the other hand, if two people want to have a private conversation they can break away from the shared wave.  They are still able to see the context being written by other members while only communicating to each other.
  2. Dropping Pictures into the Wave. If a web browser is already opened, pictures can be uploaded onto the wave to share with other people.  Once you drag the photos into the wave on your end, everyone connected to you can collaborate together to make titles for these photos or create slideshows for others to see.
  3. Blogging. This can take many forms on Google wave.  One option is for users that have their own blogs.  If you have a personal blog and want to share it with others on the wave you can allow people to see what you are contributing to the blog in real-time.  The visitors can join you, write on your blog, and place this information into the original wave.  A second option is for users who want anonymous collaboration from people on the wave for your site.  People can sign in with a comment user name or wave name, and make anonymous additions to the blog.

Now after reading more about the Google Wave, I had to wonder: Will this “new web” platform take off like developers are expecting or will people just be confused about what the wave really is?  I have to admit, the explanation behind communicating with friends on a wave, breaking off into another wave to chat privately, and still uploading pictures onto the main wave started to boggle my mind.  However, I soon realized that this product is only early stages of development and can only become clearer on how to use it when the protocol is introduced.  The Google wave has the potential to redefine online communication, blogging, and online social networks.  As one blogger commented, “a wave is shared, a wave is live.”  When this product is introduced in the near future, my question for you is: will you jump on the wave?

For more information, here is a preview of Google Wave at Google I/O:

External Links:

By Ashley Smith

Passion and the job search in the age of Google

May 30, 2009

I used to play tennis. I was obsessed with mastering my serve. I practiced endlessly to master that movement and reduce it to one smooth motion. The end result? A solid connection that looked almost effortless, my opponent stunned, and – thanks to my preparation – my victory in the match assured.

Sure, it looked good. It looked easy. But it wasn’t. Success in anything rarely is easy, but if you prepare yourself before hand it can look easy. Heck, it can even look downright impressive.

Let’s think about finding a job. You’ve mailed in your résumé, cover letter, and – if you’re smart – letter of reference. What happens next? Your potential employer Googles you.

“But Kai,” you whisper to the monitor, “Why would they Google me!?”

I’ll tell you, friend. Because employers are finally wising up. They’ve realized that we’re being stupid and putting whatever we want online. They want to hire the best person for the job and we both know that the person your résumé claims you are, well, isn’t 100% accurate.

On May 3rd, Rachel Reuben, the Director of Web Communication and Strategic Projects at SUNY Tweeted something very scary and very exciting:

What does this mean? It means change is afoot. It means that your serve isn’t as good as you thought it was and that it’s time to break it down and see where improvement can be found.

Recently another #J412 student wrote a post on ‘Maximizing YOUR online presence.‘ They raised some excellent points:

  • Assess your online presence.
  • Register Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Create a Search Engine Optimization strategy

Everything they suggested is great and spot on, but I think we can take it a step further. First, let’s talk about what they’ve suggested.

  • Assess your online presence

This ties back to Googling yourself. Go on. Take a moment. Google yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Here, while you were gone I pulled up a copy of the Google results for my first and last name without any quotes surrounding them.

I highlighted pages I've created to 'brand' myself online in yellow!

This simple Google search pulls up a few pages. My Facebook; my personal web space / online resume; my Twitter; my tumblog (blog on Tumblr, a popular microblogging service); my LinkedIn, an interview I participated in; an article I wrote for my newspaper, The Comic Press; my old digital presence’s twitter screen name, and my personal Google profile. When an employer gets my résumé and Googles my name, they find a digital presence that I’ve worked hard to put together. It isn’t perfect – yet – but it’s getting there. I have control over what they see.

I’m not sure what the Google results for your name look like, but there are a few things you can do to start improving your online presence and digital brand:

  1. Register a LinkedIn and start using it. Or, if you already have one, start using it. 🙂
  2. Consider buying a personal domain name. I’m an advocate for, but if that’s already taken don’t be afraid to get creative!,, and are all great options that give you a start at a digital presence.
  3. Register your Google Profile.
  4. Consolidate your online brand. What is your most common screen name online? Do you contribute to discussions related to your field under that screen name? If so, is it on your résumé? What happens when you Google that? Does anything should up that you don’t want people seeing? Is your ‘other’ screen name professional?Up until last week I was ‘NinjaKai’ on a bunch of sites. Now I’m ‘KaiSDavis.’ ‘NinjaKai’ was great; I really enjoyed the screen name. But it wasn’t as professional as I wanted / needed. I decided to consolidate my online presence under the single banner of ‘KaiSDavis.’ This raises my Google results for that search string and helps me have a stronger digital presence.
  5. Participate in conversations. Twitter, blogs, comment threads, forums, interviews, email lists, google groups… The list is literally endless. Tons of options if you want to participate in conversations and, frankly, that’s the best way to go about this.

    Say you want a job in sales. But not just any sales position. You want into wine sales. You love wine. You’re passionate about it and not in that “Oh god, the wine guy is talking to me at this party, help!” way. We’re talking about a deep, burning passion where you tell 5 friends about a new Pinot Gris at a local vineyard and they all rush out and buy a bottle.If you’re that passionate about something – anything – why not talk about it online where it’s easily indexed? Find a forum where people talk about slot car racing and start earnestly talking about it because you love it. Your employer will Google you and see ‘Hey, this hoopy frood cares about something. That’s cool!” Maybe that’ll get you the job. @garyvee said it and I can’t stop believing it: It’s about passion. It’s about finding something you care about and feeling it, loving it, and living it 24/7!

Now there are a few points that I differ from my fellow author on:

  1. Registering a Facebook account is a great idea, if you fall into a very small set of people. Facebook is a ‘walled garden,’ which basically means the content is not indexed in Google, Bing, Life, or Yahoo. Which is great if you’re using Facebook to share pictures with friends. Not if you’re trying to use it for SEO to maybe get a better job. Of course, you could open up your Facebook account for the public to see, but then they get to see all of your inappropriate pictures. A better idea is to sanitize your existing Facebook account and open it up to the public for all to see. Delete those inappropriate pictures, put up a couple of nice photos, and you’re good to go*.
  2. Twitter. Ah, Twitter. Twitter was built on the idea of answering the question “What are you doing right now?” That can get boring and lead to a surplus of tweets saying “Typing on Twitter! Duh!” A more exciting idea is to answer the question “Why are you doing what you’re doing right now.” Most importantly, Twitter is about having conversations. You wouldn’t walk into a room at a party and start spamming your friends with one liners about your day, don’t do that on Twitter. Follow interesting people. Engage in conversations. Participate. If you start talking with people, you start making connections. More and more I see Twitter as a mixer or a cocktail party. A 15 minute intermission at a wonderful play. Everyone is milling about and talking about ten dozen things. Don’t stand in the corner or try to dominate a conversation. Find an ongoing conversation that you care about and start participating.
  3. Blogging is a dangerous thing. I’ve become more of a fan of a personal / professional online resume than a blog. Blogs demand content. Blogs demand an update schedule. If you start blogging three times a week and then suddenly crash down to three times a month, well, that can reflect poorly on you.If your posts are interesting, you can post infrequently and still have a large following. If your posts aren’t that interesting, you have to ask yourself why you’re blogging. Is it for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your ‘personal brand’? SEO is great, but only if it’s something positive about you that you want people to see, and maybe you don’t want your new boss to find your livejournal just quite yet! On the other hand, if you’re passionate about something, start a blog about it. It’s better to have a blog detailing your hobby that you’re passionate about than to have with two posts about how passionate you are about the Internet. From 3 months ago. As the first results for your name.

One of my favorite metaphors of late is that of a garden. Let’s say you want a garden. Maybe you want to impress your friends. Maybe you want to grow vegetables to eat. Who knows! What matters is that you want a garden. Now, let’s say you start the garden one day and maintain it for a month. Then you forget about it.

Sure, you’re gonna get back to it someday and you tell your friends about how busy you are and you just don’t have the time, but you think it’s awesome that you tried gardening and it totally is a great hobby!

Then someone comes over and sees your weed covered garden. It doesn’t leave the best impression. They start to make assumptions based on that encounter, extrapolating that because you just forgot about the garden, you’d do the same with something – anything – else. A relationship. A job. Heck, even the blog that this garden is a thinly disguised metaphor for!

To be fair, the garden is more of a metaphor for your entire digital presence than just your blog. So here’s the question: is it better to have no digital presence than a messy digital presence?

Answer: Trick question. 🙂 It’s better to have a clean and well managed digital presence.

If you don’t have the time to update a blog then don’t start a blog! Set up a resume page that looks decent (feel free to email me and we can bounce ideas off of each other about what that should look like!) and leave it at that. If you’re passionate, then blog! But only blog about what you’re passionate about.

So take the time and do a ‘personal audit’ of your digital brand. Google your name. Google your nick name. Click around. Find anything awkward? Look around your Facebook and delete photos, notes, or comments that you wouldn’t want your boss to see. Take some time to start refining your digital brand, your online presence. With time, eventually it becomes easier and soon enough you look like a professional.


Kai S Davis

*A funny story: A friend set his Facebook profile to private – 100% locked down – and started applying for management jobs. He gets a friend request from a very attractive woman who claims they met at the bars a few weeks ago and she just tracked him down. Of course my friend accepts the friend request and doesn’t put her on any restricted list. She turns out to be a fake account registered by an agency one of the companies he applied to hired to screen applicants. My friend’s carefully laid plans of hiding his pictures of binge drinking / partying / smoking were thrown aside and he lost his dream job.

How can YOU maximize your online presence?

May 29, 2009

print by melbyprint by melbyfootprint302897_sand_footprint

With the scarcity of jobs available today, it is important, more than ever, to stand out among your peers and other people competing for the same jobs as you. During the pre-interview phase, many interviewers will Google you to learn more about the type of person you are. So not only is it a good idea to clean up your Facebook and Myspace pages while you are job searching, but it is also very important that people, especially potential employers, can easily find you in the blogosphere. If interviewers cannot easily find you, they could assume that the reason your name doesn’t come up on the first, second or maybe even third page of google is that you are not involved with social media and that could cost you the job.

To build an online presence there are two main things that need to happen. You should establishing  your digital footprint by creating a Facebook account, Twitter account and perhaps a personal blog. These three platforms are great ways for you to start building presence online as well as credibility and a reputation if you haven’t already. The second step you must take is create a search engine optimization strategy to drive people to your sites.SEO in basic terms is a method of targeting viewers who are interested in what you have to say or offer.

So how do you use search engine optimization to maximize your online presence? First you are going to start with keywords. You are going to choose keywords that you think someone might type into Google or another search engine to search for you. If I was trying to optimize myself in the search engine, I would choose my name and the name of my blog as two of my keywords because those are two things that I would expect people to type in when searching for me. Once you have carefully selected your keywords you will infuse the keywords throughout the body of the content. It helps to include keywords in headlines as well. It is important that your content doesn’t turn into a blob of your keywords. Your content should be well written, unique and valuable because that is what readers expect. 

Another key element in search engine optimization is credibility. Credibility plays a huge role in your page rank. Your page rank is determined by how often you update your page and how many people link to you. Therefore, it is important to update your page regularly and create a name for yourself in the blogger world by reading, commenting and linking to other blogs. People will start to link to you and that helps to build your credibility, which raises your page rank.

Twitter on your TV: Has the social media site gone too far?

May 28, 2009


Headlines recently broke the story of a new television show concept: Twitter might soon be taking over your TV. Twitter, a social media website in which users can post everything from pictures to vital information such as what they had for lunch, was founded in 2007 and grew to 7 million users in just one year. The popularity of the website is not only evident by numbers but also recognition.

I should mention before I further discuss the possible production of the television program that I typically shun social media. Facebook and Myspace are foreign words to me. Before I enrolled in J412 I had only heard the word Twitter but never knew anyone who used it or what it was all about. That changed drastically after I became a member in order to feel in the loop with my classmates and my professor. Suddenly my previous reservations changed to excitement and curiosity. What is this “follow” option I wondered? Oh, I see, I can keep track of a person or organization and the things they write will be posted to my home screen. It took me about ten minutes of searching through followers of followers to discover what I had been missing. I felt connected to a secret society where people shared interesting articles, funny video clips, and most importantly unknown happy hours at up and coming bars. If this is social media sign me up. It took a few conversations with a roommate and fellow tweeter for my previous reservations to resurface. She “Follows” only celebrities and loves that she can “keep track” of what they are doing. The phrase she used was slightly disturbing. Twitter began to scare me again.

Enough of my personal qualms, the issues of access into the lives of others are starting to get wide-spread recognition. These issues were brought to the forefront in the media with the announcement that Twitter a television program that uses Twitter is in the works. Will it show people doing activities and then writing an update on themselves on their personal Twitter page? That would certainly make for dull programming so luckily this was not the idea. Unfortunately, however, the way the social media site is being transformed onto the small screen is arguably distressing.

The model for the show would be Twitter fanatics using the site to track their favorite celebrities in a competitive manner. Long Pause. Twitter gurus Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have expressed their distain for the show. Ashton, who has over 2 million followers which is an embarrassingly higher number than President Obama, tweeted: “Wow I hope this isn’t true I really don’t like being sold out. May have to take a twitter hiatus.” Some may say if you don’t want people to be following you than you shouldn’t have personal information up anyways. Demi responded by saying, “The difference is I am sharing of myself vs someone else exploiting me. That is the incredible gift that Twitter has created.”

While some reports are stating that Twitter is in fact teaming up with Reveille productions and Brillstein Entertainment Partners to create the unscripted series the social media site rejects this notion. Twitter has issued a very definitive answer to the rumors around the show. Biz Stone, a co-founder of the site, said “Just to be clear, Twitter is not making a television show.” He went on to say, “Some Hollywood folks are developing something that leverages Twitter and they are extremely enthusiastic as evidenced by all the media hubbub yesterday and today. We have little to do with their efforts but we wish them success.”

Part of the fun of this site is found through the usage of celebrities. The popularity has stemmed from its strong celebrity support and it will be interesting to see the potential fall-out if they begin to feel exploited. Will more stars decide to forgo their beloved tweeting, or will the television program never come to be? We will just have to wait and see how this unfolds, as for me I think I might have to tweet about it until then.

Kelsey Parsons

To explore this topic yourself, please go to the following sites:;_ylt=Aj2in6I4aAmh9oDmmoZrP8.CfNdF

Do It Collaboratively To Save The World – Health 2.0

May 26, 2009

I believe the power of crowd.  I think it is the reason that people can keep improving and moving forward.  Most of us already knew Web 2.0 and some applications around it.  However, there are still too many things unknown or unsolved in the world.

Regarding to those unknown/unsolved things, I am sure that, as human beings, we are more desperate to find the cure for many diseases.  Scientists can explore more possibilities for curing those diseases with the help of improved technology and latest findings.  However, more and more unsolved/uncured diseases are found at the same time.  Maybe there is a way to collect all the information and to share the knowledge for people that can utilize those resources to solve these incoming problems.  I believe it is the concept of Health 2.0 that can help people to solve those problems in the future.

From the definition of Wikipedia, Health 2.0 is the participatory healthcare characterized by the ability to rapidly share, classify and summarize individual health information with the goals of improving health care systems, experiences and outcomes via integration of patients and stakeholders.

Information updates/Communication tool: People can use RSS, podcast, Blog, Twitter, or Google to update the situation to stay informed.  Medical officers and pharmaceutical reps can also use certain tools to communicate with each other efficiently.

Example – American Well:
American is a tool that makes patients and physicians save their time for each other, which provides an immediate health service to patients.

Education: People can use Podcast, Flicker, YouTube, or Blog to learn about health knowledge, information, or the application of medical tools.

Example – Healthocrates:
Healthocrates is an Internet based wiki medical resource, which offers the medical information for everyone who can make the online connection.

: Professors, MD students, Doctors, or Nurses can utilize Google, Wiki pages, or some Web 2.0 tools to use in daily practice for medical professionals or to share the latest medical research results to share the information. On the other hands, patients can also utilize the power of Web 2.0 to offer the review of medical care services in order to share the information and force these medical service improve.

Example – HealthGrades:
HealthGrades is the leading Healthcare rating organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers.

Data sharing: People can share their medical information online to help medical professionals conduct researches to move forward and can use their information to make their customized disease history, resulting a fast medical operation time.

Example – CollabRx:
CollabRx builds and operates Virtual Biotechs for foundations and patients who urgently seek cures for their diseases. For physicians and their patients, CollabRx collects their information to increase the database of certain disease in order to find the cures.

Privacy: The patient’s medical history are saved online and could possibly be exposed.  It is convenient for people to save the data or information online, but it is somehow unsecure for everything online.
Quality: The quality of user-generated content is always an issue for Wiki page.  Yes, people will say that people can always find something wrong and fix it right away.  It’s the process of Web 2.0 that utilizing everyone’s effort to make things better.  But we are not sure that people make contribution to the contents have the specific knowledge regarding to our health.  For viewers without medical backgrounds, they can mislead by the wrong contents made by people without specific knowledge or background as well.

In the end, I still believe that the concept of Health 2.0 will be a good way to help people improve and solve the problems.  I understand it’s not perfect, but nothing is really perfect.  What we can do as human beings is to find the better way to keep moving forward.  And the approach of 2.0 is a way to keep people moving forward.  In the future, we are definitely expecting the concepts of Health 3.0, 4.0, or even 5.0 to help us solve those problems.

Health 2.0 from Wikipedia
A Quick Introduction to Health 2.0 by Christopher Ritter
Posted on

David Yu

Why Social Media Makes Sense for Non-Profits

May 26, 2009

There are plenty of reasons why social media is helping to advance the goals of a whole list of organizations.  From the community building aspects to the informational help the internet has become a place where non-profits can thrive and here are a few reasons why:

It’s Easy to Donate!

Picture 3

Sites like Global Goods Partners make it easy to buy products that directly benefit. These sites empower users through their purchasing power.  Global Goods Partners actually allows users to learn about the people they are buying goods from.  People can buy items based on a geographic region, The site is connecting people who literally would never have made contact before and connecting them through the sale of a product that benefits them both.  People want to do good and if they know their purchases are directly helping people in impoverished countries they will do their part.

Global Goods Partners Site

Connecting People
Picture 1

The March of Dimes provides a great success story.  They created their own online community for parents of babies that have been born into natal intensive care units for a variety of different reasons.  The “Share Your Story” page is an online this works not only because people are able to connect to each other and tell their stories.  Members can just post short stories about their experiences or actually maintain a blog on the site.  The way the site fosters a real sense of community is unique in that it’s not all about the organization but about bringing people together who can help support one another.  The site not only allows people to connect with others going through similar experiences with babies with health complications but it also provides a way for potential donors to see real testimonials of the people that the March of Dimes is helping.

March of Dimes Share Your Story Site

Picture 2

Another really powerful way the site is connecting people is through photos.  Members can post photos of their newborns on Flickr.  The pictures put a face to the cause and in the March of Dimes’ case the photos really pull on the heartstrings of both donors and other community members

March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness on Flickr

Not a Push Medium!

Quiz time:  Which form of solicitation would you choose?

A.    Making dinner-time phone calls to heads of households asking for donations
B.    Strategically advertising on the web, based on demographic analysis
C.    Making and easy-to-use-and-access website to allow people to better understand and interact with your organization.
D.    Getting in on conversations that have to do with your organization’s values and goals.
E.    B, C & D.
I would say that the answer is E.  Why would you want to be a pesky, hated, despised, telemarketer when you can be so much more?  Instead of people loathing calls for donations for your organization that push people away, you can show the good that your organization does and provide easy ways for people to seek YOU out.
Interactivity is key in the online world. No longer do people have to be solicited but instead they can seek organizations out.  By having an organization at the forefront of Web 2.0 technology nonprofits can set themselves apart.

Go Find People!

Odds are that there are probably already communities of people online who are rallying around causes similar to yours.  By finding people who are already interested in what your organization is trying to do you are going to get some guaranteed followers and supporters.  But instead of trying to get those people to change everything they are doing online in order to participate in a conversation with your organization you go to them and provide your comments and support in an already existing, vibrant space.  Using something like technorati’s blog finder is a great way to start looking for the movers and shakers of the web 2.0 world who have a stake in your cause.

Picture 5 Technorati Blog Search

I have only scratched the surface with this blog post!

There are plenty of other people writing about how to use social media tools to work for non-profits.  One of the best blogs on the subject is:

– Erin Champion

Action Sports in Social Media

May 26, 2009

We’ve all seen the reports on how many Twitter followers Shaq has and how he likes to tweet during games. You might even go to to follow your favorite MLB, NBA, and NFL stars. But you know who you haven’t heard about or seen on Guys and girls who kill it in the action sports industry: Shawn White, Tara Dakides, PLG, Tony Hawk, and Mick Fanning. All of whom are active tweeters with great posts and thousands of followers. You can find them all at or follow @actiontweeters.

IEG Sponsorship Report Action Sports Roundup

IEG Sponsorship Report Action Sports Roundup

Action sports, which some people used to call “Extreme Sports” and please don’t do that, has become a significant portion of the sporting goods market with a number of disciplines including boardsports (skate, surf, wake, and snow), motorsports (MX and rally), BMX, and endurance (triathlons). Sponsorship spending on action sports was at $147M in 2008 and is expected to grow 2.2% in 2009 according to a May 2009 Action Sports Roundup by IEG.

Ok, so what about the rest of Social Media? You’re probably wondering when I’m gonna get to that. Give it a second…. wait for it… ok, I’ll do it now.

Aritz Aranburu at Billapong Pro Tahiti

Aritz Aranburu at Billapong Pro Tahiti

Social Media has allowed action sports participants, fans, and avid enthusiasts, such as myself, to follow the sports they love like never before. Major media coverage is still limited to the larger events such as the ESPN X Games, The Alliance of Action Sports Dew Tour, and IMG’s Hurley US Open of Surf. But what about the people who want to follow the Billabong Pro Tahiti? No TV coverage, no problem! You can follow all the action from @billabong1973 or watch it live at Want more event hotness? Follow @allisports for all the Dew Tours, Gatorade Free Flow Tour, Maloof Money Cup, and the King of Wake series.  Triathlons more your gig? How about following @escapealcatraz to get all the latest news on that event or information on triathletes and events around the globe. The newest kid on the block is, just launched this month. They map and connect you to all the events that are happening in your area.

All right, so I’ve mentioned Twitter a lot right, but action sports social media goes way beyond that. Are you LinkedIn and want to find a job in the industry? Try joining groups like Action Sports Industry Jobs or Action Sports Connect.  Best place to find job postings is  They connect you to all the latest openings and info on the companies.  Everybody loves Facebook. You can become a fan of Nike 6.0, Hurley, Element Skateboards, 5150, and the list goes on and on.

But what about a site that is dedicated to action sports social networking? Got you covered. Check out A site dedicated to everything action sports from following news stories to videos, also lets you build your own personal profile. You can try Loop’d Network who just secured $800K of funding to grow an online network for action sports. Loop’d allows athletes to promote themselves and possibly land sponsorship deals.

Just looking for industry news? I’ve got Transworld Business as my homepage and you can also subscribe to their RSS feed. More interested in Euro action sports news. Nailed it! Go to for everything that’s happening in Euro surf/skate/snow business.

Did I forget blogs? Nope, got you covered on that as well. compiles all the best action sports blogs and their site name refers to the latitude of where they are based, Los Angeles, the Mecca of action sports. I also like whose stated goal is to:

“help Action Sports brands, athletes, and events listen, understand and most importantly engage in Social Media by having meaningful conversations with people and igniting positive word of mouth.”Broader

So do you want me to keep going? I’ve got more. I can do this all night if you want me to. What’s my point? It’s simple, action sports is making its presence known in the world of sports and social media is helping them take huge strides. The athletes aren’t quite making the big bucks of Kobe or Manny (cough… steroids), but Tony Hawk earned a cool $12M and Shawn White pulled down $9M in 2008 according to Forbes. Both of whom are active tweeters.

The action sports presence in social media has me excited because it gives more exposure to the athletes, events, and fans. Now that’s something that’ll put a smile on my face.


Adam Errington Red Bull Wake Lab Tempe

Tom Czarnowski