Nedra is a social marketing consultant, author and speaker who works with nonprofits and government agencies for positive health and social change using social media, transmedia storytelling and entertainment education approaches at Weinreich Communications.Want to work together or book Nedra as a speaker?
BenefitsFor still more ideas on how nonprofits can use (and shouldn't use) Twitter, see NetSquared's Net2ThinkTank round-up.
- Speed Using twitter, you can very easily publish information more than once per minute. If distribution speed is critical, regardless of the information being distributed, Twitter may be the tool for you.
- Non-website (source) based alerts Instant messaging, SMS/text messages on cell phones, RSS/Atom feeds, email alerts, badges/widgets on other sites, and other methods of distribution are available. If your community can’t be tethered to a website for it’s communications, Twitter can provide other methodologies to get that information out to them.
- Community publishing There are a few (slightly more technical) ways of aggregating a group of twitterers posts, which means you could have more people — even your community — pitching in to help publish pertinent information.
- Only text and links can be posted. No maps. No photos. No videos. Text and links are all you get.
- 140 character limit. URLs will get shortened wherever possible, but 140 characters is tough to get used to.
- No conversation threading. This can be tough to deal with when you’re used to discussion forums and such. Connecting with your community in this way is almost limited to real-time dialogue, which can limit the conversation’s depth and longevity.
- The API has a 70 post per hour limit. Note that from what I could tell, the web UI doesn’t have this limit, but I’m sure they wouldn’t like you posting more than that unless it was an emergency anyway.
...But I do have one ax to grind. I’m bugged by a lot of comments I’ve heard—and articles I’ve read—about celebrities going into rehab.
With 25 years of experience bridging the entertainment and health industries, I am uniquely qualified to respond to the finger-pointing, poking, prodding, lens clicking and tittering that surround celebrity rehab.
And I’ve got something to say.
First and foremost, the celebrity rehab we read about is not a joke for people’s amusement. Thanks to our newly tabloid-driven pop culture, we—and our children—have unprecedented access to what addiction and mental illness look like. Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan and over two dozen other people gained headlines in 2007 for entering addiction recovery centers.
These are lives at risk, out of control, not jokes, and not reality television shows taking place on the streets of Hollywood for public amusement. If we pay attention, we can see complex stories unfolding before our eyes. One of EIC’s primary principles is to be non-judgmental and respect creative freedom afforded in our great nation. For those who judge mental health, making judgment on these people’s lives, I ask:
Who the hell are you?
Do you think you are better than these people? Stronger? Smarter?
Give me a break.
Addiction and mental health issues affect every cross-section of our population. If you’re laughing now at Britney Spears, will you be laughing in five or ten years when, heaven forbid, your niece, uncle, sister, brother, even your mother or your own son or daughter loses control of his or her life? Will it be funny then?
This new access to the private lives of celebrities who face constant scrutiny and challenges unimaginable by most people—and is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it exposes us to the waking nightmare that losing control of one’s life can be, but on the other hand, it has opened dialogue about addiction and mental illness that has, until now, been hush-hush. While I, like most of America, am truly worried about Britney Spears’s health and safety, I am glad to say I have witnessed a national shift from bemused fascination with her spontaneous antics to recognition of her condition as critically ill, and a new awareness of the real point of rehabilitation: to get better.
VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, A&E’s Intervention, HBO’s Rehab—these are important, revolutionary shows that serve the public in a unique and valuable way. The insights just might help someone, and that is good.
Taking steps to fight and beat the struggles that come along with addiction, being self honest with oneself and ideally healthier is a process not unlike walking through a maze blindfolded. And the good news is, a whole lot of folks find a valuable piece of themselves that they never knew existed in the process. Some make it to the betterment of their own lives, the lives of families, friends, and society.
So the next time you get a peek into the lives of Britney, Lindsay, Mel Gibson, Kirsten Dunst, Pat O’Brien, Eva Mendes, Marc Jacobs, Jesse Mefcalfe, Eddie Van Halen, Amy Winehouse and others, be thankful for what you’ve got and respect them for seeking help rather than looking down on them for having real problems. If their stories make you query your own actions, consider following their good example and ask for help. Thanks to new public attention to the recovery process, which can include relapses, we must stop mocking and start understanding...
Jeff Brooks at Donor Power Blog says we need to give the people what they want, by creating high expectations of what the giving experience should be and meeting those expectations.Next week the Carnival will be at Giving in a Digital World, with the theme of "Creating and developing online supporter communities through Web 2.0." If you would like to participate in the Carnival, submit your related blog post by next Sunday (2/17) via the BlogCarnival form.
Alexandra Rampy at SocialButterfly ponders the question of whether 'nonprofit' is a brand or merely the description of an organization's tax status.
Paul Jones at Cause-Related Marketing thinks it doesn't matter whether corporations feel the love when they give, as long as they give.
Beth Dunn at Small Dots makes the case that interactive marketing is recession-proof and therefore ideal for nonprofits, who often face tough times financially, recession or no recession.
Joshua Karlin at Marketing & Fundraising Ideas suggests that the way to get major gifts for your nonprofit is to ask for them. Pretty basic, but not easy.
Jason Dick at A Small Change notes that the way to find those potential donors to ask is to listen to them through research.
Jim Logan at Accelerate Business Group provides insight on how to build loyalty and generate repeat customers, which is definitely applicable to nonprofits though written for a more general audience.
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