Friday, March 21, 2008

Building, Growing, and Sustaining a Vibrant Online Community – How to Reach Beyond Traditional Tools into the Web 2.0 Sphere

The next panelist is Abby Sandlin, Charity Dynamics. Abby was a fundraiser and grassroots organizer for several policy related nonprofit organizations. Founded organization in Houston on consumer protection issues. Challenge: making technology work for you, instead of you working for your technology.

Why explore social networking?
Building communities and connecting new audiences, new voices, adding more touch points with your constituency.
Increase transparency.
Develop new channels for exposure, etc.

Lots of questions before jumping in...
How long will it take, cost, how to guarantee success, what will legal think about it, etc.

ROI is a moving target--there are no industry standards and benchmarks. Reporting standards and tools are young.

Define engagement value internally. Get stakeholders together and figure out what you really want to accomplish with a social networking venture. Possible goals: see what's out there, stake a flag, be part of a conversation, raise awareness for an issue/organization, be more transparent? How is this community going to be different from your web 1.0 presence?

Document those objectives, goals and expectations: internal transparency and support for initiatives; tell the story of how these impact your organization (easy justification available for the work invested); analysis and fine-tuning.

Reporting: document results, both quantitative and qualitative. What worked and what didn't? What was learned?

What to measure:
Recency: timing, duration, consistency
Quantity: web analytics, how many viewers, participants, contributors, followers, tags, etc.
Quality: presence, type of conversations, tone of conversations, etc.
Response rates: How many engaging in organizational initiative, immediate and long term conversion.
Origination: Identify participants as coming from 2.0 initiative vs. other channels - are 2.0 generated constituents providing more / less value to organization?

social media : social media metrics resources.

Kami Huyse is a good blogger to follow about social

Radius is an expensive tool to track flickr, youtube, etc. : plug in different websites, more for pageview metrics
Technorati... Beth will add these to the wiki.

Had to attend to a few other online community coordination obligations and so was not as thorough in blogging questions/answers. Sorry!

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