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Social Networking for Nonprofits: Increasing Engagement in a Mobile and Web 2.0 World

by Andy Steggles

From time to time, new technologies completely rewrite the rules for how we do business. In the last several decades we have seen global changes resulting from general adoption of computers and the Internet. Now, social networking specifically online social networking is once again transforming everything. If organizations want to stay competitive and avoid replacement by online rivals, they need to learn and adopt social technologies.

In his book, Andy Steggles addresses two main audiences: those with little or no understanding of social technologies and those who are quite familiar with the general principles but want to take it to the next level. As it turns out, both parts are valuable for both audiences. Section I, Social Consumers, addresses that more basic audience, the ones who want to know answers to such questions as, What is the social web? Where do you find it? What are the core components? How do you use it? How do you attract users, retain members, and build on community? It also addresses legal concerns and liabilities. What makes it valuable for those who already have some experience with social technologies is that it reminds you of things you might not think of, such as listening to what people are saying about your organization (because the conversation is happening whether you hear it or not). Section II addresses organizations that have already built a significant social presence and want to bump it up a few notches by becoming social providers, or in other words, setting up their own social networks. Although this section may seem pretty advanced, it provides a vocabulary and understanding of concepts that are useful to know on many levels, including sections on search engine optimization (SEO), how to make money, and using mobile technologies.

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