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AmeriCorps Alums Tweet-up at NCVS 2009

June 23, 2009

2009 NCVS Tweet-Up

Hosted by: AmeriCorps Alums (Whitney Soenksen)



1.  Quick intro – Who We Are

AmeriCorps Alums

Whitney and Amity

2.  How to stay in touch with us and get our ‘best of’ list!

  • follow us on Twitter (americorpsalums)
  • friend us on Facebook (AmeriCorps Alums)
  • become our Fan on Facebook (AmeriCorps Alums)
  • follow our blog (

3.  What we’re here to do:

  • De-mystify the icons
  • Share best practices/knowledge
  • Connect with each other in person to facilitate…
  • Connecting with each other online!


I think it’s safe to say that social media is a set of technology and platforms that facilitate:

  • Conversations
  • Connections
  • Sharing
  • Influence – acquisition and exertion
  • Customer Relationships
  • Muliti-disciplinary: marketing, PR, sales, customer service, HR, research
  • The opportunity to listen, engage & be useful

You could also say that social media is not:

  • Just like direct marketing
  • A replacement for other marketing
  • Controllable
  • A campaign with a defined start and stop
  • Easy to measure (in the same old ways)
  • Another place to publish offline Advertising media

4. Raise your hand if you…

–          Use social media sites everyday?

–          Understand what they all do or do well?

–          Know what all of these icons are?

Social News websites are communities which allow its users to submit news stories, articles and media (videos/pictures) and share them with other users or the general public. Some of these articles will be given more visibility, depending on various factors such as the number of user votes for each item.

Apart from counting registered user votes, some social news websites employ human editors to determine the visibility of each news item. Certain stories will be removed from the website while others may be given a ‘featured‘ position if the story is highly relevant and news worthy.


RSS (most commonly translated as “Really Simple Syndication”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”,[3] or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator“, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based.

Vimeo is a video-centric social network site (owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp) which launched in November 2004. The site supports embedding, sharing, video storage, and allows user-commenting on each video page. Users must register to upload content. Registered users may also create a profile and upload small user pictures as their avatars, comment and “like” videos.  Vimeo does not allow commercial videos, gaming videos[1], pornography, or anything not created by the user to be hosted on the site.[2] Vimeo has gained a reputation as catering to a high end, artistic crowd because of its higher bitrate, resolution, and relative HD support.

Facebook is a free-access social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.[1] Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. The website’s name refers to the paper facebooks depicting members of a campus community that some US colleges and preparatory schools give to incoming students, faculty, and staff as a way to get to know other people on campus.

LinkedIn (pronounced /ˈlɪŋkt.ˈɪn/) is a business-oriented social networking site founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003[1] mainly used for professional networking. As of May 2009[update], it had more than 40 million registered users,[2] spanning 170 industries.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read each others’ updates, known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters, displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to other users – known as followers – who have subscribed to them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.

Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository.[2] As of November 2008[update], it claims to host more than 3 billion images.

Blogger is a blog publishing system. It was created by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. The service itself is located at, and blogs that do not publish to their own websites are hosted by Google at subdomains of

SmugMug, which took its first customers in late 2002, is the go-to service for serious photography nuts. 100,000 paying customers have uploaded over 100 million photos. The company has 19 employees, is profitable, and has never taken outside funding. Revenues are in the $10 million per year range, MacAskill tells me.

There is no free version of the service. People pay a minimum of $40 per year to upload photos to the site. Pro accounts, which are $150/year, give photographers a number of tools to add watermarks, and sell downloads as well as prints of their work. The higher level accounts also allow customers to use templates, fully customize the look and feel of their albums (or “galleries” as SmugMug calls them), and even use their own domain names.

Newsvine is a community-powered, collaborative journalism news website which draws content from its users and syndicated content from mainstream sources such as The Associated Press. Users can write articles, seed links to external content, and discuss news items submitted by both users and professional journalists.

YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos, and view them in MPEG-4 format. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005.[2] In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google.

MySpace is a social networking website with an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos for teenagers and adults internationally.

Digg The largest and most popular social news website on the internet, users share by submitting links and stories, and voting and commenting on submitted links and stories. Voting stories up and down is the site’s cornerstone function, respectively called digging and burying. Many stories get submitted every day, but only the most Dugg stories appear on the front page. Digg’s popularity has prompted the creation of other social networking sites with story submission and voting systems.[4]

StumbleUpon is an Internet community that allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos. It is a personalized recommendation engine which uses peer and social-networking principles.

Web pages are presented when the user clicks the “Stumble!” button on the browser’s toolbar. StumbleUpon chooses which Web page to display based on the user’s ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. Users can rate or choose not to rate any Web page with a thumbs up or thumbs down, and clicking the Stumble button resembles “channel-surfing” the Web. StumbleUpon also allows their users to indicate their interests from a list of nearly 500 topics to produce relevant content for the user.[3] There is also one-click blogging built in as well.

Delicious (formerly, pronounced “delicious”) is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. It has more than five million users and 150 million bookmarked URLs.[1] It is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Technorati is an Internet search engine for searching blogs, competing with Google and Yahoo!. As of June 2008, Technorati indexes 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.[2] The name Technorati is a portmanteau, pointing to the technological version of literati, or intellectuals.

reddit (also Reddit) is a social news website on which users can post links to content on the Internet. Other users may then vote the posted links up or down, causing them to become more or less prominent on the Reddit home page.

The site has discussion areas in which users may discuss the posted links and vote for or against others’ comments. When there are enough votes against a given comment, it will not be displayed by default, although a reader can display it through a link or preference. Users who submit articles which other users like and subsequently “vote up” receive “karma” points as a reward for submitting interesting articles.

Reddit also includes topical sections called “subreddits”, which focus on specific topics, such as politics, programming, “not safe for work“, or science. There are hundreds of subreddits. [1] Users can create subreddits.

The Reddit logo changes for various holidays and often for no reason, paying homage to Star Wars, classic video games, and geek culture in general. It often changes in response to major discussion subjects within the site or major news stories. Reddit developers have built a system to aid with curtailing spam, which works based on the “reports” of users.

(Definitions taken from Wikipedia or the company’s website)

5.  What you should be doing if your focus is… (5 mins)

Professional –Linked In

  • Create a group
  • Make yourself the admin
  • INVITE your contacts, ask them to invite others
  • Send ANNOUNCEMENTS when there are important professional opportunities
  • Submit NEWS items if something in your sector/org. is important to know

Everyone and their mom (good for events/general word of mouth) – Facebook

(Interns are good to help out with this, just have them explain everything to you and write down user names/passwords!)

  • Create a professional Facebook ‘person’ account (using your work email address)
  • Keep it simple and manage your org. from here… then,
  • Make a fan page, a group and a cause (if you’re a nonprofit)

Up-to-the-minute links/news –Twitter

Tweet Tips: DO

–          ‘Re Tweet’ (RT) news that relates to you

–          Respond to direct messages and @ replies like a human being

–          Interact with your followers

–          Follow those that follow you

–          Post fun/randomly useful stuff once in awhile

–          Twitter on your phone or on your computer… use applications to make this easier (google: twitter applications).

–          You get what you give… if you tweet once a week or 10x a day it will show!

–          Use cotweet or hootsuite or another application to manage your twitter accounts

–          Good twitter feed about tech: @mashable


–          use ONLY for self-promotion or RSS feed

–          Tweet about CONFIDENTIAL information

–          Start an organization-wide twitter feed without talking to your communications people, business unit or parent organization (essentially anyone who makes PR decisions for you)

–          Tweet disparagingly about other orgs…

New trends… all people in an organization tweeting relevant information and having a ‘conversation’ to in-turn reach many more people!

Parting Words of Wisdom…

–          No one is a complete expert in social media (it’s too new!) but there are some people who know A LOT. There are great resources out there so learn from them and always ask questions.

–          Know your audience and cater to them!

–          Make it a priority, not a second thought

‘Service/Nonprofit’ Social media and technology Top Ten Sites

  2. Service Nation (BeTheChange, Inc.)
  4. Beth Kanter’s blog
  6. Tech Soup (and check out it’s project Net2 ‘net squared’)
  7. Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN)
  8. Mashable  (The social media guide)
  9. Craigslist Foundation blog
  10. Have Fun Do Good
4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2009 11:55 am

    excellent informative post. keep it up.

  2. heidical permalink
    July 20, 2009 9:38 pm

    Wow–lots of info here–thanks for this and the great-looking new blog.
    I am slowly learning about new media and writing about my experiences and tips for non-profits here:

  3. August 30, 2009 6:13 pm

    I never ever post but this time I will,Thanks alot for the great blog.

  4. June 22, 2010 6:04 pm

    Very nice post! Kudos++++

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