The array of social media can be very complex-looking from the outside - a beeping, flashing, chattering din. But upon closer inspection, social media and social networks respond to the same needs that drive human beings; the need to connect with one another in meaningful ways through conversation. Social change happens through conversations, and the job of nonprofits is to organize themselves in such ways as to catalyze and manage those conversations and networks.
Network management includes, but isn't limited to, such important tenets as providing multiple access points for supporters to get into and out of organization, participating in conversations about your cause rather than presenting strategic plans and organizational charts, sharing rather than grabbing credit, and leveraging social capital rather than owning and operating all of the heavy organization machinery yourself. Organizations work from the inside out; networks work from the outside in.
The Networked Nonprofit makes sense of the existing mishmash of data, blogs and books about social media in a connected world and social change and applies this knowldege specifically to social change organizations. It offers a set of guiding principles to help leaders navigate the transition from top-down organizations to a networked approach. Each chapter provides specific strategies for implementation and "secrets to success" according to activists who have learned how to use new social media effectively themselves.
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