Boston Social Media Breakfast 11: Social Media for Social Change

SMB11 was a great departure from the regular focus on social media in business (although that’s quite helpful) Organizer Bob Collins wanted to show attendees ways in which people have used many of the tools we use each day to give back to the world.

To start out, we all got to say hello to Bryan Person (left), the original organizer of SMB, who recently moved from Boston to Austin.

We then partook in an effort by the Greater Boston Food Bank and Tyson Foods called Hunger Relief whereby we were challenged to get as many comments up on the page as possible, and with each comment, Tyson would donate food.  Within four hours, we got two truckloads secured for Eastern Massachusetts.  So cool.

The talks started out with Gradon Tripp speaking about his efforts with his organization, Social Media for Social Change.  In October he held a Tweet up Fundraiser that raised $20K for Jane Doe, Inc that raises awareness of domestic violence. SM4SC New York is planned for April, with details on recipient organization to come.

The second speaker was Frank Days, who works for First Giving. He spoke of First Giving’s social media efforts, which have included blogging, twitter, widgets, etc.  The three things that they’ve learned so far after entering the space?

  1. Think about the demographic that you’re trying to reach, and match them to the medium.  Some efforts will attract more people that just plain don’t use social media tools.
  2. For First Giving, social media has <10% adoption rate, and email is still king.  Hopefully this will increase.
  3. They’re still going to test and learn!

The last speaker was Beth Kanter, who, through her own efforts, has raised thousands of dollars for various causes through tools such as her blog, twitter, social networks etc.  She works as a trainer for non-profits on how to use technology effectively in their efforts, coaches “digital immigrants” on how to use technologies for personal use, and basically does awesome work for people who need help.  I’m not going to begin so explain everything, so please visit her blog for more.

Two other efforts that were mentioned were Alicia’s Staley Foundation, which “support[s] cancer patients and their families undergoing treatment at Tufts Medical Center through education, advocacy, and immediate financial assistance,” and my own personal plug for DigiActive, which I talk about here.

A great session, and please be posted for Other Side’s own social media push for the holidays.  I had waited until this week to do it in conjunction with SMB11.  Coming soon!

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