Networking

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I decided it was a good time to rein in on the many social connections I have and that we’ve set up for the Other Side Group.  I started out by going through the list and drawing it out…. it’s a little messy, but it got the job done.

I wrote down every outpost (and threw in blogs there) and drew arrows to determine where the connections were.  From there, I was able to get a better picture of where all the content was going and coming from.

A few things I was able to do:

  1. Clean up (I don’t use Jaiku or Tumblr, so I deleted the accounts)
  2. Find overlaps (For instance, I have Twitter fed into Friendfeed, but I also had Twitter fed into BrightKite, which fed into Friendfeed, so it was posting twice)
  3. See what I use the most (I use Twitter and Facebook)
  4. Find holes (Could we maximize our company LinkedIn page more?)
  5. Identify hidden potential (I’m thinking Posterous might play a larger role in the future)
  6. Ask questions (I have a lot of stuff going into FriendFeed, but don’t ever actually use it… is it doing me good? Is that best practice for social media usage?)

It was a fun exercise, and I was able to learn a lot, and get a grasp on what all of my social media tools were doing for me out there.  I’d highly suggest it for all of you heavy-users!

If you want to connect to me or to Other Side Group on any of these platforms:

Other Side Group

Website
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
YouTube
BlipTV
Other Side Notes (Anya’s blog)
Anya on Twitter

Kate Brodock

Today and Tomorrow (website/blog)
Twitter
Facebook
BrightKite
Google Reader
FriendFeed
Posterous
Delicious
Disqus
Portfolio (Still needs work)

I recently read an article bringing up the ways that social media can hurt your career.  We have all seen these articles that highlight the horror stories of Joe who called in sick and his boss read his tweet about going to the Red Sox game, who subsequently fired him, or whatever.

While I think the three social networking don’ts highlighted should be considered, I still fail to see the fault in social networking regarding career advancement. While sometimes the incriminating tweets and status updates are funny to read, most people who have a handle on social networking platforms and how they work know the potential, good and bad, of anything you post reaching new readership.

My rule of thumb used to be: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your dear old Grandma to hear. Now that my social media usage has changed from strictly personal socialization to more utilitarian applications, including career advancement, my rule of thumb is: don’t post anything you that wouldn’t feel comfortable saying directly in person.

As long as you remember that it may seem like a post in outer-space, anyone can stumble upon anything. There are also different ways of saying similar things and you can still express your opinions in an inoffensive way. It’s about applying the simple rules of gossip that we learned in elementary school to this version of tech gossip…also, not everything thought needs to be said.

Colleagues Mary Joyce, Timo Zaeck and myself have just released the findings of a study on Digital Activism around the world through DigiActive’s [email protected] ([email protected]).

To download the full report click here (in .pdf format):

Abstract:

Our goal in creating this survey was to collect the first international demographic data on the new group we call “digital activists”: people who use digital technology as part of grassroots campaigns for social and political change.

From late mid-February to mid-April of 2009, DigiActive collected 122 responses through an open online form, followed by three rounds of qualitative and quantitative analysis.  Despite the challenges of researching the world’s digital activists we felt a need to record - in some rough way - this evolving demographic.  Our original data set is available for download above and we welcome comments below through [email protected]

Key Findings:

Economics Digital activists, particularly in developing countries, are much more likely than the population at large to pay a monthly subscription fee to have Internet at home, to be able to afford a high-speed connection, and to work in a white-collar job where Internet is also available. In short, digital activists are likely to be prosperous.

Access Intensity of use, rather than simple access, is critical as to whether or not a person is a digital activist. This high use is only possible for people with the ability to pay for it. The Internet may be democratizing, but its effects are felt most strongly in the global middle class.

Causes Across regions, “rights” emerged as the most popular cause, with 21 different types identified by respondents.

Broadcast The plurality of respondents (37%) believe digital technology’s greatest value for activism is one-way communication. What makes social media useful for digital activism may not be its interactivity but rather the fact that these technologies collapse the barrier to broadcast.

Mobiles Respondents with more features on their mobile phone - such as Internet, video, and GPS - are more likely to use their phones for activism. This is another indicator of the importance of financial resources for digital activists, both quantitatively, in terms of greater technology access, and qualitatively, in terms of better (mobile) hardware.

Platforms Social networks are the most common “gateway drug” into digital activism.

Skills Findings on technology and advocacy skills acquisition challenge the assumption that those who have a facility with technology are more likely to become digital activists and gives encouragement to programs that seek to teach technology skills to traditional activists.

Age Older activists in the respondent group are most likely to use digital technology to increase the efficiency of offline activities, such as training and evidence collection, and less likely to participate in activities which have gained popularity because of the availability of online tools, such as posting original content on web sites.

The purpose of [email protected] ([email protected]) is to produce applied, thought-provoking, actionable research at the cutting edge of Digital Activism. It seeks to highlight and disseminate studies in the new academic field of digital activism by publishing short papers by promising scholars. To submit a paper or get more information, please contact our Director of Applied Research, Patrick Meier, at Patrick AT Digiactive.org.

Anya and I are very pleased to announce that we will be heading the newly formed Boston Chapter of Girls in Tech.

“Girls in Tech is a social network enterprise focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded, professional, intelligent and influential women in technology. As young women with the capacity to inspire, we made it our personal desire and passion to create and sustain an organization that focuses on the collaboration, promotion, growth and success of women in the technology sector.”

“Girls in Tech aims to offer a variety of resources and tools for women to supplement and further enhance their professional careers and aspirations in technology. Some of these resources include, educational workshops and lectures, networking functions, round table discussions, conferences, social engagements, and recruitment events.”

So far, GiT has been a wild success in its existing San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City chapters.  Along with the Boston Chapter, new chapters were open in Austin, Portland, and London.

We feel that the Boston technology scene would be a perfect one for a group like this, and we’re excited to be a part of it.

We’ll be announcing our advisory team soon, as well as the relaunch of the GiT website to include all new chapters.  In the meantime, please email me at [email protected] for more information or join or Facebook Group!

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