August 28, 2012
Despite all my best intentions, I never seem to write about the panel discussions and informational meetups I go to. Maybe it's because it's hard to condense one hours' worth of debate on digital media into one blog post... especially when there are no hard and fast conclusions that come out of it. Still, meetups with the Social Media Ref were thought provoking, and I really enjoyed the Non-Profit Technology Network's latest workshop on using social media for social justice (details over here)
d'Arcy Lunn, the Canadian Campaign manager for The Global Poverty Project's Polio campaign, led the group, with a quick overview of global poverty and the things that the Global Poverty Group had been doing in the digital space to get the word out etc.
One of the biggest problems with digital campaigns is that they're short-lived and superficial - peoples' interest shifts to the next thing that comes along etc. So I was hooked by the fact that for an upcoming concert in New York, tickets are free, but people earn their way in by reading articles, sharing them, signing online petitions etc - and these people are kept on a database which ensures they get follow-ups about other projects which need similar action. It'll be interesting to see how that works.
Another aspect that had me hooked was d'Arcy's emphasis on Google+ being a great medium for projects like this - the GPG's making better use of G+ than most for-profit organizations I've seen, and it's definitely working fantastically for them. I've worked with Google.org to build out search & display campaigns for non-profits, and also used Google Pages to build simple sites for some projects, but I think adding social to the mix definitely broadens any project's scope.
... There are so many ideas that came up while I was talking to the group, but like I said at the beginning, it's hard to figure out which ones to put down, and they rarely make sense out of context. That said, I thought this particular meetup was worth writing about, just to get the word out about GPG (their website's here).