Exploring Virtual Connections

Sarah Kelly
Posted November 21, 2009 from Mexico

Recently, for Adapting to Scarcity, I have been exploring the ins and outs of virtually organizing. There is a LOT to comb through. Since we are filming and preparing short videos of our work, conducting preliminary research and building a network to share finished videos is crucial to its success. Below is my experience thus far with of each of these main outlets. I hope this post can help others connect and share their voices and work.

Facebook: We have a page with 214 fans, which is respectable for a brand new organization based internationally. In my research, locally based organizations in an area where lots of people use Facebook have a lot more potential for higher fan bases. Facebook is the single largest generator of visitors to our website. We share all our blog posts, updates, and many of our photos there. It serves as a second website, easier to visit and read blurbs instead of whole blog entries. Of course, we have Facebook linked to twitter, so every time we post there it goes to twitter.

Twitter: I initially resisted twitter, thinking we did not have a use for it. My, how I was wrong. By following and being followed by many like minded technology, social media, and water related organizations, we create our own interactive community and access highly relevant online movements and trends. I have found the most influential organizations and resources there.

Flickr: Adapting to Scarcity has a pro account on Flickr which means we can upload as many photos as we want and license them through Creative Commons. By copylefting them, we can allow them to be shared and manipulated, but only with a shout out to us and never for profit. Flickr of course also has groups to be created and joined. We can also tag photos, so they will be more searchable by other photographers. I have found some cool photojournalism projects, lower budget, only located on Flickr. It is a respectable and easy way to share a lot of images and information. Then of course, there is Twitpic, which we need to begin using, but have not yet.

Idealist: Idealist is starting a new movement to expand and reinvent the ways we organize on the internet, moving forward with Idealist as the central nodule. I support them. We are listed on Idealist, and received a few really promising volunteer offers through the site. We look forward to seeing their new project evolve, and where it goes.

Wiserearth: The community of changemakers and collaboration on Wiserearth is impressive, but it is difficult to share larger photos and videos. We posted a solution on Wiserearth, and the page has been visited 300 times. I look forward to using the Wiserearth tools more in the future.

Youtube: Stay tuned, we just applied for a nonprofit partnership, and will begin posting videos soon.

Comments 3

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  • Jade Frank
    Nov 21, 2009
    Nov 21, 2009

    Hi Sarah,

    This is a great discussion on social media marketing! Thanks for sharing your experience with it. Could you provide some links to the pages for Adapting for Scarcity for those of us who wish to follow your work?

    Also, I encourage you to re-post this in Sharing Solutions, PulseWire's library of ideas and expertise for sharing innovative solutions to daily challenges. I think this is such valuable information for harnessing the tools of social media to draw support and exposure for an organization. Something that is certainly of value to our members, many of whom are working for or running grassroots projects. http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/solutions

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Cheers, Jade

  • Sarah Kelly
    Nov 22, 2009
    Nov 22, 2009

    Hey Jade,

    Thanks for the feedback. I did make the links-thanks for the suggestion. Has World Pulse looked into using something like tinyMCE? It makes linking a lot easier, for those of use who are a bit lazy. :)

    I will definitely look into posting this on the Sharing Solutions. I am still exploring this website and all its offerings.

    Take care,


  • Angus Parker
    Nov 29, 2009
    Nov 29, 2009

    Dear Jade:

    Thanks for the mention of www.WiserEarth.org In addition to solutions, we have free online groupspaces where your community can gather and share files, events, jobs, resources etc. All of our pages have wikis (using tinyMCE) so you can go crazy customizing them as you like. We also house the worlds largest global nonprofit directory (112,000 organizations). We are free to use for anyone in the sustainability and social justice community - social sector, forprofits or government agencies.

    Best, Angus

    Angus Parker Program Director, WiserEarth