Social by Social, for social workers

Everyone likes free stuff, right?

And when it’s free stuff that

  • Inspires you with awesome examples of how people are using emerging technologies to do amazing things in the world
  • Gives you a glossary of all the terms you need to know to live, and advocate, in the high-tech world (would be great to share with a confused or skeptical CEO!)
  • Provides social organizations, working on social problems, from a foundation of social conscience, with a guide to shape their work with social technologies
  • Shares expert advice for those currently engaged in social change campaigns, on how to integrate technology into your work
  • And lives the transparency credo that “social” is all about

    Well, that’s my very most favorite kind of free stuff!

    Social by Social is a free ebook that believes, as I do, that we should use technology to do the things that matter–who wants to read on Twitter that ants are taking over my kitchen? But what about using text messages to remind people to vote in the primary election? They call for fewer ‘cool new tools’ and more thinking about what we need in order to improve our world. They see technology the way that our organizations should–as a trigger, something that equips us to do what we should, and want, to do anyway (get our clients engaged in politics, connect our donors to advocacy, mobilize grassroots action on legislation) but found harder to do without these applications.

    This is the most fun “book” on social media for social good that you’ll ever see–it has a ton of hyperlinks embedded right into it, and quotes from super-smart, super-savvy people who write whole books on this stuff themselves, and enough how-to suggestions (how to: get buy-in from your organization to experiment with social technologies, avoid gadget-chasing, set goals for your experiments, monitor conversations about your work, use video, events, and photos in your campaigns, give up the search for ‘control’ in order to let the relationships you’ll need for action flourish, measuring return on investment) to make it a real resource to keep by your computer. It’s also British, and you know how i feel about the UK.

    But, by far, the best part is the inspirations. I’ll have posts on a couple of these individually over the next few weeks (okay, maybe months!), but check them out–you’ll find not only inspiration for your own online advocacy, but probably some campaigns that you want to participate in, too.

    And then it has a section on what these new technologies will mean for different people, trying to improve the world from a different sector’s vantage point. My favorite section is on campaigners: how can you not love someone who advises activists for social justice to “be promiscuous”–go where people are, don’t assume that anyone is closed to your message, and connect with people so that they become part of your movement.

    And, finally, I love that this project used the very technologies, and the very same ideology, or approach to the work, that it advocates for others. By living what they recommend, the Social by Social team provides a model for what this new engagement might look like for organisations (um, I mean, organizations).

    Happy social-izing!

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