Content, Technology. Or is it: Technology, Content?

Tech tricks and tips for the social good.


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Content Creation: Is the 90-9-1 rule (finally) dead?

In the olden days (2006) data revealed that only 1 person in any group of 100 was actually an online content creator.

In that group, there were 9 occasional social posters and 90 who were happy to just “lurk” at the edges, without interacting.

This model emerged as the accepted rule of thumb and was based in part on upload/download rates from the then-nascent YouTube.

In those days, the rule discouraged many from developing online communities – really, why bother? Only a small proportion of community members engaged with content in any meaningful way.

Well, we all grew up a little – and so did the interwebs.

By 2011, the rule had changed. Paul Schneider readdressed the issue by looking at a random selection of his firm’s clients. He suggested a more accurate rule was 70-20-10: a whopping ten out of each 100 people was an active creator.

90-10-1-rule-online-community-participation
And then we grew up, again. And discovered #selfies and pins.

Twitter’s user base surged through 2014, Snapchat snagged the kids beginning in 2012, LinkedIn was re-vamped in 2012 and in 2011, we all joined Pinterest. Right? It’s PINTEREST.

Now, I imagine that this triangle has changed shape. Or maybe it has completely inverted.

Anyone got data?

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Follow the Tipsy College Student Rule: Find Your Social Voice

That’s advice from Josh Haynam (@Jhaynam) in his recent post on developing an effective social voice.

There’s a lot of noise on the social channels, and as NPOs/CHIs we need to find a way to use our social media updates – our social voice – to be informative and get our stakeholder’s attention. How do we do that?

By tapping into our innate quirky, funny, human-ness.

It sounds counter-productive. And scary!

Mission statements and mission reporting are formal, and they need to be. I wouldn’t support an NPO who hadn’t seriously considered their goals and methods, would you? But we can become more ourselves and really share the joy we feel as we carry out our daily activities and projects.

We do this by being sympathetic, telling stories that resonate or are humorous, and keeping our posts and updates simple and uncomplicated.

So – dare to be silly, brilliant, passionate. It’s who we are. And what we do.

While I don’t think Josh meant we should throw common sense (and grammar!) out the window, I do think he was pointing us towards posting from a more relaxed, more “personal” place.

Share jokes or memes, post funny videos, ask silly questions – play a little or a lot!

Let your guard down, and invite stakeholders to connect with your mission, and with you.


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Facebook Groups – an NPO’s Secret Weapon. Part I

Chances are you belong to at least one Facebook group… is it your neighborhood association’s FB page?  Your child’s sports team? Or maybe you belong to a location-neutral group organized around a personal interest, like sailing.

Take a closer look at those pages. What’s missing?

Actually two things are missing.

The first is sponsored links/posts.
At this writing, FB groups pages are free from clutter. The page contains only updates posted by people who belong to the group. There are no sponsored links/suggested posts.  It’s a space that is not strewn with curated content at all.

The second missing element is advertising.
Every post to a group page remains strictly about that group’s interests.  The stream of tailored ads – based on what I might have looked at online – are blissfully muted!

This hiding-in-plain-sight space is a great tool for NPO’s.

Your org can start an affinity group around your mission, or related topics. For example, your org saves cats. Start a FB group about spotted cats, or cats with “mustaches” or extra toes. You can invite the org’s regular FB fans to join, and with effective key-word choices new fans from beyond your usual pool join in.

The affinity page will attract experts and novices alike; consider using the page as a space to position your org as a thought leader in your field. But don’t over-do it – readers will see constant references to your org as spam, and stay away.

Start the conversation, and let community members “talk amongst themselves” about the topic. Some posts might have links you can curate  onto your org’s main FB page.

One caveat – group pages need to be started by individuals, not businesses or organizations. Be prepared to post as yourself.