People Keep Fighting Power with Social Media

Pink Frangipani Blossoms

The first chapter of Welcome to the Fifth Estate discusses social media empowered people that act independently of traditional media, government and corporate structures. Last Saturday night on WOR Radio’s The Business of Giving show I had the pleasure of discussing this tension with host Denver Frederick. From Syrian bloggers fighting the Assad regime to the anti-Komen Planned Parenthood social media fury in the United States, people continue to fight power structures with social media.

Average citizens feel a need to circumvent established media as well as traditional government and corporate structures with online tools. Their information needs are unfulfilled and voices are not being heard. So people activate themselves online to demand change and action, or to form new innovative ways of resolving their problems.

The Syrian Revolution

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The State of Influencer Theory Infographic

The State of Influencer Theory

The above infographic — “The State of Influencer Theory” (download here) — was published today as part of a primer on influence theory that appeared in SmartBrief on Social Media. The post updates a section of Welcome to the Fifth Estate to include leaderboard theory, such as Klout and Empire Avenue.

Addressing some issues pointed out in “Infographics: Art or Porn,” this graphic is designed by Jess3 (thank you, Jesse and Leslie), the industry leader in online data visualization. The infographic fits on one screen view. Because the graphic depicts people and theories, it is designed as a fun, cartoonesque map that illustrates the evolution of theory, creating a pop art element to it. The downloadable graphic is licensed as Creative Commons (with attribution), is high resolution, and can be made into a poster or screen wallpaper.

The key for the data elements in the graphic can be found in the companion post and is listed below:

The Tipping Point (2000) by Malcolm Gladwell – Movements are caused by three types of influencers; connectors, mavens (subject matter experts) and salesmen. Examples: Old Spice Guy, Dell Listens.

Six Degrees/Weak Ties (2003) by Duncan Watts — Data analysis shows influencers rarely start contagious movements, instead average citizens provide the spark. Examples: Egyptian Revolution, Tumblr – Digg Events.

One Percenters (2006) Jackie Huba & Ben McConnell – It is the content creators amongst Internet communities that drive online conversations. Examples: Lady Gaga, Ford Vista.

The Magic Middle (2006) by David Sifry: The middle tier of content creators and voices break stories and discussing that trickle up into widespread contagious events. Examples: 2008 Obama Election, Motrin Moms.

The Groundswell (2008) by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff: Movements start within communities, and leaders rise up out of the community, and can have many roles including content creator, critic and collector. Examples: Haiti Earthquake Texting, Pepsi Refresh.

Trust Agents (2009) by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith – Influencers are people who build online trust and relationships whose communities look to them for advice and direction. Examples: Gary Vaynerchuk (WineLibrary.TV), Republican Party’s #FirePelosi Campaign.

Free Agents (2010) by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine – These trusted influencers are independent of traditional command and control organizations, and crash into the walls of storied cultures. Examples: @BPGlobalPR, Robert Scoble at Microsoft – Channel 8

Leaderboards (2010-11): Influence can be quantified by online actions taken by a person’s community, including retweets, mentions, comments and more. Examples: Klout, Empire Avenue.

Because the article is meant to serve as an objective primer on well-discussed theories, there’s little opinion about which theories work and don’t. You do see some alignment in the graphic of top down versus bottom up theories, as well as the basic offsetting of these two theory families, with Gladwell and Watts taking opposite sides. However, there is much to say from an opinion standpoint, and it will be said here next week. :)

It’s Time to Reboot NonProfit 2.0

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After one hell of a blizzard and four months, Allyson Kapin, Shireen Mitchell and I are ready to finally host the first ever NonProfit 2.0 Unconference. This sold out Friday June 25th event will be held at SEIU in downtown DC. What better way to kick off the first Friday of summer then with fun wonky chats about change for our society with the people trying to improve it.

Beth Kanter (@kanter) and Allison Fine (@afine)

The event has already attracted some high caliber talent. Beth Kanter and Allison Fine, authors of The Networked Nonprofit (one of the bestselling books in America yesterday), will offer our first keynote. Our second keynote is The American Red Cross’s social media lead Wendy Harman.

The format melds the best of the BlogPotomac speaker and true Camp Unconference formats. Specifically, NonProfit 2.0 delivers the best of both worlds, offering great keynote sessions, but in an unconference way with no PowerPoint, 15 minute leads, and open questions and dialogue for fantastic conversations. Then from midmorning forward, NonProfit 2.0 shifts into a full-on Unconference.

The Nonprofit 2.0 Unconference (on Twitter at nonprofit20) will be DC’s only unconference dedicated to the social cause space. Why? Because this sector is special and unique. Using social media to create networked communities and movements is much different than selling products or services.

From volunteers and political action to cultivating donors and partners, social media for causes represents a mission. Often our communications impact society, benefiting Americans and citizens across the globe. Changing society for the better is a special, unique heart-felt activity. If you don’t have a ticket, join others like you for the social good keynotes on U-Stream via the NextGenWeb site.

Feel the love! See you on Friday.

A Sneak Preview of @kanter and @afine’s The Networked Nonprofit

As co-founder of the NonProfit 2.0 Conference and Beth’s business partner, I was thrilled to get a sneak preview of Beth Kanter and Allison Fine‘s The Networked Nonprofit a couple weeks ago at the Personal Democracy Forum. The following two minute movie provides a synapsis of the book’s thesis. It is a compilation of their keynote and sound bites from a phone interview they did on site.

NonProfit 2.0 attendees will get to hear Beth and Allison interviewed live next Friday, November 25 for their keynote session by co-founder Shireen Mitchell. Also, attendee or not you are invited to a virtual book launch party! Join Beth and Allison on June 21st at 1-2 PM PST/4-5 PM EST for the launch of The Networked Nonprofit published by Jossey-Bass.

Don’t Miss Gear Up for Giving, Social Change Camp NY

In this video, Kristin Ivie provides background on The Case Foundation’s Gear Up for Giving Tutorial Series every Tuesday and Thursday. The sessions aim to help nonprofits better understand social media. Upcoming sessions include:

Tuesday, September 22 – 1:00pm -NetSquared’s Marnie Webb
Thursday, September 24 – 1:00pm – NTEN’s Holly Ross
Tuesday, September 29 – 1:00pm – #1 Changeblogger Beth Kanter
Thursday, October 1 – 1:00pm – Facebook Causes’ Sarah Koch

Authors Allison Fine, Katya Anderson and I have already gone. My session can be found here.

Social Change Camp NYC

avatar_f97045a19e84_128.pngIn addition, those interested in social change on the Eastern sea board may want to attend Social Change Camp NYC this Saturday, September 26. SocialChangeCamp is a conference for forward-thinking public interest organizations seeking new and diverse ways to leverage technology to recruit volunteers, build communities, inspire grassroots movements, reach donors, and facilitate effective advocacy.

The event empowers socially conscious organizations with channels and techniques that help them find relevance and accessibility in social media and related technology, regardless of their current levels of engagement. By educating, empowering, and connecting our community members, we act as a catalyst for social change.

I’m going at the suggestion of friend and organizer Damien Basile.