Beyond Facebook and Twitter

Photos by Chris Suspect

NonProfit 2.0 crystalized as a great event last Friday with incredible conversations, even amongst competitors. But perhaps what made it most special was the utter lack of Facebook and Twitter sessions. No one, from keynotes to 23 attendee generated “unsessions,” wanted to talk about how-to Facebook or Tweet. That was the first social media conference in memory that did not include at least one conversation centered around Facebook or Twitter.

For some, there will always be a need for the basics, particularly about Facebook, which seems to change its interface and features every month. But it seems that the need for this type of information was not needed, at least in the DC Nonprofit 2.0 community. Not last week.

This was refreshing. It marked a line in the sands of time. Maybe it was an anomaly. Or maybe it is finally time to start talking about the pragmatic use of these tools rather than the basics. As a blogger who has covered social media use for more than five years this feels really good, providing a sense of the sector’s arrival.

Beyond this simple epiphany, Epic Change’s Stacey Monk delivered a stirring keynote on re-instilling love and compassion into cause work. Crowdrise’s Robert Wolfe opened the kimono discussing Edward Norton Jr’s involvement, and how MooseJaw led him to create a fun social fundraising site. Social fundraisers Razoo (client), Crowdrise, CauseVox and Causes demonstrated a congenial affinity for each other that you rarely see amongst competitors. It was really cool.

But in the end, the big takeaway from Nonprofit 2.0 was the quiet yet obvious absence of Facebook and Twitter as topics. What do you think? Are communicators moving beyond the need for simple information about these social networks?

12 Replies to “Beyond Facebook and Twitter”

  1. Hmm, I remember speaking at Transparency Camp in DC last month on “civic engagement” (when it came to Open Government), and I didn’t discuss either of those social networking tools either. Instead, I just mentioned it in name assuming everyone was essentially doing the same thing, but instead talking about how engagement should / could and all that go beyond those two sites.

  2. Maybe people who attend an unconference, versus a more traditional conference, are tired of the Kool-Ade and want to talk about other tools. Good for them.

    But as someone who teaches social media marketing courses, my students are starving for Twitter and Facebook knowledge, with LinkedIn and YouTube tied for third.

  3. I think two things set the stage for the right discussion. First, we had awesome keynotes that set the foundation of discussion. Stacy’s centered on the inner drive and importance of passion, while Robert’s focused on more on the his platform’s story. Second, of the people I talked to, none of them were novices in social media — they were people that have been using it and are using it effectively. 

    It’s interesting to see social media starting to mature and users starting to see that technology can only go so far. There are other factors such as storytelling and passion that drive nonprofits to success.

    1. Yes, these are just the tools, right?  Thanks for coming Rob.  I think you and others made it special.  Really appreciate your sense of community!

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