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Tag Archives | Social networking

Using a blog and social media to help a non-profit, in this case the Kentucky Coaltion to Abolish the Death Penalty

Recently I overhauled the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s (KCADP) online presence. This describes our approach and how I can help you or your organization make better use of the Internet.

Early on, KCADP’s staff and I determined that there were three objectives for its online presence (all of which should apply to similar non-profits):

  • increase its membership
  • keep its existing supporters engaged
  • convert its opponents or disinterested people into supporters

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Behold the renovated (again) ZachEverson.com–feedback appreciated!

As overhauling this blog seemed less daunting than unpacking all of my possessions after my recent move to Louisville, I spent the past couple of days renovating the website. I

  • upgraded the blogging platform to WordPress 2.6.5–it has a slew of new features, so many in fact that I only needed to install two plugins
  • installed the ShareThis plugin–it appears after each post and allows visitors to easily, um, share the post via social networking and bookmarking sites, blogs, or e-mail (previously I needed three separate plugins to handle these feunctions)
  • added the fantastic free Typebased theme from Woo Themes
  • corrected a coding problem that caused a lot of punctuation to appear as code (which is certainly not acceptable on a blog that covers grammar and punctuation)

Feedback—good or bad—on the update is appreciated. Thanks!

Is Facebook heading for a Black Tuesday-like crash?

Facebook logoWhen Joseph Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s father, overheard shoeshine boys discussing their stock porfolios, he sold many of his holdings, figuring the market was overextended. Shortly thereafter, the market crashed on 1929’s Black Tuesday. (Disclaimer: this story might be an urban legend.)

Might Facebook be heading for a similar catastrophe? My father just signed up for an account.

While my father is no shoeshine boy (he’s a physicist), Facebook’s appeal has been to the younger folk. Might the influx of, um, people of an advanced age cause the site to lose its cool? (I’ve noticed that some of my friends’ parents also have been popping up on Facebook.)

Of course, there is an opposite interpretation: Facebook’s reach has become so vast that no other social networking site stands a chance of usurping its dominance.

I’m not sure which theory I subscribe to. But in the meantime, I need to scrub my Facebook profile and make it Dad-safe.

Photo: Courtesy Facebook

Ping.fm solves the (admittedly self-inflicted) problem of updating your status on multiple social networking sites

With so many social networking and microblogging sites, updating your status on all of them can be a pain. In many people’s cases—including mine—it leads to either neglect or cutting and pasting.

Ping.fm solves the problem though. From Wikipedia:

Ping.fm is a free social networking and micro-blogging web service that enables users to post to multiple social networks simultaneously.

Making an update on Ping.fm pushes the update to a number of different social websites at once. This allows individuals using multiple social networks to update their status only once, without having to update it in all their social mediums individually. Ping.fm groups services into three categories – status updates, blogs, and micro-blogs – and updates can be sent to each group separately.

From Ping.fm I simultaneously post to Twitter and update my status on Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Ping.fm supports more than 30 social networking sites, including the behemoths that I just mentioned, new sites, and even dying networks (remember Friendster?).

I bookmarked Ping.fm and added it to the home screen of my iPhone for easy access when I’m away from my computer.

Apparently I’m worth following, if only on Twitter

Thanks to Tim Shisler and Written Road, a blog on travel writing, for including me as a person you should follow on Twitter.

Should you want to take Written Road’s advice, my Twitter profile is at http://twitter.com/Z_Everson. If you already have a Twitter account and are logged in to it, select the link to my profile and then select Follow under my picture in the upper left corner. And you can create a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup.

Incidentally I’m doubly indebted to Written Road as it’s where I first read of the Gridskipper gig. The blog is a must read for travel writers.

My first foray into Twitter: Some tips that will help you use and benefit from it

My friend Christine Prefontaine, who blogs at Facilitating Change, has been evangelizing about Twitter for a while, so I created an account today.

What is Twitter? From its Wikipedia entry:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through an application such as TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.

At first Twitter seemed a little overwhelming, with no one following me and me not following anyone save Christine. What seemed like thousands of posts a minute, many not in English, were flying by on the public timeline.

But a search for Twitter tips yielded two great resources:

I also downloaded The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific for my Macs and iPhone, which made Twitter more manageable and user friendly.

Twitter seems like a great way to blast the masses, but, as with any social networking site, it takes effort to find content of value.

(My Twitter profile is at http://twitter.com/Z_Everson. If you already have a Twitter account and are logged in to it, select the link to my profile and then select Follow under my picture in the upper left corner. And you can create a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup.)

The Obama campaign and new media and social networking

While I’m politically active, this blog isn’t—if you want to read about politics you probably can find a few other websites that delve into the subject.

But anyone interested in online communications and social networking has to be paying attention to Barack Obama’s campaign: Nov. 4 will be the biggest test of the real-life power of that emerging technology.

The Obama campaign isn’t just using, but is distributing quality content via

And the campaign got 2.9 million people to opt-in to receive text messages from it in exchange for being the almost-first person to know whom Obama selected to be his running mate. Think it might use that data as part of its get-out-the-vote efforts?

Will it pay off on November 4? I suspect the Obama campaign has studied Howard Dean’s candidacy in 2004 and realized what it needs to do to translate virtual support into real votes.