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Social Media Blueprint 1.0 Report


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Social Media Blueprint 1.0 Report

  2. 2. Introduction Thank you for joining us either online or in print for ThinkSocial: Blueprints for Social Media in the Public Interest v. 1.0. We launched this first version of Blueprints as a way to learn and to share about the dynamic developments in the use of social media in the public interest around the world. As with any “first” version, this report will have some bugs and, without a doubt, you the reader will feel that we have missed things, failed to look in the right places or talk to the right people, or e ectively communicated ideas and information. Our main goal was to earn your respect and spark a passion su cient to encourage you to move from reader to participant. The read- write-share web of social media makes our e ort at ThinkSocial and, specifically, this report an ThinkSocial Awards opening to a conversation and an invitation to your contribution. Cochair Sponsors This is a first draft of a longer e ort dedicated to the study and advancement of developments in social media in the public interest that enable people to write history by acting online. It features concept definitions and examples for ten trends that we believe are shaping the use of social media in the public interest. We have compiled this list through interviews with public- and private-sector leaders; analysis of initiatives, organizations and government programs; reviews of industry and mainstream news coverage; and submissions from thousands of online participants. The Loreen Arbus Our objective was to o er useful concepts and examples that can inform and inspire people Foundation and institutions seeking to use social media in the public interest. While social media in the public interest is changing fast, it is clear to see that there are emerging practices being leveraged by people and organizations to create tremendous impact. But there are also some dark clouds forming, as certain people and governments seek to hold back the freedom of expression and organizing that social media allows. The ThinkSocial team would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make the inaugural ThinkSocial Awards process and this first version of Blueprints a success. The Paley Center for Media has been a fantastic home base for ThinkSocial and we are excited to be included as part of the dynamic Paley Center community. We would like to particularly thank the sta of the Paley Center including Pat Mitchell, Christy Carpenter, Max Robins, Ben Scheim, Peter Herdrich, Ellen O’Neill and Jack Chen. And also Colin Nagy and Naomi Hirabayashi of Attention. We would also like to make a particular note of thanks to Vince Stehle of the Surdna Foundation. Thanks to Kimberly Chou, Lauren Hurst and the team at City Light Capital. Please visit the Think Social website for more information about the initiative and a look at the inaugural ThinkSocial honorees: Kiva; SocialVibe; and the March 18 Movement. Jamie Daves Toby Daniels Executive Director Director ThinkSocial ThinkSocial
  3. 3. Important Milestones for Social Media and Social Change in 2009 . . . . .. ~ . . President Barack Obama takes o ce Ashton Kutcher beats to become Social game company Zynga introduces and is the first President to actively use the first Twitter user to reach 1M followers virtual goods to raise money for causes. social media as a part of his domestic and and as winner donates 10,000 mosquito Zynga’s “Sweet Seeds for Haiti” initiative in international communications outreach. bed nets to charity for World Malaria Day its Farmville game generates more than (April 25). half a million dollars raised for nonprofits in During the Inauguration, CNN and Haiti during the first two weeks in October. Facebook partnered to allow Facebook users to provide live commentary on the CNN feed. During the ceremony Facebook . . ~ . . received over 600,000 status updates and . . ~ . . served more than 21.3 million live Retail giant Target invites Facebook video streams. users to choose how it gives away $3M in Through the United Nations Stand Up Take charitable donations. For a short time, the Action – End Poverty Now campaign more company let Facebook users decide how to than 173 million people participated in the allocate this money to a list of 10 charities. largest mobilization around a single cause. . . Events were organized and coordinated via Facebook, Twitter and Stand Up’s (an initiative of the WWF) interactive website. mobilized an estimated 4,088 cities in . . 88 countries to participate in Earth Hour 2009, ten times more cities than Earth The Green Revolution in Iran beginning on June 13th goes global faster, wider .. Hour 2008. and longer because of courageous active Micro-lending leader crosses the asked households and witnesses in Iran and dedicated organizers $100M threshold of micro-loans provided businesses to turn o their non-essential leveraging social media around the world. to deserving entrepreneurs in four years. lights and other electrical appliances for Founded in 2005, has provided one hour to raise awareness towards the loans to more than 239,000 entrepreneurs need to take action on climate change. in over 50 countries. Upwards of 573,000 .. lenders have given through, July 1—later postponed—was the proposed lending over $100 million at the end of date that all of China’s new computers October 2009 — an increase of nearly $60 would be equipped with filtering software, million since the same time in 2008. an issue that prompted international outcry about censorship and monitoring. This report was prepared and written by Jamie Daves and Kimberly Chou and printed on November 17, 2009.
  4. 4. Active Witnesses/ Active Witnessing Active witnessing occurs when individuals or groups share information and stories about important and often dramatic events through the use of digital tools such as cellphone cameras and social media utilities including blogs, microblogging (Twitter, Tumblr), and social media platforms and networks (Facebook, Myspace). Examples include: Active witnessing has been around since !An Iranian Twitter user who went by the name “persiankiwi” became one of the most before the time of Homer and the Iliad, but symbolic voices of the so-called Green Revolution during Iran’s contested presidential never before have so many people been elections this year. Persiankiwi was frequently retweeted by followers and cited by the able to share so much information, so fast, international press for his or her tweets that illustrated the increasingly dramatic events and with so many others. The substance, that followed the election, chronicling in 140 characters or less the heady atmosphere of speed and scale of active witnessing are citizens’ pro-democracy mobilization and the terror of violent government crackdown. When changing what is “news” and what grabs persiankiwi’s Twitter account fell dead after this June 24th tweet—Allah - you are the creator the world’s attention. of all and all must return to you - Allah Akbar -#Iranelection Sea of Green—followers feared the same fate for its author, whose identity and fate is still unknown. Active witnesses living in places characterized by oppression and violence !A long-established “active witness” network is, a non-profit that empowers are increasingly being targeted by people to tell stories of human rights abuses through video technology. Inspired by founder their governments and opponents of Peter Gabriel’s 1988 Human Rights Now! Tour—where the musician brought along a Sony free expression. But, the same social Handycam to document stories of people he met—today the site hosts an networks which help active witnesses online video-sharing community where members can upload videos, audio and photos. This get information out to the world are initiative, dubbed “the Hub,” was prompted two years ago by the growing popularity of video now mobilizing to protect them—letting and camera-enabled phones. their oppressors know that they are not forgotten. !Ushahidi means “testimony” in Swahili, a fitting name for a website developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the 2008 presidential election. Ushahidi has spawned Ushahidi Engine, a platform that allows people worldwide to set up personalized ways to gather and map news via mobile phone, email and the web.
  5. 5. Social Loops/ Social Looping Social looping occurs when organizations meaningfully connect people to the impact their participation (financial, social or political) has created for a cause and provide tools to inspire and enable those people to reach out and encourage their social graph to take further action. Why have online initiative such as charity: water, and Kiva grown so fast and generated such brand a ection? Examples include: E ective social looping has a lot to do !Fast-growing charities that try to illustrate where exactly donations are going include with it. Invisible Children, a non-profit that spreads awareness about child soldiers in Northern Supporters of a cause or charity want Uganda, educational charity, and charity: water. to know the destination of their !Invisible Children, for example, as part of its Schools for Schools campaign, blogs photos of donations, and non-profit organizations schools being built thanks to donations from Invisible Children supporters. and donation platforms like charity: water, and Kiva are ! posts photos and thank-you notes from the students whose classrooms answering that question with information received requested school supplies or were able to go on an educational field trip based on and powerful storytelling and images. donations from the site. Furthermore, they are making it easy for their participants to share specific people !And on its website, charity: water uses Google Earth maps to track progress of wells and and initiatives in need and to celebrate the other charity: water projects and their partners across the world. successes along the way.
  6. 6. Social Production/ Mass Collaboration Social production or mass collaborating occurs when large numbers of people work independently on a single project, often modular in its nature, to create a product of significant value and complexity. Wikipedia Examples include: is probably the best known example on the Internet, but many more in almost every !This May, TED launched an ambitious, mass-sourced endeavor to translate TEDTalks into the area of endeavor are being organized by world’s languages. Run from a platform by dotSUB, version 1.0 of TED’s Open-Translation individuals, organizations and companies. Project launched with 300 translations in 40 languages, and 200 volunteer translators. To start, a handful of talks were translated professionally into 20 languages, but going on, the Crowd-sourcing has enabled organizations project will be completely reliant on volunteers from Beijing to Beirut, who use a platform to tackle ambitious, large-scale projects, created by TED and technology partner dotSUB. As of this past weekend, there were otherwise near impossible to do with just TEDTalks in 58 languages, from 1267 translators providing 2907 translations. On the TED a sta and limited budget. As the motto site’s translations page, there are charts that illustrate how many translations are in each to mass-sourced reporting service Help a language, and profiles of translators. Reporter Out (HARO) says, “Everyone is an expert at something.” While recruiting !Architecture for Humanity is dedicated to “building a more sustainable future using the many people to pitch in to actualize a power of design,” which includes not-for-profit projects that range from schools in Uganda product is not a new idea, the examples we to a skateboarding-and-life-skills center in Afghanistan to community-designed housing in found in the past year highlight how new the American Southwest. Part of that mission includes its Open Architecture Network, an technologies allow projects of greater scale open-source platform where designers, educators and non-profit organizations who have and ambition to become reality. volunteered their time and resources can share and comment on each others projects, and collaborate with each other. !The power of crowds can also be seen in one aspect of PatientsLikeMe, a network of web communities where members are united by their chronic and terminal illnesses: the data that members provide is funneled to research institutions and companies, who then use the information to improve care and treatment for those diseases. Money that these partners pay for the data then goes toward running the PatientsLikeMe online communities.
  7. 7. Social Alignment/ Social Aligning Social aligning occurs when institutions engage with their constituents, consumers or other important stakeholders through social media to identify and take collective action on shared goals—often goals with a public purpose. Governments are increasingly using social media to engage citizens in policy development and planning. Companies are using social media to listen to customers, communicate in more personalized ways, and design pro-social campaigns that activate Examples include: customer communities to work with the company to make a di erence. The !SocialVibe helps corporations translate part of their brand-marketing budgets into byproducts of social aligning for companies charitable contributions, directing the money toward branded activities that consumers can and governments include greater brand do on, blog platforms and social networks. reach and identification, increased product purchases, and higher levels of political !Retail giant Target gives 5% of what it makes, or about $3 million a week, to charity. For two support. The net-native generation of weeks this past May, Target recruited Facebook users to help the corporation decide which so-called Millennials increasingly expect ten charities would receive the “Bullseye Gives” funds and what percentage of the money the companies to communicate with them selected charities would receive. via social media, and to have clear social benefit initiatives that demonstrate the ! is an attempt to rank companies based on corporate social responsibility. companies’ corporate social responsibility. Think of as an alternative, socially motivated Fortune 500 rankings set:’s free, accessible-to-anyone database helps consumers learn which companies have the best policies towards LGBT employees, for example, or which companies employ the highest percentage of female executives, or use renewable energy sources. !Since 2007, Google Earth Outreach has awarded grants to non-profits and public benefit organizations, enabling them to use Google Earth & Maps tools to better illustrate their causes. The Outreach suite of tools includes a gadget that helps a user create layers of placemarks using Google Docs, and another that lets users embed Google Earth KML map files directly in their blogs or websites. The Outreach program site links to third-party resources as well, including free software for using geo-tagged photos in Google Earth. And Google even encourages organizations to apply for other companies’ grants for satellite imagery and other similar products. !Media sites are jumping on the philanthropy trend, too. The Daily Beast launched a new section this fall in collaboration with Global Philanthropy Group. Dubbed “Giving Beast,” this part of the site hosts articles, videos and photo galleries highlighting causes, with links at the end of each feature that take readers to cause websites. Uber-aggregator Hu ngton Post also launched its own socially conscious section, Hu Post Impact, in a partnership with
  8. 8. Social Transactions/ Social Transacting Social transacting occurs when people Examples include: spend time or money online engaged in activities that generate financial and !In Zynga’s popular virtual farming game, FarmVille, players can purchase certain charity- social value for causes. People engage in linked items with their virtual currency. Zynga’s “Sweet Seeds for Haiti” promotion, where activities such as social games or spend 50% of proceeds from benefited Haitian charities and, generated money online for the acquisition of virtual more than half a million dollars raised for the charities. Players that bought certain pets (a goods and social game experiences in order bulldog, or a cat) on Zynga’s YoVille game generated donations for the San Francisco chapter to generate contributions for causes and of animal protection society SPCA. social currency for the purchaser. Social transactions are exploding along with !Online game Free Rice quizzes players on vocab; for each question answered correctly, the growth of social gaming and virtual players earn 10 grains of rice toward the United Nations Food Program. Supporters of the goods marketplaces. Participation in social cause can also download a Free Rice toolbar: using it for searches also earns grain donations, gaming is generating new forms of social without any dent in your wallet. capital among user communities who are !GamesThatGive features online versions of casual games like solitaire and Sudoku on its in turn taking action together to make a website, and all can be played for free—the charitable link is that 70% of the money from di erence. advertisers goes toward di erent charities. Both GamesThatGive’s sponsors and charity partners are some of the biggest names in their respective areas, including Pepsi and Domino’s Pizza, and UNICEF and City Year. Flash Activism/Instant Mobile Organizing Flash activism occurs when people—often Examples include: not self-identifying as organizers—launch and participate in fast-formed organizing !In October, an initial tweet by editor Alan Rusbridger— “Now Guardian prevented from campaigns through social media in reporting parliament for unreportable reasons. Did John Wilkes live in vain?”, regarding a response to significant global, national or gag order on documents related to shipping company Trafigura’s 2006 dumping scandal— local events. Citizen mobilization around started a chain of investigation by Guardian readers. Over the weekend—using WikiLeaks, a news event is nothing new, but with searching government websites, and using Twitter—readers uncovered enough about the social media and mass texting technology, gagged scientific report on the sludge Trafigura dumped outside Cote D’Ivoire to pressure there’s potential for rallying people to take the company to relent. Thanks to a combination of new media tools and traditional action at unprecedented volumes, and from journalistic sense of snooping, the Guardian was able to report on material it had previously anywhere in the world. been barred from. !Take, for example, rallies against Proposition 8 in California. Cell phone company CREDO Mobile helped people angry about the ban on same-sex marriage assemble protests all over California. By texting a shortcode with your zip code, you would receive a message in return about the rally nearest you.
  9. 9. Internet Censoring and Monitoring Internet censoring and monitoring occurs when governments or companies control or suppress the publishing or accessing of information on the internet. Internet censorship and monitoring is on the rise in many nations containing some of the world’s biggest populations. While private control over the Internet and its distributed Examples include: nature make it hard to do, governments are getting increasingly sophisticated at !Earlier this year, China announced a controversial order that all computers be equipped with blocking access and using monitoring to an internet filter, dubbed Green Dam, by July 1st, 2009. Intended to restrict pornography, track their own people. People now must the software could also be used to restrict other things—prompting even greater outcry weigh the practical and emotional benefits about censorship and monitoring. Leading up to the July 1st date, however, the mandatory of sharing online through social media installation of the software on all new computers was delayed to an undetermined date; and against the possibility that the information in August, China’s minister of information technology announced that Green Dam wouldn’t may be used against them. be required on personal- and business-use computers, but would be still be run on all public- use computers. !China’s Golden Shield Project, also known as the Great Firewall of China, blocks websites and searches related to any suspicious terms—which means “democracy,” “Falun Gong” and “Tibet,” as well as “pornography,” in a browser turn up error messages. !During the post-election fallout in Iran, Twitter postponed a maintenance update—after being asked to by bloggers and o cials from the U.S. State Department, among others—and kept the servers on so Iranians could continue to tweet about what was going on in the Green Revolution. !There are also small signs that citizen-run, progressive movements are getting through to the right people. This fall, Australian non-profit GetUp! started a “Censordyne” campaign against the government’s internet filtering program, running full-age ads in newspaper “The Australia” declaring the thousands of people that had signed its petition, and broadcasting on TV and online a series of parody videos. In October, it was announced that there would be a public consultation on the issue before the government proceeds, and the prime minister will be addressing it in a web chat.
  10. 10. Causecasting Causecasting occurs when people share their cause-related activities with their networks through social media. Causecasting is one of the most popular forms of social media communication as people seek to involve their extended networks in e orts meaningful to them and to demonstrate their social responsibility in ways that generate social currency Examples include: and appreciation for their willingness to help others. Some critics claim that !The “Causes” application allows Facebook users to request that their friends make donations causecasting often veers into “slacktivism” to various charities, by way of an application installed on profile pages. The “Causes” blog when people overestimate the benefits of also gives suggestions to people on how to get more supporters to click for change, such as a social media communication and engage asking for birthday donations and regularly updating a “Cause feed.” in e orts mainly to make themselves look good. !Another example is Mycharity : water, charity: water’s user-personalized pages. Charity: water’s “Born in September” campaign was inspired by charity: water’s founder, Scott New tools make it easier than ever to Harrison asking friends on his September birthday to donate money, which in turn went ask your friends to donate to a charity to a refugee camp to build wells. Now the organization is asking that people give up their on birthdays, weddings or other special birthday, wedding and anniversary gifts and have friends donate money to charity: water occasions. And because donations through instead. The mycharity: water part of the website enables users to create their own the “Causes” application on Facebook show fundraising pages and raise money for any occasion, any time of the year. up in friends’ newsfeeds, those charitably inclined online can also wear their do- gooder status on their proverbial sleeves. Causecasting has been the subject of increasing media attention, including a New York Times trend piece November 11 that used “Causes” as an example.
  11. 11. Open Government/ Open Source Government Open government occurs when governments “democratize” information Examples include: by making all or significant amounts !The United States government’s transparency initiatives include, which provides of information and data held by the information on government spending. When this tech dashboard launched earlier this government available to the public and summer, it came with an open invitation to developers, asking them to create tools using use social media to communicate and the datasets. Said President Obama’s Chief Information O cer Vivek Kundra at the time, engage with citizens. Independent e orts represents a “democratizing of information.” to open up and use government data have grown in number and sophistication. The !Pressuring the government to be more transparent are organizations like the Sunlight government can make data available, Foundation. The Sunlight Foundation helps citizens, bloggers and journalists “be there but it is up to citizens often leveraging own best watchdogs” (as its website reads) by creating tools and websites, and relaying social production and communication information on how to foster greater transparency in the U.S. approaches to make that data valuable and understandable to an engaged citizenry. !Indie activists and innovators are creating and spreading around new tools. Jim Gilliam has created online platforms that allow people to demonstrate how truly representative democracy would work—voting on initiatives that they would like their governments to institute. Gilliam has also harnessed the potential of Twitter for civic engagement purposes with projects like Tweet Progress (a directory of progressives), GovLuv (connecting citizens and leaders via Twitter) and (activism tools for Twitter, such as petitions and retweets). Leapfrogging & Digital Divide 2.0 Leapfrogging occurs when people gain internet connectivity for the first time via wireless services instead of using more traditional wireline services. This Examples include: is particularly prevalent in developing countries in Africa and Asia. But, especially !With the intention to help any and all non-profit organizations interested in mobile in the developing world, connectivity technologies—no matter their size or budget— provides ICT-related services to does not necessarily translate to people non-profits in 40-plus countries. Services include free consultancy, workshops and general having access to and using powerful social advice, as well as access to the technology through its FrontlineSMS and nGOmobile software. Research by Nokia and others initiatives, with a focus on developing countries and emphasis on low-cost, sustainable point to a new Digital Divide 2.0 reflecting solutions. a divide between people who can and do use social media and people who can’t and !Voxiva is another tech firm that champions “the power of the internet, the reach of the don’t. E orts are now underway to develop phone” (as the language on its website says). HealthConnect, for example, is a suite of social media that can work for people in the tools that uses web, mobile, email and interactive voice to better manage their health. developing world who are coming online Through HealthConnect, users can get reminders about medical appointments, take risks first through mobile devices. assessments and track their health with a diary utility, among other things.
  12. 12. THINKSOCIAL at THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA A D VA N C I N G T H E P U B L I C I N T E R E S T O F S O C I A L M E D I A Contact We’re always interested in connecting with people who are passionate about social media and its potential for social change. If you would like ThinkSocial to feature you or your organization on the site, please email us. Jamie Daves Executive Director, ThinkSocial +1 650 906 0202 Toby Daniels Director, ThinkSocial +1 347 602 1244 The Paley Center for Media 25 West 52 Street New York, NY 10019 212.621.6800