Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What does the social revolution mean for the social sector?

Last week I left readers with a question to ponder: What does the social revolution mean for the Social Sector?

I’m sure as we all pondered this question, immense possibilities emerged. Though much of the Salesforce conference I recently attended was aimed at the 97% of the audience that was from the corporate sector, the theme of the DreamForce 2011 conference, Let’s Get Social, crossed the boundaries of sectors.

Here is one key message I was able to translate.

Social media platforms and the cloud are creating new ways to collaborate and share information. For example, Salesforce’s application Chatter, released in June 2010 combines the best of Facebook and Twitter but is secure for an organization. It allows staff to collaborate/chat about projects, share documents, stream video, and perhaps most intriguing, invite non-Salesforce users into Chatter groups to collaborate while keeping all your organization’s data private. Platforms like this could enable us to easily:

  • Follow the activities that are happening at each organization related to a collaborative group or project we are a part of through real-time news feeds involving only those in our coalition or collaborative group.

  • Get feedback from a group immediately about an idea or course of action.

  • Have one place where collaborative documents, videos, etc. live that can be accessed by anyone in a group.

What could a secure social media platform for your organization mean for grassroots activism? Advocacy? Board governance? Case management and client referrals?

Stay tuned for next week’s posting as I continue to ponder these questions.

Freya Bradford, Consultant, NorthSky Nonprofit Network

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