Using Social Media for Events & Recap of #OSCC13 for the September 20th NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, September 20th Nonprofit Commons is happy to have Beth O'”Connell (Beth Ghostraven in SL) lead our Mentor’s Central in a presentation on how to use social media such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Second Life group notices, to attract more people to your events. These tools can be used to promote any type of event, virtual, online or in person.

We will also feature a recap of the recent OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC13) which took place September 7th & 8th, 2013. OSCC is an annual conference that focuses on the community around the OpenSimulator software. This year’s conference featured two days of presentations, workshops, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base and archives can be found at:


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, September 20th, 8:30 AM PDT / SLT

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater


AGENDA (all times PDT)

    •    8:30 am Introductions

    •    8:40 am TechSoup Announcements

    •    8:45 am Mentors Central – Beth O’Connell (Beth Ghostraven in SL)

    •    9:05 am Featured Presentation – OSCC13 recap 

    •    9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements

The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions. 

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Building Reputation Systems Online: Live-blogging from SF Online Community MeetUp

[cross-posted on TechSoup blog]

Guest blogger, Lauren Friedman (@lauren_hannah on Twitter) is a Community Manager, writer, blogger and photographer.

Randy Farmer photoThis month’s Online Community MeetUp featured facilitator, Bill Johnston, Online Community Manager for Dell and longtime online community expert, Randy Farmer, speaking about online reputation systems.

Online Reputations and the Misconceptions to Avoid: With the emergence of social media and the increase in brand participation on such mediums, reputation is just as (if not more) important than ever. While reputation is absolutely important to maintain and should be a focus when determining social media plans, there are several misconceptions of what a “reputation” really is.

1. It’s the People, Dummy: Reputation surrounds us. In everything we do, everything we see, every action we take, we’re surrounded by reputations. And our biggest question: Can we trust them? So, what is reputation? According to Randall Farmer, “Reputation is information used to make a value judgment about an object or a person.” It’s not just about “what is reputation;” we want to put that definition in a structure that we can apply to more than one situation. The structure: A source makes a claim about a topic — making a value judgment about an object or a person, and that value judgment is transferred and influences decisions made by others. Reputation isn’t just about people, it’s any information used to make a value judgment. Determining reputation is not just up to us. We can’t make all of these judgments by ourselves. We have to trust others, trust what they’re saying and how they feel about something in order to assist our decision-making. We just don’t have the time to make verifications of everything every day.

2. One Reputation to Rule Them All: For many users, social media priority number one is to be the best and to build the best reputation possible. There is no universal reputation. So how do you build yours? The ways we instinctually think of objects or brands are actually not quite as reliable on social media. Recommendations are proving to be risky, and FICO scores are not necessarily related to productivity. It takes time, patience, and perseverance to create a positive reputation. It’s more complex than “good guy, bad guy.” It’s even more complex than giving the Internet a “credit score.” All reputation is in context, the narrower the better — each “score” is applicable to only one context.

3. All I Need is Five Stars: Possibly the most common misconception on reputation and social media is that all you need is “likes.” Everything on the Internet has a “like/dislike” or a “thumbs up/thumbs down” creating ample opportunities to allow users to build your reputation for you. While the majority of interactions form a J-curve (starts low and slowly builds up forming a graph that looks like the letter “J”), the most beneficial graph actually looks like the letter “W”. Why? Because it’s the most consistent. When the community evaluates its own content, you can consistently track the negative feedback, add up the positive, and develop a steady rating. We should be making these inferences and only asking the community for what we really need — do we really need a thumbs down button or can you infer that information elsewhere? If no one is saying no, don’t ask them to. By providing the users with the ability to express what kinds of content they’d like to see more or less of, you’re inconspicuously creating incentive for the community to interact and help you build your reputation. And it all goes back to the fact that you can’t make all these inferences on your own.

4. Competition is Always Good: With the new and emerging social media and gaming industries, point systems and leader boards have taken precedence over many other tactics to garner participation. Why? Because competition drives a lot of behavior. In general, we trust high scores and we don’t trust low scores. Therefore, the objective is (obviously) to do whatever you can to raise your score. There are different levels of competition ranging from caring, to collaborative, to cordial, to competitive, to combative. The last thing you want are leader boards and competition between them. Competition is fine, if the context calls for it — World of Warcraft? Competition. But don’t assume there’s competition when there’s none. When Karma is involved, user reputation, it escalates the fastest. These different levels determine the general user experience and affect your overall reputation. But you’re not the only one with a reputation here.

5. “Negative Karma Will Kill Out the Bad Guys”: Assigning a public score to a user that says how good they are in some context is one way to manage and build up your reputation. By giving the users responsibility, you’re increasing interactions and the opportunity to only keep good content on your site. However, this provides some real challenges. There are two sides of this spectrum: we have the “good guys” who do positive things and the “bad guys” who do negative things. And it’s best to keep the tracking of these “good guys” and “bad guys” incognito. Avoid public karma. If you really want to know who your bad guys are, keep them private.

Yahoo! Answers Case Study User content moderation model: People would report a content item, and Yahoo! would hide the answers if enough people said it was bad. The simplest form of this model is a “three strikes, you’re out” mentality. If three users flag content as negative, it would be hidden. Of course, it became more complex than that as Yahoo! wanted the content to be removed within an hour of its publication. It ultimately evolved into a detailed, super-user, system. Yahoo! would track the people who accurately reported the most negative content and they would become “good reporters.” If a “good reporter” flagged content, it could potentially be removed immediately. This content moderation system feeds off the “Broken WIndows Hypothesis” — the community (or community managers” clean up the space, and the trolls leave. And as these trolls leave, your reputation increases.

You can find out more in Randy’s book: Building Web Reputation Systems and hear about upcoming online community speakers at the MeetUp group.

Written by: penguin kuhn

In the Social Media Kitchen with TechSoup Chefs at NSAC 2010

[cross-posted to TechSoup Blog]

As we mentioned on the blog, TechSoup’s online community staffers along with expert consultants presented at the NSAC (National Sexual Assault Conference) hosted by CALCASA (California Coalition Against Sexual Assault). The five of us social media “chefs” set up our TechSoup social media kitchen at the conference lounge, where folks could drop-in during the conference and get one-on-one help with their social media questions.

We kicked off our tech kitchen with a presentation Social Media: Listen First. Janet Fouts, Susan Tenby, and I discussed the most important part of any social media strategy: listening. Social media is all about joining in the conversation and just like a face-to-face conversation, you want to be an attentive listener for your supporters. Our resource list from the presentation has more information. In addition, Janet’s website has a terrific list of listening tools, as does Beth Kanter’s wiki.

Day 2 was a presentation from Jessica Dally, Evonne Heyning, Susan Tenby, and I on Multimedia Storytelling and Events where we explored the importance of telling your story in a compelling way to engage users with your cause. Evonne gave several examples of anti-violence groups, such as The Girl Effect and We End Violence that have effectively used video to tell their story in a compelling way. Many conference-goers noted the terrific posters on display from We End Violence that took a direct approach, with a touch of humor to bring attention to an important issue.

Helping out in the TechSoup kitchen was a terrific opportunity for us to meet with nonprofit workers in person and really get a sense of the kinds of issues that they are dealing with in their every day work. We addressed a range of questions from, “How do I get Twitter and Facebook to connect with one another?” to “Should you have a public Facebook page when privacy and confidentiality are big concerns?” to “What’s the best way to collaborate online with a group of people?” I also let folks know about a free resource they might not know about, the TechSoup forums, which is open to anyone to post technology questions anytime and get expert answers.

We also met some amazing, inspirational folks doing important work on sexual violence issues. Among them were Chai and Shannon of Hollaback DC, Ann Turner from National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), and Shamra Goy of Family Support Center in Washington. You can view all of their video profiles here.

A big thanks to CALCASA for having us again this year!

What’s your biggest social media question? Post it here in the Emerging Technology forum and get expert answers.

Written by: penguin kuhn

TechSoup Wins Financial Times 2010 Social Innovation Awards

NPC is happy to share that TechSoup Global won the open-vote portion of the Justmeans/Financial Times 2010 Social Innovation Awards . There were 88 other contenders for this Citizen’s Choice Award, but because your participation, we went from 116 to 1,545 votes . Great work everybody, and we deeply appreciate the help from the entire virtual community.

To win the vote, NPC/TechSoup employees and volunteers sent emails to personal contacts and deployed a grass-roots social media campaign to reach out to supporters around the world.

Volunteers rallied fans to take action through Second Life, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Avatars United, as well as through private email campaigns and on blogs.

NPC’s Layal Rabat wrote a powerful blog post which was tweeted to get folks psyched, and as voters left comments about TechSoup, we captured and tweet-shared these from Tweetphoto .

The response was phenomenal! The tweets went viral, Facebook and LinkedIn groups shared the message with other groups, and residents of Second Life reached out to their constituencies in the nonprofit, education and business communities.

What We Learned from Barack Obama’s Social Media Strategy

So how did we win when we were up against multi-million dollar companies with hundreds of thousands of employees and fancy PR firms?

First, we learned from Barack Obama’s social media strategy. For his presidential campaign his team used email, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and many other platforms to get his message out. He maintained a consistent message for his audience, centering around “Hope”. He connected with specific groups and encouraged supporters. Since his supporters believed that he could deliver on his promise, they actively helped him get his message out.

For TechSoup, the words “Social Innovation” fit naturally with its core mission. This was easily apparent to the members, constituents and partners that engage daily with us on many social media platforms. So when we reached out to our global network to help us get the votes, they were there to deliver and help us get the message out.

Thank you everyone. In both the real and virtual worlds, this was truly a Citizen’s Choice award.

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Written by: DustyArtaud

Facebook Webinar 10am Pacific time Thurs 03/11

I’m excited to tell you about this Facebook Webinar as I love joining the fan pages of NGOs to keep tabs on their news and how I can help them. If you’re a part of the Nonprofit Commons community, we have many upcoming opportunities for you to help us with greeting at one of these webinars, so let me know if you are interested by contacting nonprofitcommons(at)techsoup(dot)org! If you aren’t yet, then feel free to join the group in Second Life.

If you’ve never been into Second Life, please feel free to sign up at and then sign into it, and click on the link below to teleport to the correct location, and someone there will help you from there.

From Kami‘s Post:

“Is your nonprofit or library interested in using Facebook to interact with your constituencies and reach new audiences? Are you unsure of the best way to get started on this hugely popular social networking site?

Attend this free webinar next Thursday, March 11 at 10 a.m. Pacific time and hear social media consultant John Haydon walk through the essential steps to establishing and managing a successful Facebook presence for a nonprofit or library. He will provide several examples and be available to answer questions.”

Click here to register or follow the link after the webinar to access the recording. There, you can watch the slideshow and the webinar chat portion, and get phone access information.
Attend in Second Life at the Plush Nonprofit Commons amphitheater and participate in the SecondLife chat while you hang out with the Nonprofit Commons crowd.

To see who else is using Facebook, read and post to this discussion forum.

Written by: Layal