Foundations: Social Media for Social Change [8/28 1pET]

Posted on August 27, 2013 by


Focus on Social Change

Last month we made great progress on what social change might look like through a social media lens. We had an in-depth, hour-long discussion on key factors and enablers.

Because this could help reinforce the foundation for our series, I’ve completed a deep read of our 7/24 #smchat transcript, capturing some highlights. I tried to provide attribution to key ideas too; if you’re thinking “Wait, that’s not what I meant!” .. let me know, and I’ll make updates.

Where do we begin?

The start of a Social Change definition might look like this:

Social change using social media requires engaging, empowering and connecting a community to reach a goal, making a statement and difference (any means) (Kelly B)

Here are some more key takeaways from the same transcript:

  • Social change is organic, starting with people (Marc)
  • Social change requires visible impact and it must be actionable
  • Profit and impact don’t need to be separate (Lauren)
  • Social change is happening now (Heather)
  • Social media is the means, social change is the end (Kelli S)
  • Social media includes the ability to connect (Christina) and to engage (Jason)
  • When we look at social change through a social media lens, we may have trouble with our focus: (a.) Non-profits can often view social media too narrowly, and (b.) advocates for social change may view the challenge too broadly (Lauren)
  • No single entity decides. As success starts to take hold, watch for a groundswell of engagement, a tipping point of momentum; something is happening (Kelli S)

Personally, I found a huge amount of value in these ideas. They are foundational, anchoring our discussion and helping us create common ground. Best of all, they are inputs from an engaging online community, #smchat itself, one that values both social media and social change.

Perhaps the perfect storm?

As we tee up our discussion for WEDS 8/28 1pm, let’s consider the following questions, in hoping we might expand on our evolving frame:

  • Q1. What sort of “hub” do communities need to create focus and drive engagement?
  • Q2. What are tangible ways stakeholders can (a.) see value? (b.) feel valued?
  • Q3. How can we sustain focus with so many competing demands for attention?
  • Q4. Should we continue to tie in a social capital focus?

FYI, we’re also working on an infographic that ties together some of these concepts, with laser focus on 3 action verbs can and should become more frequently used hashtags: #connect #engage and #impact. Using them when we’re seeking to spark or explore social change could serve to bring both focus and energy to important conversations.

Conversations like this one.

What do YOU think? We’d like to know. See you at #SMCHAT Wednesday 8/28, 1pET.

Chris @sourcepov

Posted in: Social Change