Social Networking To Make A Difference

Social Networking For A Difference

Social Networking For A Difference (Image courtesy of thedigeratilife.com)

I have to admit that when I started this class, I was a little skeptical.  I wanted to take the class because I felt that this class, more than any of the others I could take, was the only class where I would actually be able to help people.   The part I was skeptical on was how much the social networks would actually help.  But even only a few weeks into class, I can see I underestimated it.  Last week, our teacher told us how one student’s tweet was re-tweeted by his Dad to hundreds of other people, and brought in hundreds of views to the blog.  And even if none of those people actually donated, the blog has now been made aware to hundreds more people, after just a few minutes of work.  And if any one of those people showed someone else or re-posted it, who knows the actual impact something so simple can have?

And this week, through more social media use, someone from an organization based in Berkeley found out about us, and now they would like to get on board with the project too!  We have already been on TV now with the local Fox channel, and next week we are going on a radio show!  It is rather exciting all the different outlets we can use to reach so many different people.  And then there are still all the people we are talking to as part of our class projects, like schools, student organizations, and even talking to sports teams.

Greg Mortenson

Greg Mortenson with school children - Photo courtesy: Greg Mortenson

I am rather surprised the difference social media can make.  Before now, I didn’t even use Twitter, and was not on Facebook very much.  But I guess it can be surprising who might end up seeing your posts and tweets, and how they might be able to help.  Similarly, Greg Mortenson once gave a speech to a mostly empty room with 200 seats, a couple employees, and a stranger.  Yet he gave the speech anyway, and unexpectedly received a big donation from it that helped him continue his Central Asia Institute and building schools.

The more and more I talk to people about this project, do these blogs, and do the readings, the happier I am that I chose this class.  Although I have a lot of work and classes, and it can be hard to find time to do some of these things, I really feel like I can make a difference.

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