Complementary collaboration and communication

What had seemed so daunting on Tuesday, became our reality by Friday.

Two weeks ago, we embarked on the “3 Days, 3 Ways” campaign to boost the number of people who Like CIN’s facebook page. There were 367 Likes when we began at midnight on March 14th. 72 hours later, that number had risen 88% to 693. Over the last two weeks, an additional 58 people have done so, increasing our Facebook presence by 204% since March 14th.

Our first social media campaign has significant applications. Here are four observations of what we learned:

  1. People respond to an ask| Momentum is awesome. Momentum is great. But momentum is not some super-natural phenomenon that begins all by itself. It requires that we make an ask.Asks that build toward something. Asks that introduce new ideas, or make new acquaintances. Asks that have people do something different than what they have been doing before. We need to be reminded that our collective influence is tremendous. (for an incredible free webinar on how to make strong asks, visit the Task Force’s Online Academy)
  2. The untapped might of the internet is tremendous | The internet has captivated me since I first logged on in 1996. I learned how to use email via telnet in August 1996. Over the past 15 years, I have seen and experienced how the internet is altering how we correspond, build trust and tell stories.The internet is altering how we live, and how we work. The campaign earlier this month was a chance to galvanize people in a simple act.
  3. The elements of design matter | We were deliberate about some key details in the 3 Days, 3 Ways campaign:
    • it was a clear request
    • there was a specific window of time
    • each person’s action had an added value of a donor pledge
    • we tracked progress as we proceeded

    And in the words of Kwesi Chappin, Campaigns Director at the New Organizing Institute, “you must have a strategy around your campaign. If your theory of change doesn’t make sense offline it won’t make any sense online either.”

  4. The power of our secrets and dreams | Rather than being a community of skeptics, CIN has shown me once again how we are life-affirming friends, comrades and trusted advisors. There is already enough hating in the world. We do not need hate to seep into our own hearts and minds, or into the bonds and trust that are vital for giving circles and the growth of the Network. Instead it is vital that we give voice to our dreams and the secret wishes that we hold for ourselves, for others and for the world.

***

For all that online experiences provide, they are different from the power of face-to-face experiences. Nothing quite compares to what it is like when I am seated in the same room as other people. There is something potent about being present with the warmth and realness of other human beings. Yet, as a national network of giving circles we must harness the tools that the internet provides. CIN has already experimented with new tools such as vimeo and WordPress. In the months ahead, we intend to use Learn It Live and flickr, too.

Thank you all for participating in this recent internet foray. The communities that we are nurturing online and offline are complementary, not zero-sum. We will continue to build connections, and foster new forms of collaboration both off-line and online. We look forward to doing so with you, as we all learn together.

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About CJ

Writer. Humanitarian on the long slog to freedom. Baker with many a sweet teeth. Outdoorsman who is a kid at heart.
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