I am most honored to be welcomed back into the Schipul tribe and to be going for new guy round two.
I first joined the Schipul community back in 2008 as an intern while studying at Rice University.
My experience at Schipul was so mind blowingly amazing that I went on to create a self designed major at Rice in Communications, Culture, and Society based on the mission and culture at Schipul.
After graduating from Rice, I moved back to my hometown, NYC, where I worked in the financial services industry, but Schipul was never far from mind.
I am thrilled to be back and look forward to bringing visibility to the amazing people and organizations we work with and to partnering with our clients to grow their reach and strengthen their communities.
Last week Derek Key and I had the opportunity to travel to Baton Rouge, LA for the Louisiana Food Processors Conference, which was held on the LSU campus. Derek was a guest speaker and laid some knowledge down on how to grow your community online via social media.
The night we arrived in Baton Rouge we met up with our friends from Red 6 Media (@RedSixMedia) and Cancer Services of Baton Rouge. They showed us around downtown Baton Rouge (where the Red 6ers new office digs are located) and the LSU campus. The majority of the group were LSU grads and knew the culture within the campus and the city. It was a real treat hanging out and getting to know the group and the city of Baton Rouge.
We met other Louisianan food processing companies such as Blue Runner Foods and Camellia. A highlight of the conference was hearing two iconic Louisianan chefs, Dickie Brennan and John Besh speak about integrating local ingredients in markets/restaurants and micro farming of Louisiana.
Here are my top takeaways from Derek’s talk on growing your web presence with social media:
Social Media matters more now than it did a few years ago. Broader demographic – not just adolescents, but Mom Bloggers, CEO’s, etc.
Facebook has over 1 billion users, Twitter – 200 million, LinkedIn – 160 million, Instagram – 100 million, Flickr – 75 million, Pinterest – 25 million
Know your audience and cater to them. Meet them at the appropriate platform.
Social Media gives you a chance for interaction and reaction with your audience.
90% of what people say on Social Media is positive. Have a policy for replying to positive and negative feedback.
These platforms give you a chance to listen to your audience. Learn their interests so you can better serve them.
Nothing will go ‘viral’ if you don’t put it out there.
Keep your website as your home base, connecting all your platforms together.
Remember the 4/5 Rule: 4/5 times you post, post about someone or something else other than you and your product.
Measure effectiveness and then adjust to what you’ve learned.
Keep an eye out for new apps such as Vine, Instagram and Over
Our time in Baton Rouge was short and sweet. Final thoughts?
Louisiana is always a good time! I’m a die hard Texan/Aggie, but I enjoyed my stay on the LSU campus. This video/song sums up the spirit there:
We were extremely proud to have one of our team members selected to lead a panel discussion at this year’s annual SXSW Interactive festival! Schipulite Sarah M. Worthy and former Schipulite Data Analyst Dr. Dharol Stevens, PhD. led a Core Conversation on the topic of “How to Crowdsource Your Mental Health for Free.”
The audience was made up of an array of medical professionals, those looking for better ways to find health information online, and those curious about the topic as it relates to the growing trend of Health 2.0. The panel was a great discussion with lots of feedback and participation. Below are my highlights:
Why Crowdsourcing for Mental Health?
Crowdsourcing is where many people are doing a little bit of the work instead of one person doing all the work.
Over 50% of people in the US can’t afford afford mental health treatment. Mental health issues are complicated and much of the treatment is trial and error. Unlike other medical conditions, mental health symptoms do not necessarily have only one answer that a doctor (even a very experienced doctor) can diagnose with a single test or symptom.
For Mental Health issues specifically, crowdsourcing can help piece together the puzzle of what is really going on for symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. The idea is that crowdsourcing is a tool you can use to be more informed and aware when you visit a doctor.
The Power of Crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing’s power is in its specifics. Reading other people’s very specific accounts can hopefully ring true to your unique situation as well.
The benefits of these personal experiences include:
Reading other people’s stories lets you know you’re not alone
Seeing stories of those going through treatment may set expectations for what treatment entails
Stories of people who have overcome health issues gives hope that the symptoms will eventually end
Reading other people’s accounts can also help you define symptoms you didn’t otherwise know how to articulate, or things you didn’t know were a symptom you should be paying attention to
These accounts give access to peer support which can be incredibly powerful for those going through any kind of medical treatment
When you visit your doctor, you can ask more informed questions to get to treatment faster
Tools for Anonymous Online Searching
Many people hesitate to do searches around mental health online because they are worried about the privacy issues involved. If your family or peers cause these concerns, here are some resources to try for anonymous searching online:
Anything linked from the resource pubmed will be credible
If you find studies cross linked you can look for them on scholar.google.com – Sometimes it will appear as though you have to pay for detailed study information, but any government journal is required to release its studies for free after 2 years
Health on the Net is a great resource as well – this organization’s goal is to publish credible medical information
“It’s never been easier to cross reference information online” – Dr. Dharol Stevens
Mental Health Apps to Help Focus
Mood Tracker tracks your mood over time and shows patterns like how your mood is related to stress, amount of sleep, etc.
The Help Files Module is included with all Tendenci websites, and is a Tendenci module that I use daily for documenting training guides, tips & tricks, and standards/best practices for Tendenci client websites. I was surprised to discover that many of you aren’t using or fully utilizing this module on your Tendenci websites. So I thought I’d provide an in-depth look into the Tendenci Help Files Module, and show you how other associations are using this built-in ‘Wiki‘ tool to engage with their community and succeed in their online fundraising goals.
Let’s dive in and get to know Tendenci’s Help Files Module!
Why? –> Wiki’s Increase Participation!
Wiki, Help Files, Resource Library, Knowledge Base… these are just a few names that people commonly use to refer to a web application that allows users to add and edit content through their web browser with the purpose of collaboratively managing knowledge online.
The best reason your Association should be using some kind of Wiki tool is because it provides more opportunities for your members and donors to interact with you and feel like they’re really part of moving your mission forward.
I recommend you check out a terrific presentation, by Julie Spriggs, that gives you tons of insight into how Nonprofits can use a Wiki for different collaborative projects including:
Maintaining a central repository of knowledge that your Association has amassed
Managing large projects that involve lots of moving pieces and diverse people/roles
Collaborative document creation and management
Planning large events like your annual fundraising Gala or membership drive
Organizing your knowledge base by department and committee groups
Connect with and involve your constituents in your association’s activities
Wiki’s provide a platform for everyone involved with your organization to come together and communicate, collaborate, and share their knowledge and ideas.
Wiki or Help Files…?
Tendenci websites all come with the module called “Help Files”, but we know you probably want to pick your own name to suit your organization. You can easily change the label of the module that displays on your website’s public pages inside your Help Files site settings.
What’s Included in the Help Files Module?
Tendenci’s Help Files Module gives your organization a built-in wiki tool as part of your association management platform, and we’ve built Help Files flexibly so you can use it for different purposes depending on your unique nonprofit’s needs.
Here’s my top 3 Neatest Features of the Help Files Module
1) Use the Selective Permission Controls for tiered access to different Help Files, enabling everyone in your community to collaborate to your knowledge base securely and privately as needed by your association’s procedures and polices. Check out the screenshot below that demonstrates how easy it is to selectively share access for viewing and making changes to individual help files.
Tendenci organizes your User permissions by Users, Memberships, and User Group types. You can create custom User Groups and add individual users and then provide them with secure access to only the files they should have access to.
2) Tendenci makes it easy to Automatically Filter and Promote your most important Help Files with the Help File Sidebar.
The Help File sidebar provides quick access for your site users to Request a Help File as well as a menu for Help Files that have been marked as Featured, FAQ (stands for Frequently Answered Questions), and Most Viewed. When new help files are added to your website and include one of these three tags, they’ll automatically be displayed on the sidebar.
3) Use Topics to Organize and Segment Your website’s Help Files Module. Only Super Users can add new topics and at least one topic must be selected when adding a new Help File. This helps you keep your online community resource files organized and easy to find.
Whenever a member adds a new help file and selects the topic, then this help file will only show under that topic. Topics that don’t have help files won’t be displayed on the main menu, so you can create your Topics using a predetermined structure before you’ve had any files added. Another nifty feature, to me, is that Tendenci recognizes who has access to help files within certain topics and your members won’t ever see the Topics label for your internal staff files when they login. Users only see Topics and Files that they have permission to view, and nothing more.
By including your association’s wiki within your Tendenci site by using the Help Files Module, each new page created counts as new content to search engine crawlers! If you foster an online wiki for knowledge sharing and encourage your members to participate and contribute, they’ll help you with your online marketing efforts naturally.
Ten Benefits for You and Your Members!
Here’s 10 great ways you can take advantage of the cool features included with the Help Files module and boost your association’s online community participation:
Enable members and registered site users to collaborateon your wiki – this saves your staff time and makes your members feel included!
Create an Internal Repository for your staff and/or Board – use Tendenci’s selective permissions to control who has access to each individual help file. Create on boarding guides for new staff members that only your association’s key personnel can see, without effecting public help files.
Setup Help Files and topics based on user groups – group members can view and collaborate on knowledge specific to the group purpose, and as group members change, the history of the group’s knowledge is available on your site.
Post important local community resources – include things like your organization’s emergency preparedness policies, how to take action in the case of a crisis, and information about other local organizations and groups that support your mission.
Create a place for event participants to add session notes and takeaways – Create a new topic or Group for event attendees and let them add and collaborate on help file notes from the different sessions. After the conference, embed the presenters’ slides and any other rich media (ie videos and photos) inside the help file.
Offer training guides for developing new professional skills – Use the selective permissions controls to create members-only repositories and share industry reports and valuable training guides with your paying members and contributors- or make them free for anyone who stops by your website, it’s your choice!
Build a globally diverse resource library – Your website is accessible day or night from virtually anywhere in the world, and with modern day web browser translation options, your International supporters can share their global perspectives on your association’s cause related issues.
Provide getting started guides for your community – new members path, how to volunteer vote for board etc
Think collaboration-both inside your org as well as outside -invite other associations and chapters to contribute on the wiki.
Document external resources and company account information– for tools, like software and vendor accounts, where your staff can quickly access to download, read, learn without the hassle of a search or wondering if the links will be active in a year
Now you’re equipped with a deeper understanding of ways that you can use Tendenci’s Help Files like any other wiki to reach out to your community, manage volunteers, create a repository for resources. Best of all, the Help Files module comes with Tendenci ready to start adding content to “out of the box”. I’ve added a few help files to the Tendenci Demo site, and you can see that it only takes a few minutes to quickly get your Topics and a framework for adding new content to your site’s Help Files module.
10 Minutes to Set-Up
In about 10 minutes, you can set-up access for your staff and members and give them the tools they need to help you keep up with your online and offline resources. And don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to get started because I’ll help you out!
You can leave a comment below, and include your Tendenci website URL, if you’d like to schedule 10 minutes with me through an online web conference where I’ll walk you through the set-up process. Before our 10 minute training, I’ll send you a quick template that will help you identify the main Topics you’ll want to start building your knowledge base. You can also submit a request using our “Request a Help File” – just be sure to leave your contact information as shown in this screenshot:
We at Schipul love sharing knowledge and inspiration – especially the fantastic free videos that come out of the annual TED Conference! In honor of the 2013 TED Conference (which starts TODAY), we’ve put together a few of our favorite TED videos to share.
A few ways to follow along with the TED Conference:
Benjamin Zander – The Transformative Power of Classical Music
Quote: “The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. My picture appears on the front of the CD — but the conductor doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for me.”
Quote: “When we work from a place, I believe, that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
Located downtown, Okra Charity Saloon donates its proceeds to a different local Houston charity or social cause each month.
For each drink purchased, you receive a ticket to vote for the charity to be supported that month. The wooden ballot boxes are lined up along the side wall, where you drop your ticket for your favorite.
The space is beautiful – it feels like a hidden spot tucked away in between the buildings of downtown Houston. The ceiling is a skylight of glass that is wide and open but somehow doesn’t take away from the cozy atmosphere.
It was a great event!
More Photos From #SMWHOU Okra Happy Hour
More Social Media Week Events!
Be sure to check out the rest of the week’s #SMWHOU events:
Thursday February 21 – Cactus Music Asks “Have You Heard?” Hear the first-ever community curated playlist inspired by Houston! 5 PM – 7 PM
Friday February 22 – Social Media Breakfast This fantastic panel will discuss the hottest trends in social media that will impact Houston in 2013 and beyond! 8:30 AM – 10 AM
Saturday February 23 – Houston Instagram #Instacrawl Join Houston Instagrammers for an informal city crawl to some of Houston’s favorite spots! 10 AM – 2 PM
Last night at our monthly NetSquared Houston meetup, Felicia Bates and I presented on Injecting FUN Into Your NonProfit through visual, interesting, shareable content! We discussed several new free tools to help you generate this content and connect your community online.
See the slides below and we’ve included a presentation recap in this post as well!
Sharing Increases Donations – And People Want to Share NPO Content
Nonprofits who incorporate Social Media into a fundraiser generate almost 10 times more money raised than those who don’t.
And the best part? People want to share cause related content!
A New York Times Survey found that the number one reason people share something online is to give others a better sense of who they are and what they care about. This includes nonprofit causes and content!
Content: Think Interesting, Visual, Shareable – And Strategic!
When planning the substance of the content you can create online using these tools, remember to always keep strategy first. Focus on the goals for your online efforts with every plan you make. Whether you are increasing donations, volunteers, or awareness – establishing credibility and showcasing your motivations are key.
Ideas for shareable nonprofit content to create:
Show who benefits and the impact
FAQs & Q&A topics
Showcase your people – staff and volunteers
Stats & Education
Think Real Time
Say “THANK YOU!”
Ask for help from your community – ask them to share their stories!
Wordle (Wordle.net) generates visual word clouds based on content you plug in. You can plug in an RSS feed like your organization’s Twitter account or Blog to show what topics you post the most about, or copy and paste text from any document like a press release or yearly report to see what topics are most prevalent!
Tweet Charts (TweetCharts.com) provide real time data about any topic, hashtag, user, or phrase across Twitter. Use it to monitor and showcase what is going on around your primary focus topics or brand name – or to find influencers across those topics as well.
Don’t have video footage from your last event? Animoto (animoto.com) lets you quickly and easily turn images into video by creating animated videos based on images you upload. The interace is extremely easy to use – you choose the images, the transition options, and design theme and create a video that you can upload to YouTube.
This tool is free for up to 30 second videos and a pro account allows you create longer videos.
Vine (vineapp.com) is the newest Video Sharing app created by the team at Twitter. It is billed as the “Instagram of Video” and lets users post 6 second videos that play in a loop similar to an animated GIF. Videos are quick to make, watch, and share by your community!
Google Hangouts are on air video chat sessions between multiple people. With Google Hangouts you can create Circles, have conversations, and get your community and nonprofit talking and working together regardless of location. automatically records your session and posts to youtube. More on getting started with Google+ Communities
Analytics are showing that not only has Pinterest exploded in growth over the last year, but also that users of this site tend to purchase things they share on it more than any other social network… which means revenue for marketers who can take advantage of this tool!
According to Comscore, Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites.
81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from Pinterest.
The most popular categories of sharing are Food & Drink, DIY, and Home Decor (source)
Most Popular Categories Shared on Pinterest
80% of Pinterest users are Women
50% of Pinterest users have children
28.1 percent of Pinterest users have an annual household income of $100,000. (source: Ultralinx)
Monitoring Pinterest Brand Activity Online
So you got it: Pinterest rocks and you’ve started using it as part of your social media strategy. You’ve created branded boards, added Pinterest Sharing widgets to your website, and are reading everything you can about best practices for Pinterest marketing (I recommend this great post from HubSpot: “The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Pinterest for Marketing“). Now what?
With all of the new Social Media Tools out there, it is getting more and more difficult to keep track of all of things people are saying about your brand online.
We recently discovered the tool PinAlerts – an easy to use tool that sends you updates when content from your domain is pinned on Pinterest!
Getting Started with Pinterest Brand Monitoring in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1 – Create an Account
The form is really simple – just a name and email and you can get started.
Step 2 – Add Domains
Add as many domains as you like, separated by a comma, that you want to monitor Pinterest posts for. You have options to receive emails once an hour, one a day, once a week, or as it happens (similar to Google Alerts).
Click “Create a Pin Alert”
Step 3 – Receive Emails!
PinAlerts will send you emails at your specified frequency. The emails contain the image that was pinned, the name of the person who pinned, and a link. The nice thing about this is that on Pinterest people use their real names – so you can figure out who your influencers are fairly easily (instead of having to decipher usernames).
Note: I did notice that the first email came through with some older things that it discovered for the first time when I signed up.
Sample Email Alert:
Manage Your Alerts
Log back in to edit, add, or remove alerts you have set up. The interface is really easy to use – so you can add and edit your alerts as much as you like!
What other tools and resources are you using to aid in your Pinterest efforts? Share them in the comments below!