Looking for Something?
Browsing Category

Online Communities

Protect Your Favorite Podcast from the Patent Trolls

Author:

There are often very good reasons people and companies must defend their patents. The Patent system protects inventors. When a patent is infringed on, the holder must take action or risk losing their patent. That is how it works when the system is being used properly. Patent Trolls are not using the system as it was designed.

Patent trolls are not in the business of defending their patents. They are in the business of extortion. They purchase broad general patents and then make claims about infringement. They send out letters claiming a patent infringement and asking for “licensing” fees. It is nearly always cheaper to pay the fee than to fight it in court. Often these patent infringement claims would not likely hold up in court but few businesses are able to fund the 1.5 + million it would take to survive a legal battle.  Even Apple gave in and settled

For us non legal folks, that’s known as a shake down.

  CAROLLA_728x90

In 2013 one of these trolls sent letters to several leading podcasters such as HowStuffWorks podcast (Discovery Channel), Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Adam Carolla  and more. They claim that a patent for their failed “Magazines on tape” Continue Reading

Join Us for the 2014 Military Track at NMX!

Author:

We’re proud to announce that we’re bring the military track back to NMX for another year. Did you know that a huge percentage of NMX speakers and community members are vets or active duty military? We believe this is telling – the military prepares you for success in the new media world!

This track is sponsored by the U.S. Army. Special thanks to John and Antonio from High Speed Low Drag for helping us with this track!

You don’t have to be in the military to learn from our speakers in our military track. Join us for the following sessions on Sunday:

antonio centeno 1:30 – 2:15: Reinventing Yourself Through Social Media: From The US Marines To The Fashion Industry

Antonio Centeno made what would seem like an unlikely career change–he went from being a marine to working in the fashion industry. At his session, he’ll be talking about how he made this transition and how social media helped him reinvent his brand. If you’re thinking about making a branding change or beginning to work in the new media world after working in another field, this is a session you don’t want to miss.

Add this session to your schedule here.

Scott Fussell 2:30 – 3:15: Skills the Military Teaches that Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life

The military teaches you skills you need on the battlefield, but those skills can also help in other areas for your life. Scott Fussell from Command Your Business will be moderating this session. Panelists include Jared Easley, Brian Selke, and Jenn Selke. Join us to learn about the valuable skills learned in the military that make vets successful in the business world.

Add this session to your schedule here.

john dumas 3:30 – 4:15: What The Military Taught Me About Building A Multi-Million Dollar Company Via Social Media

Vets are often great entrepreneurs. Why? Join John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire and Dre Armeda and Tony Perez from Surcuri to learn why their military experience was invaluable and how they grew multi-million dollar business. You can learn from their successes even if you aren’t a vet (and if you are, you have a special advantage!). This is must-attend session if you want to grow your business!

Add this session to your schedule here.

Are you active duty military? Please join us at NMX as our special guest. Simply bring your military ID to the registration desk to get a free pass to our military track on Sunday.

Is an Army Blog Any Different? (Sponsored Post)

Author:

Disclosure: The Army sponsored the Military Track at NMX 2013, and this post is part of their sponsorship package. We think what Captain He has to say about blogging while in the military is not only interesting, but can help give you a new perspective on your own blog, whether you’re in the military or not. -Editor

Captain He at NMX

I am in the Army, and I write a blog. To many people I have talked to, this means I write a blog about the Army. Following this logic, this means that I write a blog featuring pictures of soldiers in sandstorms in remote areas of Afghanistan with accompanying stories of intense missions to villages and the good work we are doing there, in contrast to the big media stories of the quicksand situation in the Middle East. When I say no, I’m not in the Infantry, they then think maybe I write one of those military wife blogs, full of tips of what to put in a care package to send to your husband overseas and what to wear to his coming home ceremony. Still not true; I may be an Army wife, but in a dual-military relationship that leaves both of us with our fair share of homecomings and goodbyes.

I don’t try to write an Army blog. I write a blog that just happens to occur in the context of me being in the Army. I do not write about Middle Eastern policy, because I am not a Middle Eastern policy wonk. I do write about the Army’s Cultural Support Teams and what a great idea they are, because I am a female and I am in the Army. I don’t write about secret missions in Afghanistan, because 1) that’s probably violating security, and 2) as a signal officer, I plan networks and make sure those Infantry guys have internet.

Old vs. New

The idea of old-style military blogging, or “milblogging,” was covered at the Milblog conference in DC last year.  A lot of the original milbloggers started to blog about the “real” story on the ground. When blogging became a more legitimate news source, and journalists at big papers started blogging in addition to filing their real news stories, the role of bloggers as story tellers started to diminish, and they became another news source in themselves.

I don’t think the original idea of the blog, telling someone’s story, is any different though. Maybe blogs are faster, shorter, more reactionary and less analytical, than a real news story, but it still tells a story. Today’s stories among milbloggers are a little different, but no less important.

My Idea of “New”

I don’t try to write news stories, I just try to tell the real Army story. Soldiers are not deployed every single day of their Army careers; they do spend time at home. In the almost four years that I’ve been in the Army, I’ve only been deployed to Iraq for about five months of that. The rest has been here in Georgia, training and planning and watching other units deploy.

Health and Fashion

Maybe my blog would better fit under the health or fashion categories of blogging. They do seem to be the top two topics for blogs right now.

Think about it, I work out every day with my unit. We run, we do calisthenics, I like to swim and bike and do triathlons and races on my weekends. Of course I write about it. I write about injuries I get, and how the Army tries to deal with that. I write about how stupid my hot pink shoes look with the Army PT uniforms that don’t even fit me.

That’s another thing I like to write about. While I watch my friends post their instagram #OOTD, I wear the same thing every single day. Want me to post that? I can do a cute face with minimal, natural looking makeup, picked specifically for its high-SPF content and the waterproofness/sweatproofness of the mascara, and show off my worn-in combat boots and small-short men’s uniform.

Or, on special occasions, I get to wear my dress blue uniform. Did you know that the first women’s uniforms, for Army nurses pre-WWII, were made on a men’s mannequin, and NO ONE NOTICED for almost 20 years? That’s how much the Army cared about providing their females with high quality uniforms. Some new prototypes of female-specific uniforms are being field-tested, not to mention female specific body armor (after only ten years of sending women to active combat zones), so maybe some changes will be coming eventually.

Just Telling Stories

So, there you have it. I blog to write about life and what I do, just to get my story out there. Even if I think my life is boring sometimes, it’s still different from anyone else’s in the world. Whenever I’m stuck, here are my go-to prompters that make me write:

What did I do different today? Maybe I did the same thing I do every day: went for a run, made some coffee, checked my email, made some slide presentations, answered some phone calls. What made it different, or special, or particularly awful?

What major events do I have to look forward to? In the Army, there is always something coming up: another deployment, a short trip for training somewhere, the possibility of a new assignment, or even just the chance to take leave following a grueling two week training exercise.

What inspires me? Sometimes getting up early to run in the middle of winter is hard, but I don’t have the option of staying in bed. What inspired me today to smile and push on? It might be thinking of my friends who can’t run anymore, or recently meeting someone who just said, “thank you for your service.” Sometimes it’s thinking about how lucky I am to have this opportunity, and that I don’t want to let down all the generations of Soldiers before me who gave it all. And sometimes it is knowing that Thursday is donut day, so I better get up and run.

Nothing seems too small to be a part of my story. Maybe it isn’t big news, or a big story, but it’s all mine, and I’m going to keep writing.

Online Membership Communities: Success is About Service

Author:

Recently, NMX launched a brand new online membership site, NMX University. Premium members have access to our 2013 Virtual Ticket through NMX University, but there is also a basic membership area of the site where people can access a handful of virtual sessions, our library of ebooks, and other content for free. Yours truly is managing the content on NMX University (with tons of help from the rest of the NMX staff).

I’ve run and been involved in membership communities in the past, and what I’ve found time and time again is that success hinges on how well you provide service to your members. Content might still be “king” online, but even the best content will fail in a membership community without great customer service.

The VIP Mentality

Members of a community are all VIPs, whether they pay for premium content or not. People are quick to complain and because everyone is used to getting so much free stuff online, there’s a real sense of entitlement online. I don’t say this to complain. Frankly, I think people should feel entitled. Whether we pay for something or not, we are all entitled to be treated with respect. So if you aren’t treating all of your members like VIPs, you’re missing the boat.

Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that you should bend to every demand. What it does mean is that you should promptly respond to questions, apologize for problems, and take everyone’s suggestions into account. When you give someone the option of being a member of your site – even a free member – you have an obligation to provide customer service. If you don’t want to service non-paying members, don’t have a free membership option.

At NMX University, whether you are a free member or a paid member, I will respond to your emails within 24 hours. If I don’t, that’s an indication that I haven’t received it. Everyone is a VIP in my book.

“Prompt” has a New Definition

It used to be that a prompt reply was six to eight weeks. You had to write to a company and wait for a response (if you got one at all), and often your problem was a moot point by the time a solution was proposed.

Today, people have a new definition of “prompt.” That’s why I do my very best to respond to all customer service emails for NMX University within 24 hours. Even that much time – yes, less than one day – can seem like a long time when it comes to online content, so I try to respond even faster when at all possible.

People have short attention spans, so you have to help them quickly if you want to maintain a good relationship. A response within the hour will get a much more positive reaction than the same response three days later. Not only that, but people aren’t afraid to complain in a very public way (on Twitter, Facebook, etc.) if they think they are being ignored.

Your Definition of Clear isn’t Everyone’s Definition of Clear

“User-friendly” means something different to everyone. What might seem really clear to you might not be clear at all to your members. That’s why I’m constantly tweaking the usability of NMX University (without making drastic changes that confuse people) so members have the best user experience possible.

People will have suggestions for you. Some people will not be nice about these suggestions. I’ve been called stupid, ignorant, and a host of others things from people who don’t like the design and usability of membership sites I’ve helped create. Don’t take it personally. I actually keep a folder of the emails I get from people praising sites so I can read them whenever I get the occasionally mean or critical email. You can’t please everyone, but what is important is that you set aside your ego and take others’ suggestions into consideration. Already, NMX University is better thanks to user suggestions and we’re only getting started.

You’ll Catch More Flies with Honey

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a piece of advice my mother gave me when I was young: You’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar. That is, even when people are being complete jerks, the situation will turn out better if you’re as nice as possible instead of mean or aggressive.

Even when your membership community is loved by 99.99% of people, there will always be that .01% who send angry emails for some reason or another. It’s easy to be angry right back, but remember: You set the tone for your company. If your reply is apologetic and sincere, you’ll be surprised at just how many people change their tune and even apologize for overreacting in their previous email. Because I listen to people, address concerns politely, respond quickly, and apologize for their frustration – even when they are in the wrong – over half the time, I get much happier email responses the next time around, even if the problem hasn’t been solved yet.

I hope you’ll take some time to check out NMX University and put my customer service to the test. For those of you out there also running membership communities, what are some of your best tips for success? Leave a comment below!

Photo Credit: Bigstock

Military Track to Showcase Best Impact Practices

Author:

The military vertical is arguably unmatched in terms of audience affinity, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to reach.

For the first time since 2008, Military.com has joined forces with the New Media Expo team in presenting a track that will benefit any blogger looking to improve his or her impact. The three panels have all been designed to showcase best practices behind growing metrics using innovative content and social media strategies.

The first session is titled “The New Military Blogger” and will look at the emerging voices in the vertical. After a decade-plus of war, the voices and constituencies have changed since the first warfighter started blogging about life on the front lines, giving rise to the term “milblogging.”

Who are these new digital influencers and who are they reaching? How are their tactics different from the previous generation of milbloggers?

This panel will be moderated by Military.com’s editor and long time blogger Ward Carroll and features Randy Brown of Red Bull Rising, Mark Seavey of The American Legion’s Burn Pit and This Ain’t Hell, and Paul Szoldra of The Duffel Blog (commonly referred to as “The Onion in Uniform”). These three military veterans have grown their audiences through a mix of punditry, advocacy, and humor, not to mention effective SEO and social media execution.

“The New Military Blogger” will take place on Jan. 7 at 10:30 in Miranda #5.

The second Military track session is titled “Militaryville – the Audience You Didn’t Know You Could Have.” This session features a panel of military spouses who started blogging as a form of therapy when their spouses were deployed. In time they discovered they had significant followings. The trick at that point was how to develop executions that would allow them to reach their entire potential audiences. The lessons they’ve learned will benefit any blogger who wants to do more with a property.

This panel will be moderated by Jacey Eckhart, Navy wife, syndicated columnist, and editor of SpouseBuzz.com. Panelists include Amy Bushatz, managing editor of Spouse Buzz and reporter for Military.com, male military spouse blogger Wayne Perry, and Spouse Buzz contributor Cheryl Ganser.

“Mililtaryville – the Audience You Didn’t Know You Could Have” will take place on Jan. 7 at 11:45 in Miranda #5.

The third and final Military track session is titled “New Media’s Effect on Military Benefits Policy and Legislation.” More than a decade of war has created many new benefits for those who served along with a larger population eligible to take advantage of them. This entropy has created a challenge for the agencies charged with getting the word out and the non-profit organizations that advocate for and provide advice to members. This panel will explore how
blogs, social media, and online email campaigns impact military compensation and benefits, transition assistance, VA programs, and military health care legislation and policy.

The panel will be moderated by Military.com’s benefits managing editor and author of “The Military Advantage” Terry Howell. Panelists include syndicated benefits columnist Tom Philpott, USAA’s Chaz Pratt, and MOAA’s Bob Norton.

“New Media’s Effect on Military Benefits Policy and Legislation” will take place on Jan. 7 at 2:45 pm in Miranda #5.

10 Ways to Embrace your Global Audience

Author:

You are podcasting to your niche, in your own language, and then suddenly one day when checking your stats, you find out that you have listeners in Johannesburg, Bangkok, The Faroe Islands or Copenhagen.

This is the time to do the happy dance. But also the time to think – and speak – with a global mind set.

The United States of America is a melting pot of cultures, languages, political and religious orientations, time zones and interests.

But the U.S. of A is not the whole world. If your topic is global, there is a good chance you will have listeners in Sweden, Belgium, Scotland, Poland, Indonesia and Japan.

When you address a global audience you have two options:

  1. Ignore them and assume they understand your (American) way of thinking and living.
  2. Acknowledge them, tailor your content to suit them too, and engage them on their terms.

How?

Here are 10 ways you can embrace a global audience:

  1. Do your research. Look it up and find out how your content fits your audience. Don´t make them feel left out when you talk about American elections, sports events, openings, holidays, etc.
  2. Talk about things that are truly global and universal. If your podcast is about film or a TV series, make sure they have been released outside the U.S. Like Star Wars, Mad Men, American Idol, Lost, etc. Books like Harry Potter are global, but a lot of other books have not been released outside the U.S.
  3. Be aware that words don´t mean the same outside the U.S. Even between U.S. English and British English there can be remarkable differences, which can cause misunderstandings (e.g. football in Europe is soccer, Thanksgiving is an American holiday, Mother´s Day is not celebrated the same day all over the world).
  4. Engage your audience. Ask them to share what it is like in their lives. The weather, the culture, politics, habits, time zones, holidays, Black Friday etc.
  5. Don´t be too salesy. Many countries outside the U.S. are not so open toward commerce, sponsoring, commercials or advertisements.
  6. Consider getting a co-host who is not American. This can help closing the gap between you and listeners outside the U.S.
  7. Include their feedback. Each country has its own iTunes Store and make sure you get reviews of your podcast from all countries.
  8. Translate your show-notes into other languages. This will also enhance your searchability.
  9. If you livestream your episodes, consider scheduling so listeners overseas can join you at least sometimes.
  10. Be tolerant with your listeners. Many of them don´t speak or write your language too well. They have different ethics and manners, expressions and sense of humor. But they are still good people and they are today’s listeners and tomorrow’s friends.

Want to learn more? Be sure to come to the NMX panel I’ll be moderating, entitled “How To Effectively Communicate To A Global Audience” in January. This panel of experienced podcasters will share their experiences with podcasting to a global audience. In very different ways they are communicating with their listeners with a very global mindset. The panel includes:

Matthew Workman is American, but fell in love with a remote group of islands thousands of miles from the U.S. The Faroe Islands Podcast is an extraordinary meeting between an American and Faroeses.

Farnoosh Brock is of Iranian origin and that is one of the reasons she has been thinking global since she started podcasting about communication and personal career in her Prolific Living podcast.

Mark Pentleton started teaching Scottish school children, but since 2004 he has been building a worldwide language podcast network, Radio Lingua, and helped others speak French.

Hope to see you at the panel!

Debba Haupert talks about Building Online Communities

Author:

You’re a content creator. Yay you! So, now what? Just because you put it out, doesn’t mean people will come to check it out.

NMX speaker Debba Haupert knows the ins and outs of building communities. In this exclusive NMX interview below, Debba shares her advice on how to establish your personal brand, surveying your community, being true to your goals, and the mistakes that online community managers make. Want to hear more from Debba? Check out her session at NMX this January, called “25 Ways to be more Re-Pinnable – Engaging Content and the Power of Pinterest.”

Debba is just one of nearly 200 speakers at NMX this January. Come learn more about new media from some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry by joining us in Las Vegas. Register today!

How to Use Live Streaming to Create the Ultimate Community Experience

Author:
Nikki in Stitches Live Online Craft Classes

Nikki McGonigal leads a live, interactive online craft class.

Ever since I first clicked on a link to a live-streamed show, I’ve been bullish on live.  This was back in April of 2007 just a few weeks after the first live-streaming platforms launched. As an actor turned producer I had awakened to the realization that in the 21st century artists no longer had to wait for other people to make their dreams come true – finally we had the tools to green light our own work, so by 2007 I was already deeply enmeshed in the online video world and active in social media, shooting podcasts, writing blog posts, Facebooking and Twittering away.  And then came that live-streamed show.  Just 15 minutes into it my heart began to beat a little faster, I began to envision all the possibilities…it was crystal clear to me that live streaming video has as much potential as podcasting, blogging, Facebooking and Twittering combined.

Why Live?

First of all, live is exciting! The knowledge that you are seeing something unfold, in real time right before your eyes is magnetic. Secondly, with live-streaming you get two for the price of one, both a live, interactive show and an on-demand video you can edit and upload to any site you wish. Thirdly, live-streaming manages to be both inclusive and exclusive at the same time. Anyone is free to watch the show and join in the chat room, and anyone can watch the recorded show at a later date,  but only those people who are actually there live get to feel as if they have personal ownership of the content that was created. Lastly, and most significantly, live-streaming is inherently about community.I have long felt that online video soars when it stays true to the interactive platform it is built for, rather than the story telling models we are so used to watching on television. Community – the ability to interact with other people from all over the world, in real time, has been the  greatest differentiator and power of the online world since it’s earliest days. Live-streaming is all about that community.

People come to a live-streamed show from all over the world, not just to see the show, but to see the other people in the chat rooms. Then they come back, episode after episode, partly to see all their chat room friends. So while appointment viewing may seem counterintuitive in a YouTube world, passionate members of your live-streamed show’s community will make a point of putting your show on their calendar. Your live-streamed show? It has now been transformed into an event, and the more your show embraces that community, the more passionate and devoted that community becomes – it’s like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube rolled up into one.

Nervous about live-streaming?

Don’t be! There are so many options and so many of them require nothing more than a computer and an internet connection,and a free account on Ustream or Livestream  or SpreeCast or Justin.tv.  The platform and methods you use depend on what you are trying to achieve…

  • Are you a social media blogger, a political blogger, an inspirational blogger?  Is your main goal to develop deeper ties with a community you have carefully cultivated? You can probably keep it pretty simple –  just a webcam, a live-streaming site, and off you go.
  • Are you a craft blogger or a food blogger and you want to invite your community to create along with you? Spreecast is a simple way to invite up to three viewers right into the video with you – you can all create together and chat with the rest of the audience as you go.
You can of course, get much more complicated as well. My company, VirtualArtsTV works in the performing arts, specializing in translating live theater, dance and music into a live-streaming event tailored specifically to the online video experience.  In order to make sure our audience is always engaged, excited and leaning forward we utilize multiple cameras in every one one of our shoots, we shoot with a small video screen in mind and keep the action and the cuts moving as quickly as possible. While a lot of sites will facilitate switching multiple cameras right in their software, we go one step further and use Newtek’s marvelous Tricaster – which is simply described as a TV studio in a box.  The demands of translating live performance  into a live streamed event require a much higher level of technology than perhaps a talk-show might, but that is the point. There are so many ways to make live streaming work for you, from a simple one webcam experience to a high definition 8 camera event.
Live-streaming enabled us to engage a world-wide community in the performing arts

A few pointers as you begin to experiment with live streaming

  • Embed, embed, embed!  Not all platforms facilitate embeds, but if yours does place your video on your site, on your blog, on Facebook – let your readers embed it on their blogs.  The further your show travels the larger your reach.
  • Create a strong connection!  You can’t control your audience’s bandwidth size, but you can control the quality of the file you upload.  Turn off the wi-fi and use an ethernet connection to ensure you are sending the highest quality video possible to your live-streaming platform.
  • Make it social. Always utilize the Facebook and Twitter options in the chat rooms to further spread the word and grow your community.
  • Shoot with the end goal in mind. If you want your show to be as effective on-demand as it is live, then create it as if you were shooting a regular video.  Search for similar shows on YouTube and play close attention to their camera angles, their editing, their graphics and their speed.
  • And lastly, Embrace your community. Chat with them, call out their names, invite them onto the show with you.
If you haven’t experimented yet with the possibilities of live, now is the time. It is the ultimate, community building, lean forward experience and one of the most exciting, malleable and promising tools of our wired twenty-first century. And if you have experimented with live, what was it like?  What would you do differently next time? And what advice would you give to a live-streaming newbie?

Millennials Using Social Media for Social Good

Author:

The adoption of digital technology is one of the major distinctions Millennials have among previous generations. The age group in their late teens to early 30s can create a profile on the latest social network faster than you can say “smartphone.” Many might deem their ubiquitous love affair with social media quite trivial, but don’t discount all the good some of them are already doing with it. Millennials are pioneering ways to give back to their communities, sharing actionable solutions to social issues, and galvanizing others who believe real impact is sometimes only a send button away.

Social Networks Expanding Nonprofits’ Reach

Take IGNITEgood for instance, who has teamed up with The Huffington Post to give away $100,000 to 10 game changing ideas that move humanity forward. The competition dubbed “Millennial Impact Challenge,” will first select five existing nonprofit organizations/businesses that demonstrate scalable impact, viability of getting others involved, and a sense the applicants are uniquely qualified to champion their big idea. The IGNITE Team has corralled an impressive group of–you guessed it–Millennials as the selection committee to pick these winners. The second half of funding is reserved for five startup organizations or companies who get the most “likes” on Facebook during the voting phase. You see, socially-conscious Millennials are using the “like” button for something other than self-esteem boosters and virtual pats on the back.

A Houston darling of a nonprofit is also harnessing the social web to make a difference in their community. Mia’s Closet is barely a year old and is already making established nonprofits take notice with its online presence. Executive Director Chelsea Coffey founded the nonprofit to instill confidence and self-worth in students from kindergarten to high school by providing them with clothing through a personal shopping experience.

Seeing is believing in Coffey’s perspective so she tells the story of her organization through Instagram. The app allows Coffey and crew to showcase the lively atmosphere of pampering, personal styling, and all around family fun. What started out as a small project has blossomed into a steady growth in Facebook and Twitter fans, along with a full-fledged website using the easily-to-learn, WordPress platform. Quite fittingly, the 20-something founder now moonlights as fashion/social media editor for the same magazine that gave Mia’s Closet its early press coverage in March.

Social Entrepreneurs are The New Rockstars

From local zines to globally-recognized publications, Millennials are reported on as leaders in the surge of social entrepreneurship. One such brand is Forbes Magazine, which intends to bring these modern enterprises to a new audience. The magazine has publicized its search for 30 Awesome Social Entrepreneurs Under 30. Known for its lists of actors, rockstars, and  business moguls, Forbes is venturing into content that may add cachet to the young do-gooders of the world. Don’t go nominating your buddy who raised a wad of singles and loose change selling lemonade at the local block party, though. The staff is essentially searching for the dream team of altruistic innovators. The noble group who will help define this generation and their impact will most likely be fueled by Web 2.0.

One clear candidate deserving Forbes glory is Tristan Walker, who is adding value to the nonprofit sector via the social highway. The tech wunderkind Linkedin page looks more like Mashable.com’s top stories. Walker has worked for Twitter, JP Morgan, a major Boston-based consulting group and more recently served as Foursquare’s Director of Business Development (a relationship which he initiated with an email to the founders). Working 12 hour days to develop an investment portfolio so he can buy yachts, expensive champagne, and gold-plated toilet seats seem like the next steps for him, right?

On the contrary, the rising figure has opted to tackle a new venture that yields $0 in profits. Yes, Walker recently founded a nonprofit organization that is primed to give minorities a shot at taking on Silicon Valley’s biggest startups. The bold move has backing from some major players in the tech space, philanthropy powerhouses, and venture capital partners. Their inaugural class of fellows earned paid internships and gained insight from the who’s who of tech startups, as well as established companies.

Tammy Tibbetts is another under 30 community organizer crushing it at the intersection of social media and social change. Tibbetts had already scored a coveted job as Social Media Editor for Seventeen Magazine, which she reported as having the fastest growing Twitter presence in the magazine industry in 2011. She has since made the tough decision to leave that dream job to begin another as founder of She’s the First, a non-profit sponsoring girls’ education in developing countries.

Tibbetts takes social media best practices from her previous role to amplify the impact her organization makes. The site features “Map Your Impact” using Google Maps, as well as tweeting, Facebooking, and Tumbling calls-to-action that drive donors to its Razoo page. One of the most surprising, yet promising displays of support comes from its tie-dye cupcakes campaign, which has turned into social media tour de force. The video below is a taste of how sweet it is for college students to raise  thousands of dollars with a few days of baking and selling cupcakes on campus.

How Millennials Engage With Nonprofits

These new media-friendly founders help contextualize the bigger picture of how Millennials are working toward a greater good.  A valuable reference to these interactions is the often-cited 2012 Millennial Impact Report, which surveys Millennials’ relationships with existing nonprofits.

  • Connecting: The majority of Millennials surveyed stated they prefer to learn about nonprofits through their website and social media. 77% of them own smartphones, and they like having access to what an organization does, how to get involved, and shareable content, right at their fingertips. Nearly 70% of the participants have interacted with a nonprofit via Facebook. A staggering 87% of them follow nonprofits on Twitter, while 60% give compliments and retweet content from nonprofits they follow.
  • Involving: Not surprisingly, 81% of respondents prefer to learn about nonprofit volunteering opportunities through their peers. This finding warrants an added incentive for nonprofit leaders to create content people want to share, and display social network mechanisms for supporters to do so. Coming in at second and third are emails and a nonprofit’s website to learn about volunteer information. By a margin of more than two-to-one, Millennials who volunteer for nonprofits are more likely to make donations. That’s good news for organizations who can effectively engage with their audience via online and offline experiences.
  • Giving: Millennials overwhelmingly prefer to donate through the web, with 70% of respondents having made contributions through a nonprofit’s web page in the last year. This goes back to nonprofits needing to produce and feature inspiring content on their website in order to gain financial support. To encourage consistent giving, nonprofits should make it clear as to how donations will impact the organization, avoid telling donors how much to give, and stray from sending long letters in the mail for support. Millennials like to make contributions with ease and immediacy.

So there you have it. A look at innovative Millennials using social sites to make meaningful connections and bring change for the undeserved communities they’re passionate about. And a snapshot of overall trends that will ultimately drive new and interesting ways to solve human injustice and inequality. Comment below to share your story or tell us about a person you know who is using social media for social good. Even lemonade stand stories are welcomed here.

 

10 Ways to Double Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising

Author:

Your nonprofit organization is finally gaining traction. Your friends and family come to your events, your website redesign has all the bells and whistles it needs to be taken seriously, and you’ve even been interviewed by a local reporter. But there’s one important thing missing: donations. After you’ve earned 501(c)(3) status, the onus is on you to raise money to keep your organization afloat. Fear not, noble citizen; social media is once again here to save the day and double your donation dollars.

Here are 10 sites to help you in your fundraising efforts:

1. Causecast

Tech entrepreneur Ryan Scott developed Causecast to help organizations through increased volunteer and fundraising engagement around social change. He and his team believe global change must be achieved through collaboration along with individual action. The site helps secure donations as well as volunteer hours from local businesses that are looking to make an impact in their community. The site also provides nonprofits with customizable tools that encourage new and old supporters to donate on your website, blog, and on Facebook. These services are free to your organization so you can spend the extra money on that iPad you’ve been meaning to buy for “business purposes.” Causecast boasts nearly 3,000 nonprofit members on its homepage, which includes some of the top organizations in the country.

2. PostRelease

If your organization hasn’t gotten in the habit of content marketing, you’re missing out on big businesses looking to place sponsored content on your website. Serial entrepreneur Justin Choi created PostRelease to minimize those pesky banner ads and facilitate a much more organic web experience. With a simple plugin, you automatically integrate relevant sponsored content into your blogs, forums, and content-rich sites. It serves as an automated revenue stream and/or you can use it to sell advertiser-sponsored content on your site(s). If you’re not already drooling, you’ll salivate at the ease in which the platform’s dashboard allows you to monitor and manage the sponsored content.

3. Google Grants

You’ve heard of Google, right? Up until now you may not have had much use for their main moneymaker, AdWords, but the search engine behemoth wants to give your organization $10,000 worth of free advertising on their homepage. All this coveted real estate requires is an application to their Google for Nonprofits site. Once approved, you can begin leveraging online advertising to reach donors, tracking online donations and promoting your organization’s website to ultimately grow your fundraising dollars.

4. Youtube for Nonprofits

The third largest search engine, YouTube, falls right in line with Google’s other product offerings for nonprofits. Have you ever watched a YouTube video so moving, so wrenching, so powerful that you wanted to donate right away? YouTube for Nonprofits provides that solution by allowing organizations to monetize video content with one click. Approved nonprofits can easily add a Google Checkout “Donate now” button to their YouTube page so every view can turn into a few bucks. Equally impressive, you can customize your channel with your organization’s logo as well as drive viewers to action by placing a “Call to Action” overlay on your videos.

5. Fundly

Fundly is a super social way to raise money for nonprofit initiatives with its plethora of social features. The site claims to increase donations by over 20%, while helping increase campaign visibility online by 424% on average. Percentages aside, your supporters are directed to a Fundly Cause custom page, where visitors learn more about your cause and can easily donate. They then can tell friends and family about their donation through Facebook, Twitter, and more. Some might call this bragging, I call it your new best friend. In a perfect world, social media aficionado Ashton Kutcher will make a donation to your campaign through the Fundly platform and his post of that contribution will go viral.

6. GoodSearch

GoodSearch takes web browsing to an altruistic level by allowing supporters to raise money for their favorite charities through search. The website donates money to your organization when your supporters search the Internet, shop online or dine out at local restaurants. Everyone you know does these things as often as they brush their teeth! Your fresh-breath supporters will have no qualms about a percentage of every eCommerce purchase they make or percentage of their restaurant bill at participating locations being donated to your charity. I urge you to get started sometime in the next millisecond and easily spread the word with the site’s email, social media, newsletter, and video resources.

7. HelpAttack!

Don’t you wish you could raise money through Facebook statuses, blog posts and even tweets? I’m sure your mother would actually join Twitter just to support your charity. Along with your mother, HelpAttack! lets supporters simply update one of their social sites to help you reach new levels in funding. Their donations are handled securely by a donation processor so can feel confident their good deeds are being funneled properly. The giving platform adds further incentive by rewarding donors with Coins that access new features, and gets others to join your noble cause.

8. Groupon Grassroots

Whether you love or hate Groupon, the daily deal site helps local nonprofits meet and exceed their fundraising goals through local participation. Dubbed Groupon Grassroots, the giving initiative evolved out of Groupon’s collective action platform to discover and support local causes. Each campaign connects like-minded individuals with a nonprofit to help realize a specific monetary threshold. Once that threshold is reached, Groupon sends 100% of the donations to the organization and you get to bask in those warm and fuzzy feelings. Known for their quippish content, a team of writers specific to Grassroots graciously crafts your campaign deals to maximize your “cool factor.”

9. eBayGivingWorks

eCommerce giant eBay enacted eBay GivingWorks to help nonprofits gain exposure and create a new revenue stream. With a simple sign up on www.missionfish.org, organizations gain access to eBay’s billion dollar marketplace. Your supporters can use eBay GivingWorks to donate 10% to 100% of their item’s final sale price to your charity. For every listing that benefits your organization, buyers will see a banner with your information, as well as a link to your eBay GivingWorks page. You can also encourage members, volunteers, donors, and affiliates to look for your organization to make purchases on your eBay GivingWorks page.

10. Crowdrise

Film star Edward Norton has been making major contributions to nonprofit sector for years but you won’t catch him patting himself on the back for it. Instead he helps run a trailblazing crowdfunding site with components of social networking and virtual competitions. Nonprofits and their supporters are encouraged to create a profile to raise money through contests, donations, and even purchasing actor Will Ferrell’s Super Sexy Hot Tan Sunscreen. Each project is complemented with a compelling story, vibrant pictures, and a real-time scroll of who’s donating.

Now that you have these awesome tools to reach your fundraising goals, stop making excuses and start making your donorship grow! Once you’ve found your groove with which sites work best for your organization, double down on those and build an avid community around your efforts. Remember, these social sites shouldn’t be used as gimmicks, but rather long-standing or reoccurring campaigns that create sustainable fundraising solutions.

What’s New on the NMX Blog:

NMX 12 Days Of Giving: Day 1 – Complimentary VIP Upgrade

NMX is pleased to once again present our annual 12 Days of Giving event, where we offer a special gi...

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments