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Networked non-profits: changing the world with Twitter

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I’ve learned that you can never go wrong by going to a Beth Kanter panel. The co-author of The Networked Nonprofit (I’m halfway through it on my iPad, and it’s terrific) has a gift for bringing out the audience’s shared wisdom and experience while keeping the panel conversation lively and valuable.

Not that panellists Danielle Brigida, social media outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, and Claire Williams, who leads social innovation at Twitter, needed any prodding. Each could have easily filled the hour with anecdotes, advice and recommendations. (Thanks to Williams, my new Twitter mantra is “WWKD: What Would Kanye Do?”)

Here are notes from Brigida’s and Williams’ presentations:

Graphic notes from Danielle Brigida's presentation at BlogWorld

Graphic notes from Danielle Brigida's presentation at BlogWorld

Behind The Wristband with Doug Ulman and Rohit Bhargava

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It was an emotional and fascinating hour, starting with Rohit Bhargava‘s call for everyone in the audience whose lives had been touched by cancer to stand. Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman touched on how Twitter can sometimes be less daunting than blogging, how transparency and authenticity are transforming non-profits, when a logo can take away from an organization’s efforts, and why Livestrong focuses more on supporting families living with cancer than on research.

And it ended with the announcement that PayPal and Swagg are sponsoring a 5-cent-per-tag bounty for every use of the hashtag #beatcancer – plus a $1 contribution for every pledge to download Swagg’s free iPhone app when it’s released. See BeatCancerEverywhere.com for details.

Cartoon images from Doug Ulman and Rohit Bhargava's keynote at BlogWorld

The Tricks of Twitter Trending

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I’ve always been intrigued by the Twitter trending topics, although I rarely participate in them. I’m not really in the demographic for #bieberfan but I do like a good #FF!

After participating in a recent online Twitter chat, with what seemed like a ton of users tweeting at once, I wondered exactly how many tweets is does it take to get to the center of a Twitter trend?

It’s not as easy as you’d think. You can’t just post a hashtag repeatedly in your own tweets every second and hope that it trends. The trend depends on a vast number of people tweeting at the same time – not just you and your friends.

Buzzgain did some analysis about the number of users and tweets during various times and came to this conclusion (times in PST):

  • From 12:00 am – 6:00 am you need approximately 1200 tweets and about 500 users to be trending.
  • From 6:00 am to 12:00 pm you need approximately 1700 tweets and about 733 users to be trending.
  • From 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm you need approximately 1500 tweets and about 812 users to be trending.
  • From 6:00 pm to 12:00 am you need approximately 1900 tweets and about 922 users to be trending.

What items tend to trend faster?

  • Topics pushed by users with a ton of followers. This makes the topic easier to distribute.
  • Topics based on breaking news. This doesn’t have to be a national disaster – it could be a new technology release or a celebrity break up.
  • Topics that are expected. #musicmonday, #followfriday, etc.

Did you know that BlogWorld helped set a Twitter record and trending topic?

During the BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2009, there was an effort to tweet #BeatCancer as a fundraiser for four cancer-related organizations — Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Bright Pink, Spirit Jump, and Stand Up for Cancer.

The effort took off quickly, showing up as the #1 trending topic. During the 24-hour period from October 16 to October 17, the phrase was mentioned more than 209,000 times (verified and documented by Guinness!) And over $70,000 was raised.

Want to see past trends? Visit trendistic for a cool chart view!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

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