“You can have everything you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want”
Feeling overwhelmed with all of this social media talk? It’s okay, everyone has to start somewhere. We’ve tried to break it down for you in 10 easy steps that will have you feeling like a social media pro in no time. Once you’ve got these down, we hope you’ll visit the Social Citizens Blog for even more resources that will help you stay current on all of the social media and social change efforts out there.
- Join a social networking site like, Facebook or MySpace or even create your own on Ning; it’s an easy way to connect with old friends or meet new ones who share your interest. You can even create an online presence for your own cause.
- Share websites you like and find out what sites your friends are reading by using free social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and StumbleUpon. FriendFeed is another free site for organizing music, photos, videos, and articles online in one place.
- Share photos of issues that are important to you. Sites like Picasa and Flickr let members tag images with relevant key words. By tagging, you’re likely to connect with others who share your interest.
- Have a story to tell? Use video to get your message across. Find videos relevant to a cause you care about on YouTube or create your own and post it to share your story with others. If you’re in need of an affordable camera, check out Flip Video’s spotlight program to get started today.
- Champion a cause by creating a charity badge or widget. Network for Good or Global Giving to locate an organization or issue area you care about. These sites will let you to create and personalize your own Charity Badge, an online tool for raising awareness and funds for your cause. Email the link to your Charity Badge to friends, family, and other contacts, or post your badge anywhere you have an online presence.
- So, maybe you’ve identified a cause you care about, but you’re not quite ready to jump into blogging. Why not test the waters of micro-blogging through sites like Twitter? These sites will let you say what’s on your mind as long as it’s in 140 characters or less.
- If you’ve got something more to say, go ahead, start a blog. Blog services like Blogger or Typepad make set-up simple and are easy to use. Invite your email contacts and anyone from your social network to your blog. Encouraging readers to leave comments is a great way to jumpstart online conversation.
- Have a little extra time to spare? Why not fire up your computer and find an opportunity to volunteer online. Volunteering online is easy — the In2Books online Pen Pal program offers the flexibility to choose when and where you give of your time. The UN Foundation offers opportunities to put your skills to work whether translation or project management you can find an opportunity that fits your style.
- As a consumer, employee, citizen or activist – sometimes you realize you can’t do everything alone – and that’s when the power of many comes into play. Organizations like The Point and Care2 offer you an opportunity to create online petitions that help influence the causes most important to you.
- Put away your checkbook and pick up your cell phone. Mobile giving campaigns are taking off. Text-to-give campaigns let donors make a secure donation to the cause they care about. Check out what Alicia Keys has done with her Keep a Child Alive campaign.
- OK, we know we said 10 – but for the most dedicated, if you want more ideas or information about using social media for social good please subscribe to the Social Citizens Blog where we’ll feature great stories and campaigns — join us on FriendFeed, or follow us on Twitter. We want to help keep you connected no matter what your preference.