Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CauseWired - Tom Watson

I’m reading CauseWired by Tom Watson at the moment. Even though it was only published two years ago, there are parts of it that are already achingly out of date. I’m about a third of the way through, and while most of the time I’ve been thinking ‘mate, you’re preaching to the converted here’, I’m starting to see some relevance for some of the ideas Watson is trying to get across.
So far the basic ideas that are being proposed are:
  1. social media tools, although not solutions in the themselves, are great opportunities for causes to reach audiences
  2. target audiences (i.e. everyone) are already established on social media and are comfortable using it to voice opinion and have public conversations - exactly the things causes need to generate in order to raise awareness (and resources)
  3. by using social media tools, resources have wider reach, a longer life (i.e. conversations and campaigns can exist permanently) and audiences feel less intruded on
Nothing too new there, but great nonetheless.
Something I’ve also been spending a lot of time thinking about is measurement and social media. There is no gold-standard of measurement yet, so social media metrics are budding up all over the place. Some people think this is gimmicky and terrible, others think it’s a great place to start developing the standard. I tend to agree with the latter (it’s how big market players have developed in all other areas, isn’t it? Who’s to say standards can’t go the same way?). So how do resource-poor, transparent, cause-based organisations demonstrate that their social media efforts are worth it?
How much effort should be put into proving that anyway? It’s tough, but worth looking at.
Originally posted here.