I've been inspired by this community for a long time - from being mentored by Britt Bravo when first starting a little Net2 chapter in Vancouver (which Elijah van der Giessen and team have turned into something huge and magnificently helpful), to being inspired by Amy Sample Ward to grow conversations and dig deeper. I've been quiet in this space for a little while - more practitioner than trainer. But at this point, I'd like to help give back.
With a couple friends at Green Memes, we're trying to create a new resource for the #nptech community -- a free guide for the next generation of online organizers.
We see a bit of a challenge out there: there are still thousands of people campaigning for change who are still a bit befuddled by how to rock the social web. We hear from community organizers all the time: How do I break through on Facebook? I don't tweet--why should I? Or - how do I get a ton more Twitter followers? What's a meme? Or - how do I make one? Where's a 1-2-3 starter kit for setting my social media strategy? How do I know if I'm making an impact? What are some success stories I can learn from? What's some advice for getting started? I've more and more wished there was a one stop guide I could respond to folks with when these questions come up. And indeed there are: there's the great We are Media project, the SocialBrite blog, the NOI toolbox, the Social by Social Handbook, and an array of rich and super helpful books by folks like Beth Kanter and Amy Sample Ward & Allyson Kapin.
Yet, still, there feels like there may be a niche for a guide. One that's free, and lean enough to read in one afternoon if you really wanted to. One that's got everything you need to go from online beginner to social media superstar (or just about). One that's cram-packed with the latest strategy, tips, and cutting-edge examples for wiring your campaign forward. A pdf you can email somebody, and say, "Check page 10-12 for tips on how to engage deeply on Facebook - but make sure to read the whole thing too."
We basically are setting out to make a guide that could maybe help turn thousands of social justice campaigners -- into social justice campaigners with social media wings. We want to help anyone's who's pushing for change unlock the power of networks to help their projects fly.
So, we did what a bunch of people with wingnut ideas do. We put the idea on a site like StartSomeGood (or in this case, Kickstarter) - and we're raising money to help bring this guide to life. You can check out our project page here: http://kck.st/16nwqF8
But here's the thing: we're not really raising money for ourselves -- we're mostly raising money to bring on 10 of the top all-stars from our field. Already, we have confirmed chapter authors from 350.org, Greenpeace, Peaceful Uprising, and the New Organizing Institute. And we're on the look out for more.
And we want your wisdom too. Throughout the guide, we're going to feature bites of hard-earned advice and micro-stories from the folks who are pushing the boundaries of wired organizing. If you think you might want to make a contribution to the guide, please let us know via this quick form.
And since we're doing an online fundraising campaign to bring this project to life, we'd of course appreciate any spare funds. But more than your money: we want your input. If you've been working on online savvy campaigns and have a lesson, bit of advice, or story you'd really like to pass on: please let us know.
And if you have other ideas, please let us know about those too. We're not quite as a blaze-trailing as to make a Wiki-book, but we want this project to be as collaborative as possible. You can drop me an email at Joe@GreenMemes.org.
Also, just to put it out there: we're also hoping to surpass our fundraising goal to the tune of $3,500. Why? So we can take the guide on the road this July, and train hundreds of environmental justice activists in a dozen cities on the latest best practices in rocking the web for change. They say we're going to have quite a summer for the climate movement, and we want to lend a hand. And all those trainings, and the memes we'll likely make - they'll be free too.
Thanks friends. I look forward to your thoughts, and continued mentorship. This should be fun.