Sep 18, 2009

Using social media to fight political corruption

An amazing thing happened a few days ago. An independent organization used viral video and social media to strike a huge blow against political corruption.

ACORN is an organization meant to assist low-income families with social needs and issues. They help people register to vote, find affordable housing, and secure health care, for example.

ACORN was at the center of a huge voter registration scandal during the 2008 election, and the organization gave millions of dollars to the Obama campaign.

Additionally, they were set to receive billions of dollars in funding from the federal government. $8.5 billion, to be exact.

Their funding was recently cut off, however, due to the unearthing of a massive scandal involving ACORN employees.

Independent activitsts in cities all over the country entered ACORN offices earlier this month with hidden cameras in hopes to uncover corruption within the ACORN organization. Uncover they did, as ACORN employeess offered assistance with prostitution, child prostitution, drugs and other crimes.

Armed with only their hidden cameras, these activists started posting their stories to blogs and on YouTube. As the number of hits and views started climbing, the story gained momentum on a national stage. The work of these social media users has created a huge buzz on the national political landscape.

Eventually, their work led to the House of Representatives voting to cut off funding for ACORN.

To me, this story is another lesson on the power of social media. When we create our own media, we are no longer the passive receptors of other peoples' opinions and agendas. We set our own agendas. We report our own news. We get our own results.

Sep 16, 2009

Five SM accounts everyone needs

You can't avoid social media. Chances are you’ve talked about it with friends, you’ve had meetings about it at work, and you’ve read stories about it in the news. Probably all three, actually... every day.

Social Media channels are becoming the avenue of choice for companies, entertainers, news outlets, politicians and other public figures and entities to share critical information. I’m guessing you don’t want the information to pass you by, and therefore here for your convenience are five SM sites with which you NEED to have an account.

1. Blogger. Blogger is one of the world’s most popular blogging platforms. Creating your own blogger profile will not only enable you to start your own blog, but you’ll be able to easily browse others and leave your own comments. Trust me: Nobody likes anonymous comments.

2. Facebook. Facebook has 300 million users around the world, and it’s time you got on board. Not only is Facebook a site in which you can connect with colleagues and friends, but you’ll be able to view pictures and content from causes, organizations, companies and others through Facebook Pages.

3. Twitter. Twitter, the unique microblogging platform, is probably the fastest-growing social media site in the genre. Millions of people are tweeting interesting things every day, and while you probably don’t care about most of it, I guarantee there are Tweeters out there that you DO care about.

4. YouTube. A YouTube account allows you to both upload your own videos and leave comments on others’ videos. You haven’t really lived until you’ve uploaded your own video to YouTube.

5. LinkedIn. A platform for professional networking, LinkedIn allows you to connect with business associates and colleagues. You can upload resumes, update work experience, join professional groups and lead discussions.

Visit the sites above and create your own free profile. It really won’t take you very long. Link them all to your primary email address, and make sure to upload a real picture of yourself (so you aren’t that annoying, faceless, blank avatar that everyone hates).

Having an account with the social media sites mentioned above will give you access to vast amounts of new information, as well as the ability to leave comments and create your own media.

Sep 2, 2009

Hallelujah! Facebook enables pages to link to Twitter

I wrote a while ago about linking your personal Facebook page to Twitter. It's just another way to simplify the update process, I guess.

Well now Facebook has gone and done us one better.

As one who operates a corporate Facebook Page and Twitter Account, I've often wished the two platforms could be linked like my personal accounts. It becomes cumbersome to post the same information in different channels. My wishes were in vain, however, because it was impossible to link Facebook Pages with Twitter.

Until now.

Thank you Facebook.