Condensed version of “7 Social Media Secrets”

Thanks to Roger for the link to “7 Secrets About Social Media, Revealed” from But the post was based on 2009 data, so I’m not sure the link is worth forwarding without comment. Here, though, are a few points that may relate to the AAUW Social Media discussions. My point of view is that of a member of the AAUW communications team, and here are four of the seven points that resonate with me.

Facebook is all about pictures.

Yep, I can’t tell you how many of my friends joined Facebook only to view the photo albums posted there. Pictures get more comments and likes than status updates. And my “top comments” recent post was a video.

What does this tell us? Include pictures with the AAUW news and notes!

90% of twitter posts are from 10% of the users

Again the study is a bit dated, but since this follows the general rule of content creation in other contexts, it’s probably generally right. I’m not sure what this tells  us. Since I’m not a power user of twitter –

  • I follow about 200 people, but just take snapshots of the whole list, without trying to use multiple lists for different purpose
  • That means I’m not really taking advantage of twitter as a listening post
  • I don’t make much effort to increase my followers
  • I feel much closer to the “friends” on Facebook (where I made a conscious choice to allow them to read my posts), so I often send my tidbits out into the Facebook world rather than twitter

So who actually reads all of those posts? As Kivi Leruox Miller pointed out at NCTech4Good 2010, it’s perfectly okay to repeat yourself on twitter since no one catches everything you say each time you say it.

My current view is that as @nes49 I’m writing for a very few people. As @aauwnc and @ncwu I leverage the tweets to a broader audience (@aauwnc goes to and to the weekly newsletter generated from that;  @ncwu gets archived for the NCWU e-newsletter).

Most people don’t click on ads in Social Media networks

Well, yeah. Most people don’t click on ads anywhere. But the numbers can work for you if your expectations are realistic. The AAUW Social Media Task Force discussions have some examples of using ads.

At the 2009 AAUW convention, I discussed an experience with Facebook events (see slides 13-17) and it might be instructive to run an experiment to see how running an ad improves attendance at an event.

Social networks are most effective when they address failures in offline networks

The AAUW Social Media Task Force’s Facebook page may be an excellent example of how offline networks need a supplement. How would all of those folks have found each other without something like Facebook? While I have AAUW friends from around the country because I’ve been active at the national level and have attended national conventions, the earlier way of connecting (e-mail lists) just doesn’t hold a candle to being able to connect with people on Facebook.

What I hear from the Facebook averse is a fear of more information overload and that they “just don’t have the time”. However, what I find with Facebook is that it is much easier to “keep up with” friends by skimming their short posts and comments. But the real benefit for me, again as a member of a communications team, is that it’s easier to put information out into the world where those who consider it interesting can find it. And I don’t have to worry about its being just “more e-mail clutter” that everyone will ignore.

Perhaps social media doesn’t make sense unless you are one of those who see its benefit as a publishing platform, who have things to say that aren’t directed to particular people, who want to get on board with this “anyone can be a broadcaster” new world. If that’s not you (yet), I recommend reading Clay Shirky — either Here Comes Everybody or the newer Cognitive Surplus (which I’m just starting).

AAUW NC social media history

[This is another post whose original version went to the webmgrs list at AAUW.]

AAUW NC has had

  • a mailing list open to all members since 1997 or so with more specialized lists (for branch presidents, state leaders) for several years. These are set up as “discussion lists” but only a few people ever post.
  • an RSS feed since about 2005, which (theoretically) offers a way to subscribe to the news
  • a twitter account since 2007 or so (originally set up as a to retweet web site posts marked as “announcements” and encouraging folks to “subscribe via your phone”),
  • and a Facebook page since ?? (maybe late 2008 or sometime in 2009).

These are integrated in the following ways

  • Major news items are posted on the web site.
  • Twitter is used to tweet the titles of the web posts and is used for some “extra” news that doesn’t make it onto the web site.
  • Facebook pulls in the full text of the web posts via RSS. Most of the auxiliary twitter posts are also posted there along with, sometimes, more explanations and context
  • closing the loop, the web site pulls in the facebook news feed on
  • every once in a great while the web site (and some Facebook) “headlines” are summarized in an e-newsletter to the all-members mailing list.


  • used to read the RSS feed from the web site and repost to twitter
  • used to post items to Facebook and Twitter at the same time
  • tweetree used to read/post as @nes49  – a browser based client that doesn’t have the advanced “listening” features of something like tweetdeck or hootsuite but does have “real names” and threaded discussions which really help me understand the messages.
  • twirl used to manage “organization” twitter accounts, making it easy to be both @aauwnc and @ncwu
  • The website posts are imported to Facebook using the notes application — doesn’t always work correctly (and seems to be particularly problematic today, sigh).

An  earlier part of the conversation mentioned using Facebook to reach college/university populations. AAUW NC uses it to reach Facebook members in general, and doesn’t gear it for C/U communication in particular. There are many nonmember fans of the page, but few of those are on campuses. They are mostly friends of fans or come from connections through our allied organizations.

None of these communication avenues have a broad reach, and I don’t spend much time on analytics. From anecdotal evidence, I have to believe that the Facebook page is doing a better job of reaching our members. On the other hand, since we’ve set up the page we’ve cut back on our “e-newsletter” publications, and I’m sure we’re missing some people who haven’t “liked” the page, don’t use Facebook at all, and never check the News page on the web site. So we’re going back to basics and looking at better use of a mailing list, which is still the way many people prefer to get their news.  As for nonmembers — twitter and Facebook both reach folks who might not have heard about us otherwise — but we’ve not been  as intentional about the outreach as we might have been.

For more on the general topic of setting up a marketing plan and using new (and old) media, I’d recommend Kivi Leroux Miller’s new book “The Nonprofit Marketing Guide”  (amazon link). It has a number of practical tips, some of which are aimed at larger organizations. But I found it useful to read in the context of a branch/state marketing plan, most of which fall into her “marketing department of one” target audience. See for more. [I’m rereading it now — let me know if you’re interested in a virtual book discussion.]

See also

When is a Google group not a Google group?

Okay, change is hard. And “software as a service” leaves you open to change at the whim of the service provider. I suppose I’ll get used to it one of these days.

As background, I spend a lot of my time setting up support for virtual offices. This usually means crafting e-mail alias lists for addresses like “” where it’s a really good idea to have more than one person monitoring the e-mail. [You then do need a protocol for who answers the mail, but that’s another discussion.]

As more background, most of the sites I work on are hosted at Dreamhost, a very large, but still quirky, hosting company. As an ex UNIX sysadmin, I love the way they offer a select group of software installs that often give me just what I need without the effort of sorting through the myriad of options that are available. They do, however, have a less than stellar reputation for hosting e-mail. So when they started offering Google Apps for Domains hosted with them, I jumped at the chance to move my domain’s mail service to Google.

Anyway, for the first few sites, I was merrily creating my “” addresses using the “e-mail address” function.

Sometime last month, that just “went away”. It wasn’t possible to set up an address that pointed to more than one external address.

But wait! There’s a new option “group”.  Oh, I guess that’s good — having a Google Group “attached” to the domain. But the overhead of setting up a whole Google group just to get quick alias list?  [Yes, I’ve been known to use Mailman for a 3-person list when there was no other easy way to edit the alias. But I’m reformed.]

So today I finally tried it, and it turns out their “group” really is just a list of addresses — with minimal Google group functionality. [You can limit who can post to the address, but there’s no footer, no subscription page, no files attached to the thing.]

So… What looked like a change really wasn’t much of one. Probably would have been obvious to most of you…

Any lessons here?

Transcript of #fem2 twittercast from 1/18

I’m not sure anyone’s interested in this, but since there’s a follow on discussion on Sunday night, I’m posting my version of the discussion of Sunday the 18th. To see how the program has actually been written up, see

Threaded discussion from #fem2 twittercast, 1/18/2009

This transcript attempts to reorder the tweets of the twittercast into threads. Apologies for any misunderstandings. For the raw data, go to

  • Fem2pt0 good evening, everyone! time to get this twittercast started: what issues should we cover at Fem2.0?
  • GloPan: Fair Pay, obviously. And healthcare, work-family balance, how women are depicted in the media…
    • nes49: Would case studies on how GloPan’s topics get pushed through web 2.0 channels be appropriate?
  • MadamaAmbi: if I were going to be in attendance, I would want to discuss how to make a movement 2.0
    • blogdiva @MadamaAmbi “how to make a movement” is really a good topic. i have no idea how that is “instigated” or if it can be, for that matter
    • Jillmz re: how to make a movement-it’s amazing the different ways that can happen-many routes to expression/activism, might depend on issue
  • ktdagroovecat: @fem2pt0 generational divide! says the resident fem2.0 millennial :)
  • Luci_Kali: perhaps what to anticipate in the 1st 100 days of Obama’s administration in regards to women’s rights, health
  • cameronreilly @blogdiva I launched a podcast about feminism last year but it didn’t catch up
  • Jillmz I’m interested in rules of engagement: how do we not talk past each other, as well as people w/whom we’re disagreeing on an issue
  • veronicaeye But do want to know what media topics peeps want coverd
    • nes49 @veronicaeye – media topics? would the (relatively) new “mom’s spaces” appearing on newspaper sites count? a venue for feminism?
  • MadamaAmbi @Fem2pt0 this is so important…I have much to say on this…
  • GloPan I am constantly amazed by how many women’s blogs and ventures there are on the Internet, all seemingly doing it on their own.
    • MadamaAmbi @GloPan yep…we need to unify in order to leverage our power
      • dianamarie @MadamaAmbi Excellent! Alliances must be formed across divdes to make a real difference for all women!
    • blogdiva @GloPan what do you mean by that? i mean, blogs were supposed to be about doing it on your own w/o corporate leashes
    • Jillmz I agree w/ @GloPan re: how many individual blogs/ventures; its independence that entices us to speak out, but how can we find others
    • GloPan Blogs should be independent, but single voices speaking on different things not as powerful as many speaking about 1 thing at once.
  • Jillmz I think Fem2pt0 is a great example of gravitating for better, more impact (we hope, right!?) but what else can we be doing?
  • FaithFeminism @Fem2pt0 What new (tech-y?) methods can we utilize to connect feminist leaders with “grassroots” activists?
  • Jillmz making alliances goes back to last week in that it can feel risky to step up when it might involve giving up some independence
  • MadamaAmbi I’m getting a little ahead of this convo, but we need a 5 yr plan & a 10 yr plan
  • blogdiva we also need to talk about money. raising money for this event has been like pulling teeth because people don’t want to fund feminists
  • GloPan Campaign idea: For one week, we all agree to reach out to 3 blogs a day and invite them to Fem2.0 site.
    • GloPan Of course, there needs to be more substance on issues on the Fem2.0 site.
    • HopeChat @GloPan good evening, I think that is a good idea
  • MadamaAmbi @blogdiva that’s why we need to workaround this reality and stream/video/webcam
    • GloPan @MadamaAmbi We are working on it – I think it’s going to happen, just can’t promise at this point.
    • blogdiva @MadamaAmbi i have to double check but am sure webcasting is being taken care of
  • MadamaAmbi can we talk about why ppl are afraid of feminists/feminism?
    • Tifanei @MadamaAmbi please do
    • Tifanei @MadamaAmbi I took a Gender & New Media class where we addressed this question. The answers were infuriating, but good lesson learned.
    • MadamaAmbi we’re in a double-bind as feminists. We are trying to take power without upsetting anyone…!!!…
      • GloPan @MadamaAmbi But there are also those who believe that upsetting people is the way to get people to pay attention.
      • GloPan I think the fearlessness about upsetting people is a part of the feminism brand that a lot of people don’t like.
        • MadamaAmbi @GloPan women being put in foreground is upsetting enuf! Don’t have to work at it,imo!
        • MadamaAmbi @GloPan agree! But I am fearless, that’s a fact. I have nothing to lose.
        • dianamarie @GloPan While fearlessness of upsetting people is ok for other activist causes it’s so “anti-woman” that with feminism it burns more.
          • GloPan @dianamarie So true. I worked on the breast implant issue for a while, and the derision over the feminist aspects of it totally GloPan ovrshadowed/buried the real threat to women’s health and their families’ economic security
          • MadamaAmbi @dianamarie you make a really important point…could be a topic all by itself…breaking the archetype open
      • Tifanei personally I am not trying to GET power I think I’m trying to stop people who think they can allocate my already established .
  • Jillmz so…there’s communication & engagement; participation & funding; issues – maybe those are general categories for topics?
  • ktdagroovecat re: topics: need to offer lessons on “online activism,” not just giving money, but using fb page as soapbox & being thought leader
  • GloPan How do we get the millions of women online to become activists? They have the opinions, but just are not connected to the issues.
    • Jillmz @GloPan that kind of thing has come up when issues involve mothers but the group has many women who are not mothers
      • blogdiva @Jillmz oh lord have mercy … that focusing on mothers is taking the attention away from them (or something like that) :P
      • Jillmz @blogdiva LOL I know I know!! lol
      • Jillmz @Jillmz but to be fair…. now… :) I don’t blog my momness a ton, but when solid feminist issues come up…and I throw in my perspective, which is as a mom (cuz I am one), I get some really hateful stuff back; we need to be helpful
      • Jillmz that’s the whole point of engaging: so we BUILD on our different perspectives, make the activism stronger, more universal
      • GloPan @Jillmz Ha! We need to be saints!
        • Jillmz @GloPan LOL You mean…we aren’t? :)
        • MadamaAmbi @GloPan maybe we need to teach/learn how to argue productively…
          • Tifanei @MadamaAmbi and isn’t strong rhetoric the key to everything
            • ktdagroovecat @Tifanei absolutely! can’t be afraid to talk about it, not with anyone. first step is always communication, i think
            • MadamaAmbi @Tifanei dunno. I didn’t study rhetoric, studied psychotherapy, drama, lit, voice
            • Jillmz some conversations w/potential allies regarding race have had to deal w/some of these issues of communication, yes?
            • Tifanei @MadamaAmbi well I am… and it is. In my opinion of course. It’s how any face of a movement did it.
            • MadamaAmbi @Tifanei I’m listening!
            • Tifanei @MadamaAmbi well it depends on which theory you want to consider. All the good ones use relativity to connect with anyone.
            • Tifanei the strongest, most influential argument. It’s the art of influential speech. How can you fail if you’ve mastered an art???
            • MadamaAmbi @Tifanei sounds reasonable. Can u recommend a book/text/resource to study?
    • MadamaAmbi @GloPan one at a time, relationship by relationship, creating connections across issues, cross-pollinating, what we R doing right here
    • Jillmz some of this goes back to how do we engage w/each other, communication, so we don’t talk past each other
    • myrnatheminx Women have to be courageous enough to jump into things regardless of level of “expertise” We talk ourselves out of things
    • Jillmz I was just looking over the sessions listed right now – it is AMBITIOUS!
    • terrizsoloceo @3keyscoach @blogdiva is doing a feminist conversation thing #fem2 I think!
    • GloPan Join Fem2pt0 Twittercast on Tweetchat, room #fem2
    • Tifanei You consider how the audience is going to interpret your message. You consider why they would have different interps and come up with
    • Jillmz fems, I need to turn in – getting excited for 2/2 thanks for engaging, letting me engage :)
    • GloPan @nerdette Yes, let’s end the Mommy Wars! #fem2
    • GloPan Thanks everyone. Same time next week: Why men should be feminists. And we can have one more nite before confrence. Ideas anyone?
    • dianamarie As much as I’m loving the #fem2 discussion it’s time to either work or hit the sack. Haven’t decided which, but either way… ‘night tweeps!