In the Social Media Kitchen with TechSoup Chefs at NSAC 2010

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Poster from We End Violence(This has been reposted from the Nonprofit Commons website. You can see the original post here.)

As we mentioned on the blog, TechSoup's online community staffers along with expert consultants presented at the NSAC (National Sexual Assault Conference) hosted by CALCASA  (California Coalition Against Sexual Assault). The five of us social media "chefs" set up our TechSoup social media kitchen at the conference lounge, where folks could drop-in during the conference and get one-on-one help with their social media questions.

We kicked off our tech kitchen with a presentation Social Media: Listen First. Janet Fouts, Susan Tenby, and I discussed the most important part of any social media strategy: listening. Social media is all about joining in the conversation and just like a face-to-face conversation, you want to be an attentive listener for your supporters. Our resource list from the presentation has more information. In addition, Janet's website has a terrific list of listening tools, as does Beth Kanter's wiki.

Day 2 was a presentation from Jessica Dally, Evonne Heyning, Susan Tenby, and I on Multimedia Storytelling and Events where we explored the importance of telling your story in a compelling way to engage users with your cause. Evonne gave several examples of anti-violence groups, such as The Girl Effect and We End Violence that have effectively used video to tell their story in a compelling way. Many conference-goers noted the terrific posters on display from We End Violence that took a direct approach, with a touch of humor to bring attention to an important issue.

Helping out in the TechSoup kitchen was a terrific opportunity for us to meet with nonprofit workers in person and really get a sense of the kinds of issues that they are dealing with in their every day work. We addressed a range of questions from, "How do I get Twitter and Facebook to connect with one another?" to "Should you have a public Facebook page when privacy and confidentiality are big concerns?" to "What's the best way to collaborate online with a group of people?" I also let folks know about a free resource they might not know about, the TechSoup forums, which is open to anyone to post technology questions anytime and get expert answers.

We also met some amazing, inspirational folks doing important work on sexual violence issues. Among them were Chai and Shannon of Hollaback DC, Ann Turner from National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), and Shamra Goy of Family Support Center in Washington. You can view all of their video profiles here.

A big thanks to CALCASA for having us again this year!

What's your biggest social media question? Post it here in the Emerging Technology forum and get expert answers.