For our mutual convenience, here’s a link dictionary of networking, public engagement and coalition building terms used in entries throughout The Coalitionist. I’ll periodically update and expand it as new terms and new definitions are used in this blog.
Tag Archives: Resources
If you feel that you and your coalition or network members are talking past one another, you might try mediating the conversation through Wordle.net. (Another take on this concept with richer features can be found at http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/.)
Wordle describes itself as a tool “for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes” to emphasize differences in frequency of use.
Wordle’s real beauty is that it gives you an easily understood quantitative visual analysis of whether you and your audiences are using the same language to talk about common issues and concerns.
It’s not just text responses that you can run through Wordle. Some use it to analyze how people are tagging content (see http://www.wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/505252/WRI_Delicious_Tags:_4_Feb_2009) to see if the language they use is the same as that of their audiences. (This visual example of a Wordle chart may take some time to load.)
All in all, it’s a good, fast way to mid-course reality check whether you and those you’re trying to motivate are talking about the same things in the same way.
I stumbled across a recent account from the communications staff at Missouri University of Science and Technology about using a del.icio.us account to keep track of their online news stories and blog posts.
Their insight: while using del.icio.us makes it easier to track media coverage, it also provides a potent tool for measuring and analyzing the impact of their media relations activities since del.icio.us shows you which stories are being saved by others (one indication of popularity).
It’s Sunday. I haven’t an original thought in mind. So here’s a link to a compendium of The Measurement Standard’s coverage of social media, social media measurement and social media ROI.
You can’t deny the appeal of MySpace and Facebook if you’re trying to organize thought and action around an issue or project – unless you’re a corporate IT manager (but that’s a whole ‘nother story).
Social sites command large audiences whose members potentially can become your advocates. And by listening to their conversations, you can get ideas and feedback on how to improve your outreach and advocacy.
But how do you know that you’re making a real impact with Facebook, et al? And how do you get the numbers and analysis that enables you to report back results that are meaningful and understandable to other, perhaps less Web 2.0-savvy members of your organizations.
At least some answers to those questions can be found in this article from The Measurement Standard. It provides some simple benchmarks, as well as a framework for how to go about measuring your social site presence.
It also underscores implicitly a key point about social media’s impact on most organizations and their communicators.
Most issues, most groups, aren’t going to move the needle on an issue by sheer numbers. The real value comes from the insights and analysis gained from relatively unfiltered access to people who’ve just proven they care enough, or are interested enough, to act. And action is the most important attribute you want from potential allies or coalition members when pressing for change.
So here are some easy online stats generators that you can use either for self-aggrandizement or for measuring and fine-tuning your professional or organizational blog or online presence:
- Conduct a weekly Facebook search on your, your organization and your competition (ditto for whatever social utility you use).
- Go to www.xinureturns.com and see how your URLs rate.
- Visit www.compete.com and see how you stack up against the competition.
- Go to http://www.kineda.com/are-you-an-a-list-bloglebrity/ to rank your “bloglebrity status.”
It’s easier to build trust and motivate people when you can marshal and provide the right facts; that is, information that strengthens rather than distorts public decision making.
Found at the Society for Professional Journalists, the Toolbox provides an extensive collection of links to search tools, election coverage, First Amendment issues, jobs, education resources (high school and college), Investigative Reporters and Editors and other data/statistics sites, and links to topical issues (terrorism, floods, etc.).