The Explosion of Social Networking
Recently the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released a new report on how adults use sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. One of the report’s main findings was that the share of adult Internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years – from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to a December 2008 survey.
Overall they found that social networking is more popular for personal use than professional use, and most adults are using online social networks, like Facebook, to connect with people they already know.
Last week Facebook passed its five-year mark and now has over 150 million users (70% joined in 2008 alone). The company suggests that their rapid growth can be attributed to a safe and trusted environment where everyone can have a “voice to express ideas and initiate change.”
Several nonprofits in the U.S. are using social networking as a way to engage and inform constituents. Green For All, a nonprofit that promotes green-collar jobs and opportunities for the disadvantaged is on many social media channels, including Facebook, where it has over 3,500 “fans.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a nonprofit newspaper, is using the social networking site Twitter, a platform for sharing quick and short updates. Compared to Facebook’s 150 million users, Twitter, the younger of the two, has about 5 million members, and 5,000 to 10,000 new accounts open daily.
Resources for Nonprofits:
- Philanthropy Front and Center blog: A map is worth a thousand words: Guest post by nonprofit technology strategist John Kenyon after a presentation at the Foundation Center in San Francisco on February 26, 2009.
- Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media – Creating Your Organization’s Social Media Strategy Map
- Twestival – Feb. 12 Twitter event in over 100 cities worldwide to raise funds for charity: water, a non-profit whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Read the New York Times article.
- The Pew Internet Project Data Memo: Twitter and Status Updating (6 pages, PDF)
- Netsquared shares blogs, a Facebook group page and other social media to further its mission “to spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations.”
- Nonprofits on Facebook
- Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page: What’s Better?
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy – How Nonprofits can Build Awareness and Raise Money with Facebook, Twitter and Other Social-Networking Tools (Transcripts of Live Expert Interviews) – Nov. 2008 and Feb. 2009.
- Why every nonprofit needs a social media strategy | SPURspectives
- We Are Media Project: The Social Media Starter Kit for Nonprofits
- The Essential Guide to Social Media