Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Use Social Media to Become a Better Informed, More Engaged Citizen | Heather Sundell, Technology on D

Blogger Heather Sundell notes she was "a silly, self-involved twenty-something" who changed into "a socially conscious and responsible individual in just a year." And she did so by using Twitter.

She writes:

Prior to using Twitter for this purpose, I had mostly thought of the platform as a fun way to express mundane thoughts no one would have ever known about before this 140 character limit messaging platform. Little did I know that many other people used it as a genuine news source.
Sundell describes some steps she took and now recommends for using social media, especially Twitter, to become better informed. It's good advice for people who need a starting place.

Using social media, people can link to articles, websites, blogs, videos and so on to find much deeper, more thoughtful information and opinion than what's available in 140 characters in Twitter.
Sundell writes: 
I tested the water with Forbes, The Huffington Post, and even the Wall Street Journal. Pretty soon I was hooked on reading current events, and before I knew it, I was invested in the election.

My social and political knowledge didn’t stop there. Twitter was just my gateway drug. ...
Of course, social media aren't the end point in that process. Responding to that information and opinion is the essential next step. Sundell doesn't say much about using social media to get more engaged; that is, to become an activist or advocate for whatever the cause, issue or concern raised in those social media links to other websites.

But that activism is possible using social media, and most advocacy groups make it easy to use it that way--as one method for getting your voice heard by decision-makers. Traditional methods also are essential--from writing letters to your representatives, not only signing online petitions, to calling and meeting with your representatives; from attending rallies and workshops to voting, of course!

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Sundell's article is featured today, Feb. 20, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Good Cause Communications, available at the Nonprofit Communications tab above and by free email subscription.


1 comment:

  1. Through a well-planned social strategy, delving into these conversations is where your company can better understand the customer and learn the strengths and weaknesses of what your company does, whether it pertains to your services, products, promotions or even to your own employees or key competitors.

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