I went to a seminar a few months back about nonprofit marketing. The seminar leader, Katya Andresen, of Network for Good, talked about how important it is for nonprofits to become engaged in the Internet communication phenomenon, popularly referred to as Web 2.0. Her remarks got me to thinking about that, and I have begun to dabble in this Web 2.0 thing to see what all the fuss is about.
First, I joined Facebook. That is definitely an interesting experience. Sure wish it had been around when I was a youngster! The idea is to create a page for yourself, using the prompts they provide – schools job, interests, photos, that sort of thing. Then you locate your friends who also have Facebook pages and invite them to become a Facebook friend. Both of my kids have several hundred friends on Facebook. The have all their school chums, the kids they met at camps, various school activities, and their friends’ friends, too, in some cases.
It is actually very cool, being able to stay in contact with people you know from all those different compartments of your life. When I was growing up, I would get to know someone at, say, church camp really well. We would write for awhile after we returned home, but then life interferes, and we would lose touch. With Facebook, it’s much easier, because you see their Facebook page updates, make comments, share memories, stay connected.
I have a humiliating 18 Facebook friends. Katya Andresen said in her presentation that contrary to popular belief the average age of a Facebook user is in their 40s. Well, very few of my 40-something or 50-something friends have found the need to join, so I am not sure where she is coming up with that number. I have even tried to convince my friends to join. Only one taker so far, and she already has more friends on her page than I have! I have even resorted to adding my kids’ friends as my friends, and still have only 18. I keep remembering people I have known over the years, searching for their names to see if they have a Facebook page. Rarely a ‘hit,” sigh.
But I’m not giving up. Even if I have very few friends. I keep adding to my page, checking the pages of the few friends I have, looking for new friends, basically being a web geek. Now, I am not quite sure what having a Facebook page has to do with nonprofit marketing yet, but I’m sure I will figure it out someday. Meanwhile, I’m having fun learning.