Philly Net Squared is a collection of non-profit agencies and activists who share best practices on how to take advantage of technology. Last Tuesday, they had their monthly event at the Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street. Last week's topic was "How can we use social media to strengthen a community and effect change?" The Facebook invitation said "While national issues can dominate the airwaves, it's dialog at the grassroots level that impacts you and your local communities the most. All politics might be local, but what tools can you use to change your community and communicate more effectively with your neighbors? Our next Philly Net Tuesday will feature organizations that use social media to do just that." Interested parties who can not attend events can watch the live Internet stream at http://phillynetsquared.org/live, and share comments and questions via Twitter with the hashtag #phlnet2.
The panelists were (in alphabetical order):
- Brian Loughnane (Philly Field Organizer, Nextdoor: https://nextdoor.com/)
- Bob Seeley (Group Administrator, Living in Germantown Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivinginGermantown/)
- Kim Massare (President, Lower Moyamensing Civic Association: http://www.lomophilly.org/)
- Mike Lyons (Publisher, West Philly Local: www.westphillylocal.com/)
- Sarah Glover (Social Media Editor, NBC10: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/)
- Tim Wisniewski (Director of Civic Technology, Philadelphia: http://phila.gov/)
- Tivoni Devor (Vice President, Newbold Neighbors Association: http://www.newboldneighbors.org/)
Most people think when it comes to the internet, there is only one way to go and that's going international. I came away from that event with three new ways to help my clients use the internet to go local.
1) www.batchgeo.com - The website says "Maps tell a story, see what you're missing. We love maps, and we think they should be easy to make - that's why we made BatchGeo. It's the fastest way to build Google maps from your data. It accepts addresses, intersections, cities, states, and postal codes. We do the hard work of figuring out where all your data lives in the real world." My clients will be able to target specific areas based on data like the existing customer list to reach more customers in their own backyards.
2) www.nextdoor.com -Over 18,000 communities across the U.S. are using Nextdoor to strengthen their neighborhoods. The tag line says "When neighbors start talking, good things happen." The website says "
Connect with your neighbors to stay informed and share useful local information. Look out for each other and send updates to keep the neighborhood safe. Share goods and recommendations
Find a great babysitter or trusty dentist. Borrow a ladder or sell that old bookcase." This can easily cut down traffic time to get information!
3) www.textblast.org - Philly's own @Timwis (on Twitter) built this FREE text messaging application for organizations. This is very useful for my clients who are just starting with technology. Not every business or person has a website but there are only a small minority of people without access to a cellular phone.
This is just a tidbit or breadcrumb of the information that was shared. Be sure to join Philly NetSquared on the First Tuesday of every month to learn and implement best practices in your business or organization.
For more information: subscribe to the Newman Networks Newsletter, follow Newman Networks on Facebook and view our upcoming events, including the 4th Annual Newman Networks/The Credit Woman Business Technology Expo on September 29th, 2013 at Chamounix Mansion at http://newmannetworks.eventbrite.com