Just a “few” Thoughts on NNM and NNP

Alright so I may have lied when I said the previous post was my last one.  Here is my review of our books from this semester!

I will start off by saying both of these books were far more interesting “textbooks” than ones I read for other classes. They each were very interesting and I learned a lot from each of them.  There were things I liked and disliked about each of them.  I feel I was more invested in Levinson’s New New Media (NNM) because our first half of the semester so much of our work relayed back to the book.  I do feel Kanter and Fine’s The Networked Nonprofit (NNP) was an excellent book, but because it wasn’t incorporated as much into class I didn’t gain as much as I could have from it.

So for this review of these two books I will go over three items for each book. I will discuss things I liked about each book, aspects I could have gone without, and what I feel I can still learn.

Review of Levinson’s New New Media

What I liked about NNM:

Levinson had a great way of providing examples and painting a picture so that those of us who are not so technically savvy could understand what he was talking about. He gives examples of YouTube sensations, and endless examples relating to politics.

NNM also went into great detail about each form of media. I thought I knew everything there was to know about sources such as Facebook, but Levinson proved me wrong by discussing areas like importance of social networking, and “hidden dimension,” once something is added to the internet, it is impossible to delete.

What I didn’t like about NNM:

Levinson seemed to use NNM as a platform to talk about himself and how savvy he is with NNM. Though personal stories can strengthen a book, I felt it became a bit much and he sounded conceited.  I know everything about Levinson’s social media experiences, science fiction books, his not-so-subtle advertising of his blog Infinite Regress, and every detail about his experience with NNM.  So at times it just felt like a reflection of his familiarity with it.

Another aspect about NNM that is kind of hypocritical of one of the items I said I liked about it was how in depth it went at times. Levinson goes in to such great detail that sometimes I found myself skimming over sections that could have been shortened up.  He repeats himself a lot and I felt the book could have been about 150 pages versus the 225 that it is.

What I learned from NNM:

Being Public Relations and Advertising minor, and wanting to pursue a career in technical writing I know how important social media is for personal and business. The book is a great introduction to rapid changes in technology and communication. One area where the book came up short is because of the rapid changes in technology, some of the newer, more important formats.  Two that come to mind was he didn’t even mention the iPad even though he discusses iPhones and iPods, or Tumblr, which is becoming a huge blogging platform. Levinson does acknowledge that because of the changes in technology it lacks “new, new media” immediacy.

Through NNM I learned how to blog.  I say learned because Levinson’s chapter on blogging wasn’t just a scholarly description about all things blogs, but rather a how-to for aspiring bloggers.  Levinson provides an easy reference point so that readers of any age or technical ability can relate. Another thing I learned about blogging is how important it is becoming in journalism itself. Traditional print journalism is on the decline, and Levinson describes bloggers as “citizen journalists” and challenges bloggers to fill the void; which by now I believe they have. Some bloggers today are working full-time blogging as journalists.

NNM also informed me about social media channels I have never even heard of before.  Even though I don’t think I’ll ever use Second Life or Digg again, I now understand how influential they are in social media. Second Life influences business aspects in real life and even education and sex. Digg changes the way we receive the news, and the type of content we may read.

Probably the most important lesson I have attained from Levinson’s NNM is the importance of personal and business networking via social media, but the precautions that need to be taken.  Whether a picture, video, or words, once something is submitted to the internet, it is there forever. So you’re college immaturities that you laughed about and posted to Facebook later, will always be somewhere on the internet.  You delete them after graduation to protect yourself while job hunting, they may not be gone even though you think they are. Other precautions Levinson discussed where being careful of spam, cyberstalking, and that because of this information overload we have, not everything you find is credible.  As NNM users we must separate “the library vs. the blogger” and be able to decipher legitimate, credible information from unreliable and opinion.

Though at times it became a bit repetitive and self-promoting, Levinson’s discussion of the new new media is an effective introduction to the new social media channels’ effect on our current media environment.

Review of Kanter and Fine’s The Networked Nonprofit

What I liked about NNP:

The Networked Nonprofit is an even better book than I thought it would be.  It has beginning points and instructions that are straightforward and easy to understand for nonprofits that are just joining the world of social media, and also more advanced instructions and reflections from larger nonprofits and their experiences with NNP.

What made the book interesting to me are all stories and the voices Kanter and Fine included. There are many examples of how nonprofit organizations, whether they are small and local, or national and worldwide organizations have used these tools and examples given.

Another thing I liked about NNP was it was so much easier to read than NNM. It was more concise and laid out more like a textbook than Levinson’s with bold words, bulleted lists, and terms. This was also helpful because the second half of the semester was extremely busy and another book like Levinson’s would have been difficult.

What I didn’t like about NNP:

There honestly wasn’t anything about this book I didn’t like. Good social media discussion talks less about the tools and more about the concepts and frameworks and this is exactly what NNP does. The examples laid forth were put to practice by organizations and NNP gives a framework so that an organization reading it can apply it to their own situation.

What I learned from NNP:

Before reading the book I didn’t understand what “networked” nonprofit was. Now I understand the steps to becoming a NNP and what should be done once you are. To become a NNP an organization must understand social networks, create a social culture, listen and build relationships, and using the network should simplify the organization, not make it more confusing, stressful, or make more work. The last step was something I tried to get across to Wellspring for the World while working with them. They were worried that everything we were doing was going to make more work and make everything more complicated.  We tried to stress to them that incorporating social media and networking that things will become simpler by acquiring free agents.

I also learned what should be done once you are in the loop or “plugged in”. Work with crowds and “microplan,” (breaking down events and efforts into smaller pieces) always be listening and learning from all members in the network and outside the network, and use the social network to communicate to those members of the network, because those relationships lead to funding.

In the first section of NNP, Kanter and Fine set straight common social media myths and discuss the major players that are involved with NNP. This is where I learned about “free agents”. Before reading NNP free agent was basically a foreign term to me, and they are a huge aspect of NNP. NNP encourages nonprofits to get out of their comfort zones and engage in conversations with free agents (bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users, and people who are passionate about nonprofit causes). Free agents make nonprofits aware of new possibilities. I plan to continue working with the Wellspring for the World Facebook page whenever I come across interesting and relevant information, and hope to continue increasing their outreach.  So through this classroom experience Wellspring has gained a free agent.

In conclusion

Both books were very interesting and I think should be used in future semesters. I would suggest finding a different book on new media just because I became annoyed with Levinson’s constant discussion of himself, but it was a good general social media learning book. Kanter and Fine’s NNP should honestly be read by every nonprofit organization looking to become more incorporated in social media. If I hadn’t read the NNP our project for class may have gone a bit differently.  It gave me ideas and examples for how I should have approached our project. The only thing I would say is encourage more blogging and incorporation of the book.

Well I feel like I had a lot of criticism, especially on NNM, but I guess that is what a book review is for! Hope this has given some insight on what people obtain from these books. Classmates please me know if you disagree or have any comments on my thoughts!


You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

You could say the second half of the semester of blogging for me was a bit of a fail.  Honestly, I found myself putting off blogging all semester. Reading the material was very interesting, but the actual act of writing the blog became daunting. This brings up two aspects that I have found are difficult about blogging in general and blogging for this class.

What makes blogging difficult for me

Okay, so I wouldn’t say it was difficult for me to blog until the second half of the semester. Possible reasons for this? I’m all about structure, a flaw yes I know, but I need direction in classes. This class had so much freedom that I found myself not keeping guidelines enough.  “Ill blog tomorrow,” except I’d say that everyday because there were no actual deadlines.  Hence, I fell behind.  With this excuse of needing structure I will also say the end of the semester in this class we were all focusing so much on our non-profit projects.  I loved this assignment because my favorite projects in school are the ones where we get to apply what we’ve learned in real world situations. But just as everyone else has been saying, this led us to become less connected than we were as a class in the beginning.

The second reason blogging became difficult for me is time. Social media takes seriously a significant amount of time out of your day!  It’s possible I’m just not too good with all this new-fangled technology and ways we connect with each other. Actually, that is exactly what it is, I’m not the most technology savvy person I know. So each day that I need to check out each form of media seems like this endless list. Check Facebook and Google+, read updated blogs, update Twitter, check my email, pin on Pinterest, and those are just the every-day sites. Never ending!

So the third reason may not apply to other people but is a huge reason why I’m not big on blogging. I can’t creatively write. In fact, I will say I hate creative writing.  Give me an assignment like out new chapter on Levinson or a book reflection on New New Media and Networked Nonprofit and I am good to go, but tell me to write what I want and I’ve got nothin’. Lame excuse I know.

Final Thoughts

In the end I can honestly say I really enjoyed this class.  It definitely was much more time consuming than I ever imagined, but was great learning and applying social media.  Social media was a huge aspect of another one of my classes this semester (a pr and advertising class) and I found through that class and 457 how big of a part social media plays in business, non-profits, and personal networking in general.  I’m still unsure if I will continue blogging after class is over, but I will definitely miss reading everyone’s unique and interesting blogs! I’m graduating this semester so congrats to those of you graduating as well and good luck to those still in school! So goodbye EC457 hello to my future!

Connecting with Social Media

Immediately upon beginning reading The Networked Nonprofit I found it very relevant and interesting.  Yes nonprofit organizations can still succeed without becoming engulfed into the social media world, but as chapter 1 says, this is the revolution of social media. The chapter breaks down these channel tools into three simple categories.

  • Conversation Starters: aka Twitter, blogs, YouTube
  • Collaboration Tools: Wikis and Google Docs
  • Network Builders: Social networking sites that are great network builders are Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Google+

My favorite part about chapter 1 was the idea that if Peggy can do it so can you. While reading about Peggy and her talking about “newfangled technology tools” and being excited about learning how to cut and paste, I couldn’t help but laugh a little and think of my parents. My dad being 65 and thinks he’s hip and modern with technology if he knows how to call his children on the cellphone (which is my mother’s cell, he refuses to get one. Relies on the ol’ landline). And if it is an emailing day for my mom I can expect at least 5 phone calls full of questions. Kanter and Fine do a great job of proving social media isn’t just for “teenie boppers” (as my dad would say), but for anyone and everyone willing to put the time into learning it. Other myths debunked in chapter 1 besides age segregation are:

  • Face to Face interaction is not dead. Social media and face to face compliment each other, not equal each other out.
  • Social media is not difficult to use or it wouldn’t be social. It takes practice and interaction but people wouldn’t use it if it were boring or too difficult.
  • Learning social media does take time, but eventually, you will accomplish more with less time with practice.

In chapter two I was interested in the stats of trends. The number of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. went up 30 percent from 1998 to 2008, approximately 13 million people work for nonprofits, make up ten percent of the economy, and though the statistic was from four years ago, in 2008 the nonprofit’s total revenue for the year was over 300 billion! I always hear about many local and national nonprofit organizations, but didn’t realize how large of a part of our economy they have come to be.

In terms of beginning working with our nonprofit organizations, I will be posting soon, but am excited of the possibilities we can bring to our organizations (as a class). 



Spring break finally!

Here’s a link to my chapter on Googleland. A bit of the layout is distorted on Google Docs, but you get the idea.

Have a great break people!

Googleland Chapter

I think I can, I think I can

This chapter may be the death of me by the end of the week. I find myself staring at the screen for five minutes before I think of a new sentence to add to a paragraph. What I have so far is definitely a rough and very incomplete draft, but here is my outline, and at the bottom of this post you can find a link to my paper.

Title: Googleland


Google+ vs. Facebook

  • Circles
  • Privacy
  • Other pros of Google+
  • Who will reign?

Google Gone Mobile

Criticism of the Social Side of Google

  • Misusing search results
  • Google bombing
  • Censorship in China

Is Google the only Social Media Platform you Need?

This unfortunately is all I have so far. Below are topics I plan to include in my chapter, but does not limit the rest of my chapter to only these things.

-Google Chrome
-Google Music
-Who does Google Own?
-Things to look for in the future of Google and new media

Feel free to check out the progress on my paper and please give me feedback! It is obviously a work in progress but any input is good 🙂

My progress on essay chapter!

I Dare You

Hidy ho everyone. Tonight I am adding a short post to look back, emphasize my lost blog post and put a little challenge on the plate for ec457. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the videos, you’re probably going to want to do that now or this post isn’t going to make much sense to you.

Dr. Brooks mentioned we will be looking at non-profit applications later this semester, but because I have brought up this video on YouTube I thought what better time than to get a head start now.  So lets help these girls reach their goals! Post their video  on your Facebook page,  (I have already done this) or Overheard at NDSU, Twitter, Google+, text your friends, do anything you want.  We’ve been practicing enough different social mediums, put them to use!

If you want even donating yourself would be awesome. I know a lot of us poor college students that may be difficult, but what’s five bucks -No coffee tomorrow morning? Oh darn.

So I dare you all to make this video viral! Then, let me know by commenting where and how you shared “Shaving Lives”.


Silence of Social Media

Happy Sunday everyone. Here is my vlog take on a great way to use YouTube.

Here is the video that inspired me! Feel free to donate to their causes 🙂



So let’s just say I’m not a professional at making YouTube videos. And as far as I can tell, this is everyone’s excuse so far.  That’s because we are English majors, we are writers! So this is what I struggled with even in my short one minute vlog.  I was constantly at a loss of words, because I didn’t have time to think!  Typing and writing allows time to develop deeper thought, instead I sat and said um, like, and didn’t really know what I was talking about. 

But don’t get me wrong, I am all for video blogs. It develops a connection that just reading a blog cannot allow.  By watching my classmate’s vlogs I know not only what they look like, but so much about their personalities by just listening to them. I think we all just need some practice.

Well anyways, here is my very short introduction to vlogging with a question for all of you.

I also wanted to show everyone a video from a seasoned vlogger, Jenna Marbles. She is the definition of a professional blogger.  Jenna started making her YouTube videos as a comic relief for the fact that instead of using her degree in communications for a job, she is a stripper. Now she’s getting paid big bucks for making her videos regularly. Notice the advertisements on while her video plays as well.

So for those of you who have not encountered this marvel of a video blogger, I don’t know where you’ve been the last year. Enjoy!

Also, if you’d like to read more about my thoughts on YouTube, check out one of my blogs from a few weeks ago, YouTube or Bust.

Chapter Googleland

Alright so I sat and thought about what I wanted to do for my essay for a long time, which is why I am posting it so late.  I wanted to do something creative, interesting, and most importantly not something everyone else was doing. All of those remained huge problems for me.  Most specifically the creative aspect.  So there’s this thing…where I am not imaginative at all! Ask me to do a creative writing paper-I panic.  It’s like I didn’t get creative gene; no fair right?

So Dr. Brooks challenged me to do a Google challenge. So I accept that challenge.  My Chapter will be…Googleland. For the weeks to come I plan to absorb myself within Google.  I plan to continue to use Google+ and expand on my usage, do all my searching with Google, install Google Chrome, Google Music, and any and all other Google applications I can find. What is everyone’s thoughts on this massive use of Google to generate an essay?

 Is it possible to have a Google overdose? Or is this the ultimate medium?

Stay tuned…


Social Media Newborn: Google+

So… I suppose it’s time to post about Google+ now that I have had almost a week to adjust.

Reading everyone’s blogs this week it seems that pretty much everything has been discussed about Google+, but I’ll give a shout out with my experience anyways.

Some neat-o things I’ve discovered on the plus?

The video chat feature on Google+ definitely one-upped Facebook. Many people would rather do video chat than regular chat, because it takes nearly less time and is far more personal.  It’s definitely no Skype, but a cool feature.

One thing I dig on plus is circles.  I still have some figuring out to do, (had some troubles initially entering our class circle) but I think it’s a beneficial feature to the site.  Often on Facebook I may want to post something for only my family to see, or only my friends to see.  They do allow posts to be blocked to individual people, but you have to type each name in.

Not so rad on the plus?

I go on social networking sites like Facebook (and before that Myspace and Xanga) to talk with my friends and family. Well…I don’t know anyone on Google+ yet!  Besides out #ec457 circle, I have a handful of other friends who actually use the site. Yes I know, I must be patient, but a social networking site isn’t too much fun when you have no one to be social with!

I won’t be the one to say Google+ is my new favorite social networking site, but it’s definitely not bad!  Google+ I’ll give you a break, you are only a few months old; a newborn in the social media world. Think of Facebook back in 2006; definitely not the site it is now! So I think Facebook will have to watch its back at the rate Google+ is growing, and how much room it has to improve.