Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Good Question

Last week, I was visiting the Tarrant Area Food Bank to see if we could place a social work intern with one of their social workers. TAFB's mission statement:

Tarrant Area Food Bank works to eliminate hunger in Fort Worth, Texas and 13

surrounding counties by providing food,education and other

resources to a network of hunger-relief charities

and their communities.

Did you know that 1/3 those served by TAFB are children? Read more here and get involved!

I was so impressed with the scope and nature of the important work done at TAFB, especially their Culinary Job Training program. After a very interesting tour of the facility, I
dropped in on the Executive Director. As we were chatting, he mentioned that his organization was beginning to explore how to use social networking tools, which immediately caught my attention. We talked briefly about how non-profit organizations can benefit from social networking tool and I told him about Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, which offers amazing content on this topic. (Beth's Blog is rated #1 for good reason!)

This intriguing question of how to use social networking tools continutes to challenge me. Here's another great question - How do we know if we are using social netorking tools effectively? Micah Baldwin shares excellent ideas about measuring influence in his blog post on Mashable - The Social Media Guide. He says we need to understand what influence means and how to become influential first and then how to measure influence in social networking. This helps me find ways to improve my use of social networking tools and gives me more evidence to share with skeptical colleagues who are not quite sure if Twitter, Blogs, FaceBook, etc have a place in social work. I'd love to hear your thoughts - see Comments below!

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