Listening can be a useful tool for many reasons. Listening can spark ideas that would have otherwise been left in the back of your mind. Listening can create connections and complete ideas into working theories. I recently read a book titled, “Where Good Ideas Come From.” The book basically described “listening” as a great way to cultivate ideas. Steven Johnson said, “A network needs to be large enough to make random connections and flexible (plastic) enough to adopt new configurations” (Johnson, 2010, p.46). This perfectly describes the platform of Netvibes. Netvibes brings together ideas that are loosely connected and creates a space for them to become whole. I have enjoyed using Netvibes and appreciate its ability to find interrelated ideas in seemingly disparate articles. This is an interesting video of the author, Steven Johnson explaining “Liquid Networks” and the different ways they foster innovation.
Listening allows organizations to stay up to date on trends and social issues that may be of importance to their mission. It allows them to anticipate needs and or crises that other agencies may not be fulfilling. This is only one of the ways that organizations can use a platform like Netvibes to give the best service to their clients. Another interesting way to use listening would be to create a resource list of agencies that offer services that clients are likely to need. An agency might not be able to fulfill all the needs of the client, but an agency who is listening to other agencies can send individuals in the right direction. Listening can lead to new collaborations, expanded services, or identification of areas in need of improvement.
This past weekend was inundated with fundraising walks and events. The weather could not have been better. The sun was shining and the supporters were out in full force with their matching team t-shirts. I participated in two walks that championed very different causes. One was a walk to end Alzheimer’s and the other was to support animal shelters in Atlanta.
Both of these events utilized social media and email campaigns to maximize support and donations. The Alzheimer’s Walk raised $444,835.55. Paws in the Park had a smaller goal of $180,000, the actual amount raised has not yet been released.
Events like these are great examples of social media’s power and ability to generate support. For example, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event sent the participants helpful hints on how to raise money for the cause. One of the proposed tactics was to use social media such as Facebook or twitter to raise money. Paws in the Park sent out a similar email. The Alzheimer’s Association even sent out a short video clip to encourage participants to spread the word. All of these actions suggest that the organizations have realized the value of social media and its necessity.