Does the Age of Facebook make blogging more critical for nonprofits?

Tomorrow I’m giving a free webinar with CharityHowTo called “What the New Changes to Facebook Mean for Your Nonprofit“. One thing I’ve been asking nonprofits is how critical blogging will become in the Age Of Facebook.

If your nonproft hasn’t decided to start a blog yet, Facebook users might soon make the decision for you. As Social Graph plugins multiply accross the web like rabbits on viagra, users will expect a similar social experience during their visit on your site.

When color TV came out, no one wanted black and white anymore.

Visitors will expect personalized recommendations based on what they and their friends like. They’ll expect consistently fresh content that they can share recommendations about with their friends. And this is exactly where blogs have a distinct advantage over many website platforms.

Does the Age of Facebook make blogging more critical for nonprofits?

Has blogging just become more critical?

The more content you produce, the more people share it on Facebook – which obviously gives blogging more importance as a CMS. Over the years, blogs have evolved into robust content publishing tools that are easy to maintain (when compared to traditional websites).

In the case of the new Facebook Platform, having a WordPress blog gives you three distinct advantages over traditional template-style websites.

  1. Content Creation – Blogs allow you to quickly and easily create valuable AND SHARABLE content in a consistent manner – something people can keep coming back to “like”.
  2. Ease Of Use – The new Social Graph plugins is the tip of the iceberg. As Web 3.0 evolves at an increasingly faster pace, nonprofits will be seeking cost effective ways to keep up with evolving technology on their website. WordPress allows users without any technology skills to implement plugins in a painless manner.
  3. Lighting Speed – The Live Stream plugin allows you to create a platform for a live chat on your website. For example, if there is an event that impacts your org, you can quickly create a Page within WordPress where your community can gather to discuss.
  4. Development Community – Blog platforms (mainly WordPress) have development communities that are building free software all the time – and quickly. For example, when Facebook announced the new plugins, several blog posts were published about tweaking the code so that it would work with dynamic URLs (blog posts). Coding sucks and I knew that within two days, someone would make a plugin to add the new “like” button. There were 7 plugins within a day or so.

Mickey Gomez, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County shares her thoughts on blogging:

“I’ve definitely seen an increase in traffic to our website since we started blogging, and we’ve reached a different audience in our community, too.  It’s enabled us to spotlight individuals, programs, issues and agencies.  There is so much flexibility and it offers a completely different level of engagement to our readers.”

So that’s what Mickey and I think.What do you think?

Will blogging be more critical in the Age of Facebook?

Comments

  1. Great post, John. Love or hate Facebook's increasing ubiquity, it here and we all have to play well with it — non-profits and for-profits!

  2. Tim – Thanks for stopping by. Facebook is the largest and most active social networking site ever. I'm not too happy about the privacy issues, but it is here to stay for a few years.

    1. I think we can debate for forever about our own personal feelings toward the privacy issues on Facebook, but until millions of people start departing Facebook marketers can't afford to ignore it.

      1. Agreed. They're forcing a major paradigm shift in how we view and interact with the web. It will blow over – users will adopt in ways that are useful to them, and marketers will do the same.

  3. Great post! I wish I knew about your webinar just a few hours earlier. I am helping a friend out with a non-profit video project and the first thing I told him was that they should have a blog since a lot of participants would love some behind-the-scenes scoop on how the documentary they're creating comes together.

      1. I've read books about how blogging is important for businesses but I'm still not convinced that nonprofit causes are helped by it. And I know I have content that I could write about, but how do I know what people are looking for? Sometimes I feel that blogging is something I've done that no one reads. If Facebook is the way to drive traffic to a blog, can I somehow embed my Tumblr blog into Facebook? Or do I have to rely on links alone? I'd probably go back to blogging if I knew it would really help.

        1. Nonprofits can get the same benefits from blogging that for profits can get.
          If you don't know what people are looking for, or if you feel like no one
          will read the blog, that has to do with not knowing your supporters.

          Blogging can help you learn what your supporters need. As you write posts,
          you also measure subscriber numbers, comments and traffic. Over time, you
          will begin to understand exactly what they want and need. It's the process
          of blogging that get's you there – not the platform.

  4. Non-profits need to be doing something to make their content shareable. For some this might be a blog. For others, it's going to be adding things like the “share with your network” buttons.

    Many people are scared of by the word blog and the implications of what they think that means as far as resources, messaging, etc.

  5. Sue Anne makes a great point – it may be that some are intimidated by the word blog (or have negative associations with the word). I hadn't really considered that before.

    I value the flexibility of a blog platform, and the fact that we can share diverse messages beyond a certain character limit. It is a lot of work, though, and I feel like we're still finding our voice.

    I value hearing about other people's experiences and learning tips for making our blog more effective, so thanks for starting the conversation, John (and for the amazing resources you share). :)

  6. Sue Anne makes a great point – it may be that some are intimidated by the word blog (or have negative associations with the word). I hadn't really considered that before.

    I value the flexibility of a blog platform, and the fact that we can share diverse messages beyond a certain character limit. It is a lot of work, though, and I feel like we're still finding our voice.

    I value hearing about other people's experiences and learning tips for making our blog more effective, so thanks for starting the conversation, John (and for the amazing resources you share). :)