Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Friday, June 01, 2012

Social Media 101 for Nonprofit Consultants

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present an introductory workshop on social media to a few of my colleagues in the Fund Builders Alliance. We covered some of the basics of what social media is and is not, got into the how-tos and whys of facebook, twitter, linkedin, and blogging, and briefly went over the variety of other services available (pinterest, storify, g+, ...). It's always a great day when you can get together with a group of professionals that you respect and teach them something new. (And thank you to Karen and Leadership Monterey Peninsula for use of the conference room!)

Here's the thing though. Although I was pleased to present this workshop, and although I do offer social media planning and coaching services, I'm always hesitant to use the title "social media expert." As I told the group yesterday, "At the end of this session you will all be social media experts, for about three hours." Social media is such a constantly changing and evolving ecosystem that I believe it is a continual learning effort. Fortunately, I am fascinated by it and enjoy that effort. But I still realize that there is always more to learn.

I've been playing around with online communities in my personal life for nearly twenty years now. On a professional level, I got involved with nonprofit online discussions as a member of HandsNet around 1996. A few years later, I wound up working for HandsNet as the Director of Online Community Development. Since then I've continued to be an early adopter of many new platforms, including blogger, facebook, youtube, and twitter. But "expert"? ...

I hope to continue to learn and fascinated by social media, and I hope to continue to bring that experience and enthusiasm to my colleagues and clients in the nonprofit sector. But if you ever catch me using the title "Social Media Expert" please splash a cold glass of water in my face. Just try not to splash my iPhone, thank you.

Oh, and if you'd like a copy of my powerpoint slides from yesterday's presentation, just send me an email (contact info in the "about the consultant" section of this blog).

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