Published by Kerry on 04 Nov 2009 at 02:32 pm
The climate change movement has been gaining momentum in recent months. We’ve felt it building at organizations like 350.org in preparation for the major UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen this December. We had a call with social media coordinator Joe Solomon of 350.org to get a sense of what it’s like to be in the middle of it all, and his thoughts on how to effectively network for a cause.
The person: Joe has roots in technology and social change, and figuring out web-connected community solutions for an array of causes. He was the Director of Social Actions’ Change the Web Challenge and joined 350.org to get closer to the point of impact. “The climate movement affects many of the issues of our time,” he said. “It’s also a matter of survival.” The desire to help the world came early for Joe: he can remember drawing pictures against rainforest logging in third grade.
The connection: He’s no stranger to WiserEarth, having helped us network with NetSquared for our first WiserTuesday Paris event!
The plan: At the time of the interview, 350.org was leading up to the International Day of Climate Action, and Joe mentioned excitedly: “Twitter and Facebook are on fire right now! It’s such an offline, collaborative movement that explodes onto the online scene. We’re really riding a wave, with at least two dozen active 350 organizers on Twitter – with accounts like @350Vermont, @350Peru, @350London — And so many new people are jumping on board, asking, ‘Where am I going to be on October 24?’”
The advice: Joe has been working in the social media arena for some time, and offers some tips on how to get impact:
- Highlight your partners’ efforts: “350 is a super collaborative campaign. We’re trying to build and demonstrate a movement, and like any open movement, it’s not about us — as much as it’s about a collaborative groundswell of organizations, organizers, rock climbers, messengers, bloggers, super models, photographers, you name it — all working to get us back to 350. We’re always trying to highlight our friends at Greenpeace, TckTckTck, Avaaz, Powershift, 1Sky, Oxfam, Transition Towns – and hundreds more, plus all the thousands of grassroots organizers who are the reason why we’ve collectively come this far…. How can your organization act more like a movement and shine the light on what others are doing to change the world with you?”
- Try open threads on Facebook: “As a way to support the conversations that were already happening, we started inviting organizers and supporters to connect around ‘open threads’ in Facebook. Literally, we would start an update with ‘Open Thread:’ and then share quick updates and a few questions. So far, we’ve had some very positive results.”
- Start or support a Twitter hashtag for your cause or sector. In the global climate movement headed towards Copenhagen, there’s #350ppm, #COP15, #FABTreaty, and others. What hashtag can help your cause area connect, share resources, and collaborate for more effective impact?
- Group people together using TweepML: This is a way to highlight a group of community members via a list that any Twitter user can follow all at once. 350 tries to employ this to connect organizers to each other. Joe says, “There are also Twitter Lists, but what’s great about TweepML is community members can actually follow each other. The stats from the 350 Organizers list claim to have generated over 1,300 followers. Now we just gotta figure out a way to help the 1,077 350 badge wearers connect! Ideas welcome!”
- Don’t feed, inspire: In the days before the International Day of Climate Action, 350 turned off all feeds. They don’t pipe their blog into Twitter or Facebook, and purposely choose where to share that people will find useful and inspiring, and can connect around. The feeds are still off.
- Get face to face: “We’re way ahead of ourselves in mastering how to connect on Twitter, Facebook, and other online communities. We’ve discovered the most brilliant ways to build our lists. We’re all of us social media gurus. Now it’s time to invite our supporters outside, empower them as leaders, and together transform our communities for the changes we all seek. WiserTuesdays are an amazing step in this direction.”
The hope: Joe says, “In December (next month!) world leaders from every country on the planet are meeting in Copenhagen to craft a global climate treaty. What’s at stake at that meeting is massive — a treaty that’s in line with what science and justice demand could be key to turning the tide on global warming and getting our planet back on a sustainable path.
“The hope we can act on is that we keep the pressure on, through delivering 350 photos directly into the hands of our leaders, and other actions — December 12 looks like it’s gonna be big — to help world leaders see just how powerful and global this movement has become.”
The reward: “It’s incredible to watch all of us rise together, to be a part of this call to action around a scientific data point that’s above our organizations’ walls and shows how widespread and collaborative the climate and social justice movement really is,” Joe reflects. “Many thanks to WiserEarth for all your support, for being such a great resource, and for inspiring calls to action as strong and adorable as this one:
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