Foreword Review — July / Aug 2010
For those who think of Twitter as a teeny-bopper hub and can’t imagine going near it, those who understand the power of social networks, and those who are already successful users, Share This! is a fantastic look at how to use online networks to further a cause. Despite the book’s appeal to almost anyone, Share This! is the perfect read for a creative or marketing director of a small nonprofit organization, who knows she needs to the message out on Twitter but can’t find the first place to start.
The beauty of Zandt’s book is that it takes what everyone knows about social networking—the fact that at its very core it’s about people coming together—and directs that knowledge toward using community to change the way people look at the world.
The author interviews a communications director at the nonprofit Wellstone Action, who explains how social networking tools are used to further the organization’s mission. This and other examples of successful implementation and real-life advice make Share This! stand out. Zandt also gives examples of people she herself follows on Twitter, which provides readers with a heads-up on who consistently provides good content and insights in the nonprofit field.
She warns about common mistakes, such as using a social network as an “ATM.” While social media can, without a doubt, be helpful to any business, nonprofit, or personal brand, it’s not just about what services like Twitter and Facebook can do for a company or individual. The ATM example reminds readers that in order to be truly successful using social media, one has to give back.
Zandt categorizes her tips by experience level, and even readers who have been using Twitter for a while could use her reminders. For example, she reminds readers to “groom” their reputations and not just let social media profiles stagnate. Zandt’s insights and easy-to-follow guidelines include daily, weekly, and monthly routines to help readers from feeling overwhelmed or invoking the stereotypical “not enough time” excuse. The resources section, complete with a glossary of social media terms and clever search tips, makes the book more than worth its price.
Zandt is a media technologist who advises prominent organizations like Feministing, the Girls & Boys Projects, and Women Action & The Media. Her hands-on knowledge of social networks and causes make her well qualified to give advice.
While Zandt may not be first and foremost a writer (the book starts off: “Hey! You. Yes, you, right there.”) she makes this new kind of networking seem easy, manageable, fun, and interesting for those who truly want to change the world.