Currently reading an excellent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review about the use of social media tools and network approaches to driving social change. The article Working Wikily by Dianne Scearce, Gabriel Kasper and Heather McLeod Grant provides many examples of US based NGO's who are using social media to fundamentally change they work and to achieve greater social and political impact.
The paper argues that rather than see social media as an ancillary part of an agency's work and a way to just disseminate information, the technologies and ways of doing business derived from social media can lead to fundamental transformation and re- imagination of ways to achieve social action.
The article identifies 5 benefits that social media networks can provide and describes examples of how this is being done:
- Weave community
- Access more diverse perspectives
- Build and share knowledge
- Mobilize people
- Coordinate resources and action