Geolocation Services and Nonprofits
Posted by Allison Fine on May 10, 2010
The latest version of the Social Good podcast is up on the Chronicle website. I interviewed Danielle Brigida of the National Wildlife Federation about the use of geolocation services, like Foursquare and Gowalla, by nonprofits.
I became interested in this topic a few months ago when odd messages began to show up in my Twitter stream. So and so was standing at the corner of such and such. Someone has just unlocked a badge in a certain location. Hmmm, wonder what this is all about?
It’s about geolocation services. Web-based services accessible by cell phone that enable a person to say “I am here right now!” It’s like the Who finder from Horton Hears a Who. I am here! I am here! I am here!
Of course, Beth Kanter answered the question of how these tools work for nonprofits for me on her blog a few weeks ago when she shared the story of the Brooklyn Museum using Foursquare. Beth quotes Shelley Bernstein, the very creative Chief of Technology at the museum. Shelly said, “as people explore our area, the Brooklyn Museum staff help them along in their journey pointing out the joys of pancakes at Tom’s Restaurant or the killer wine selection at Abigail’s.” In other words, the Brooklyn Museum is using FourSquare to take down the walls between the museum and its community and enable its visitors to share their experiences with one another in the museum and in the neighborhood.
If you have a chance to listen to the podcast,you’ll hear Danielle share how powerful real-time, location based experiences are when enhanced with social media. But it also got me thinking about the interesting juxtaposition of social media as a tool for virtual interactions and as a tool for real-time location-based interactions. Of course, one isn’t better or more important than the other, and what will be interting is watching groups like the Brooklyn Museum and National Wildlife Federation figure out how they can come together in new and interesting ways – all for the purpose of connecting people to information, places and one another. One last takeaway from my talk with Danielle is the importance of staff experimenting with new tools, like Twitter, Yammer and Gowalla personally in order to understand them better and think about how to integrate them into their organizational efforts.
This entry was posted on May 10, 2010 at 8:45 am and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: Danielle Brigida, Foursquare, Gowalla, Social Good. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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