July 4, 2009

Socialbrite: Social tools for social change


JD LasicaFor the past several months, while juggling the demands of client work, the conference circuit and writing projects, I’ve also been hard at work planning and building out an important new site.

So I’m happy to announce the launch of Socialbrite.org.

While Socialmedia.biz remains focused on exploring the fast-changing mediasphere and helping businesses successfully add social media to their internal and external communications, Socialbrite has a different mission:

To provide a learning hub and sharing community around all forms of social media, and to work with nonprofits and social change organizations to help them harness the power of the social Web.

Here are our key announcements about the launch:

Introducing Socialbrite: Why we’re here
Nonprofits get a social media mentor in Socialbrite.org
• And this is how we’re getting out the word: Tweet our launch!

Scott Butki of Newsvine just published a Q&A with me — J.D. Lasica on his new joint web venture Socialbrite.org — at Newsvine’s Good News Wednesday group, and because I haven’t given many interviews lately I thought I’d publish an excerpt from it here:

Scott: What niche is this filling?

JD: Look, it’s not about niches. The whole world seems to be hurling headlong into a world of nicheification and fragmentation. We’re saying something else.

Nonprofits, citizen journalists and cause organizations have a lot of things in common, but we’re not talking with each other. We’re hunkered down in our silos, our bunkers. But we’re in a new world now where we’re all making media, we’re all connecting with each other to share stories and ideas, and we need to get acquainted with this new landscape.

It’s happening slowly, but the evidence is clear: Traditional media is giving way to social media, and that has important ramifications for all kinds of organizations and private and public institutions.

What sites might be hurt by your site’s start?

Our goal is not to displace anyone. Our mission is to add to the media ecosystem, one Lego piece at a time, until we can stand back and say, Wow. Isn’t that something?

Netsquared and TechSoup are the big names in the nonprofit tech space, but we’re strictly focused more on social media and social tools. Right now Mashable is the site covering this area the best. I admire the hell out of them. Mashable rebranded itself earlier this year as “The Social Media Guide,” and that filled a gap in the market. We hope to work with them in sharing content and sponsoring fundraisers and events that support social causes.

When hundreds of more newspapers and print magazines go out of business, we think we’ll still be here, because we’re not counting on huge readership and advertising dollars to keep us afloat. We’re counting on our skills and relationships.

Is this site intended to help people, or groups or both?

Definitely both. While a lot of Socialbrite.org’s business will come from nonprofits and social change organizations that want to figure out how to navigate this new terrain, the fact is that we’re all in this together. And most of the really amazing advances in Web 2.0 and social media have come from individuals, not organizations.

Just taking your camera or video-enabled cell phone into a street scene, uploading to a media sharing site, reporting on what’s happening on the ground in Baghdad while armed goon squads descend on your friends and neighbors — damn, that’s where the next-gen Pulitzers should be given out.

I think nonprofits and foundations as a group tend to be conservative in nature, so we’re speaking to the thought leaders and early adopters who understand the dramatic changes we’re going through as a society and are willing to embrace the shift to a more democratic, decentralized, edges-based media reality.

That’s one reason we built the site on the open-source WordPress platform and all of our content is released under Creative Commons licenses. We trust the blogosphere and Twitterverse to make use of these educational resources as they see fit.

– End of excerpt. See the rest of the interview on the Newsvine site. –JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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2 thoughts on “Socialbrite: Social tools for social change

  1. Is there anything you don't do? I have just discovered you are involved in just about everything out there. What am I missing? Socialbrite looks fantastic. Good job and congratulations. FYI, love the word 'nichefication'. I may steal it.

    • Sheryl, thanks for the good wishes. I fear I may be involved in too many efforts so need to start scaling back. :~)

      Nichefication, unbundling, decoupling, defragmentation – I can sling the jargon with the best of 'em.