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Community groups get social boost from Philly Net Squared's Net Tuesdays

One Tuesday every month, a bunch of techies, wannabe techies, and people who freely admit they don’t know much about current online trends get together to discuss and learn how to use social networking for social good. This is Philly Net Squared’s Net Tuesday, which has been gaining more and more steam since its inception in May 2008, not to mention bringing an ever growing number of community groups, non-profits, and businesses into the same room.

While it’s difficult to pin down a precise mission for Net Tuesday, founder Seth Horwitz has a general mission for his monthly meetings. “I think of our mission as helping Philly area folks to share our knowledge, passion and concerns around using emerging social web tools for making the world a better place,” explained Horwitz.

Some of Horwitz’s favorite Net Tuesdays have been the “social web samplers,” which consist of informal audience presentations on any on-line social media topic they feel is germane. This leads to fifteen short periods where audience members can elaborate on noteworthy aspects of the audience presentations.

For community groups, non-profits, and businesses, the “crowdsourcing change” Net Tuesdays are especially pertinent. During these meetings, two or three area groups present their on-line social media strategy to the audience, and then receive feedback on what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and what they’re realty doing wrong. Groups that have volunteered to crowdsource their on-line presence include the Philadelphia Police Athletic League, The Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Painted Bride Art Center.

Philly Net Squared thrives in its use of Facebook, Twitter, and Meetup.com. Horwitz sees two ways in which Facebook enables the Net Tuesdays, which are disseminating information about events to a broad audience and allowing attendees to RSVP. “Twitter also helps to promote the events, and it also enables us to maintain a backchannel during the events, which- combined with our Internet stream- enables us to engage with people not in Philly,” said Horwitz. Finally, Meetup.com has been a reliable RSVP source, as well as a means for members to better connect with each other.

Source: Seth Horwitz
Writer: Andy Sharpe
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