Engage NCME in a Community Near You in March

Don’t look now, but staff members of the National Center for Media Engagement (NCME) are coming to a conference near you during a flurry of activity in March 2011.

Charles Meyer, Cristina Hanson and I (Bryce Kirchoff) will be at the Integrated Media Association (iMA) Conference in Austin, Texas, March 10-12. The iMA gathering is part of the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. It will feature sessions that explore the latest innovation in public media. For more, click here.

Also on March 10-12, Ann Alquist, NCME’s Director of Radio Engagement, will be giving a  presentation at the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio (AMPPR) conference in New York City. She will facilitate, and present, as part of the Going Local: The Community Session where she will be joined by representatives from the Houston Grand Opera and WQXR, WNYC’s classical music channel. The AMPPR conference runs from March 9-11. More info here.

Jennifer MacArthur, NCME’s Director of TV and Digital Media Engagement, will participate in a special panel discussion as part of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival sponsored by the Center for Asian American Media. On Sunday, March 13, Jennifer will discuss Mastering the Art of Engagement and Crowdsourcing alongside panelists John Lightfoot (California Council for the Humanities), Alicia Dwyer and Tom Xia (Xmas Without China), Ellen Schneider (Active Voice), Pete Nicks (The Waiting Room) and Dien S. Yuen (Give2asia). The panel will explore the dynamics of crowdsourcing through case studies, offer new strategies for media makers, and even reveal funding opportunities. Learn more.

Finally, NCME’s engagement manager Jess Main will be attending the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C., March 17-19. Sponsored by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), the  conference brings together nonprofit professionals from around the world to collaborate, innovate, and maximize technology in the nonprofit space.

Headed to any of the gatherings mentioned above? Drop us a note. We’d be delighted to connect.

Turning Social Buying into Community Engagement

Groupon’s Patty Huber participated in an event with NTEN today, regarding Groupon’s G-Team. Huber describes G-Team as a “core part” of the business that not only helps connect nonprofits with social buying opportunities, but that will eventually expand the company’s work to encourage community building activities beyond monetary gifts. (See my NCME colleague Jennifer MacArthur‘s great post about KQED’s recent use of Groupon.)

Groupon’s G-Team isn’t alone. CauseOn operates much like Groupon, but slides 20% of the take over to a local nonprofit – essentially creating two incentives per deal. Philanthroper has yet another model, encouraging people to give in small and frequent amounts – donations are limited to $1 per day, and the site features one 501(c)(3) per day. This model is designed to “create a culture of daily giving,” as Thomas Hughes posted today on Technology in the Arts.

The changing conversation about donation incentives and giving patterns not only makes us consider how  public media can best build sustainable practices in the digital space. It can also help us shift our thinking to the sustainability that lies in the way we convene and connect people locally. What’s most exciting about this growing social practice is the possibility of bringing communities together around an issue: essentially turning social buying into social buy-in. Huber expressed excitement about the possibilities for using Groupon to help mobilize volunteers. This could certainly be of value for public media stations that often rely on volunteer help. But let’s push further: how else could we leverage this trend to benefit the communities we serve?

“My Source” Highlight: KKCR

George Costa, director of the office of economic development for the county of Kaua’i, explains how KKCR is his source for getting information about important local issues  during a town hall meeting KKCR hosted to help enhance economic sustainability on the island.

“I feel it is my responsibility to be out in the community to hear what our residents have to say…and listen to the ideas they have in helping solve our economic woes.”

KKCR’s project was part of the CPB-funded Engaging Communities on the Economy grant initiative, which funded 37 stations to connect with their communities and develop innovative solutions to local economic issues.

View other testimonials and submit your own at mysourcefor.org.

Did you catch last month’s My Source highlight: WHUT?

Web Analytics Webinars a Huge Hit

As part of our continuing partnership with the Integrated Media Association (iMA), we held two webinars this month to provide info specific to public media on utilizing web analytics to drive decisionmaking. Response was huge: we had great turnout, and lively discussions. We’ve got both webinars posted in the Archived Events section of our site – if you couldn’t attend live, check them out!

The first featured Eric T. Peterson of Web Analytics Demystified, who did a great overview of what it takes for an organization to get started using web analytics for business decisions. Peterson pointed out that an investment of time and talent (not just the technology, which can cost nothing) is essential to in order to get the most out of this valuable data. Get the full story here.

The enthusiasm was strong for the second webinar, which featured Sondra Russell from NPR and Amy Sample from PBS to share their experiences utilizing web analytics for goal setting and audience engagement. They served up succinct, practical tips and great advice for people getting started. We were thrilled to have Wendy Greco from the Analysis Exchange join us as well, to share how her organization can be utilized by public media to gain web analytics insights – for free! Amy Sample reported on Twitter today that three public media projects have already been created in the Exchange in the 24 hours following the webinar. Want all the details? Check out the archived webinar.

More info coming soon on our next webinar collaboration with iMA!

Five Twitter Users Public Media Should Follow

There is a wealth of smart public media practitioners active on Twitter and other social media. A list of “Tweeps” from the 2010 Public Media Camp in D.C. contains more than 200 names alone.

I’ll save my recommendations for whom to follow within the world of public media for a later post, but let me suggest five individuals / organizations I believe are definitely worth a follow:


1) Craigslist Foundation (@craigslist_fndn)

Why it’s worth the click: Craigslist Foundation is all about encouraging nonprofit leaders, businesses, government agencies and philanthropies to act as community connectors. The organization is an impressive catalyst for individual and collective action across America, focusing on discovery, engagement and impact. Add @craigslist_fndn to learn how to strengthen your community, get inspired by the great work of others, and receive information about the foundation’s popular Boot Camp events.

2) Vin Crosbie (@vincrosbie)

Why he’s worth the click: When Congress held hearings about the troubles of the newspaper industry, Vin Crosbie was the first person, and only academic, quoted in the Congressional Report. After decades working in media, including executive stints at News Corporation, Reuters, and United Press International, Vin has established himself as a leading expert in the changes of the world’s media industries. His tweets offer news and perspective from the front lines of digital disruption.

3) Amy Sample Ward (@amyrsward)

Why she’s worth the click: Amy is an intensely positive technologist dedicated to supporting and educating nonprofits in the use of emerging technologies that cultivate and engage communities. She has presented at numerous conferences and events, including SXSW Interactive and Nonprofit Technology Conference. Follow Amy and you’ll be inspired to connect with communities in new ways. (Note: Devoted readers of NCME’s blog will recognize Amy’s name from an earlier post by Jess Main).

4) Benton Foundation (@benton_fdn)

Why it’s worth the click: With a mission to “…ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance our democracy,” the Benton Foundation is an organization that, like public media, believes educational communications can help advance the common good. Followers to its feed receive information about foundation investments, innovations in community media, and links to news articles about changing telecommunications policy.

5) Pew Internet & American Life Project (@Pew_Internet)

Why it’s worth the click: Part of the Pew Research Center, the Pew Internet & American Life Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Want to know how social networks are affecting news consumption? Curious about the demographic profile of Twitter users? Broadband adoption rate among African Americans? Add @Pew_Internet to your feed and learn how technological and societal trends are shaping public media.

What do you think? Who did we miss? Send me a note at: bryce.kirchoff@mediaengage.org or @mediaengage.

Tribeca Film Inst. Announces $750K Fund for Audience Engagement

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced last week that it is partnering with the Ford Foundation’s recently created JustFilms initiative to create the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund. TFI’s release states that “the $750,000 fund will provide support and funding to film projects which go beyond traditional screens – integrating film with content across newer media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and micro-blogging.”

In addition to this announcement, TFI is modeling the audience engagement they’re looking to fund, by actively gathering feedback on this program in order to shape their submission guidelines.

Deadline Extension: CPB Community Hub RFP

Based upon applicant feedback and to ensure that stations can provide the best possible information on their eligibility, CPB is extending the application deadline for its Dropout Awareness and Youth Engagement Initiative Public Media Community Hub RFP.

The new deadline is 11 p.m. EST Wednesday, March 2.

CPB will award twelve, $200,000 grants to public media stations that develop and implement effective plans to positively impact the dropout crisis in partnership with local education, community, civic, corporate and other relevant organizations.

Want to learn more? Access the grant RFP and application tool. Have questions? Check out FAQs, or e-mail CPB representatives Michael Fragale, Doug McKenney or Fiona Macintyre.