Archive for: October, 2011
POLL-TIME: Vote for the topic you want to chat about tomorrow!! Pick an option below & share with others to get their input.
A lot of great ideas were thrown out there yesterday!
Okay, I’ll back up for a second. For @MillennialChat, I hope to be totally open & transparent! This chat is for our generation – for millennials in the private sector, public sector, non-profit world, for-profit world, and it is for millennials who may be unemployed or may be CEOs. And, to be completely transparent, I just did NOT have a theme for yesterday!
What better thing to talk about when there is nothing else to talk about, other than -
How can we make this chat better?
Read the entire chat’s transcript here to get the full details of everyone’s input here – http://sfy.co/L5T
BUT!! Nothing is ever written in stone…
especially when it comes to social media, but I think we have a more clearly defined route to take for Millennial Chat. The route can be seen by the changing of our blog’s tagline from “millennials chatting with millennials learning about millennials” to “millennials chatting with millennials about our generation & beyond”.
You might be thinking – okay, Willie, how does our route get more defined by making our tagline more vague?
I think it helps to define the route of the chat as furthering the possibility of chat topics. OF COURSE we will address topics about issues that are immediately affecting our generation, but I ALSO want to bring topics entrepreneurship or online marketing or volunteering or tech talk and chat about these topics from a millennial viewpoint.
Basically, our route is more defined BECAUSE we are now more general. You could say our chat’s niche is
“bringing a millennial viewpoint to issues around the world”
What do you think?
Do you have any input into what you would like the Millennial Chat niche to be?
Websites……… everybody’s got one! Some are good, some are terrible, others can be just eh.
Yesterday’s chat had a lot of airing out of pet peaves! It was good stuff to hear for anyone, and knowing the Millennial generation, we all at some point in our career may have some input into our company’s website.
Here is what you DON’T want on your website:
- A site that takes forever to load
- A BAD search function
- Your links to open up a bunch of new windows
- Automatic start of music or videos
- An intro page
Here is what you want to ACHIEVE with your website:
- Catering to your audience
Don’t try to change & target a totally different demographic. Keep your site clean & targeted on your brand’s audience.
- Clear navigation
Clear path to pages. Don’t use “code” for visitors to decipher which button to click on. Make social media buttons apparent.
- Staying fluid & flexible
Websites aren’t billboards or flyers. Constantly trim, replace, and build to stay up-to-date.
- Make it good.
We are much more likely to visit your website first BEFORE we head to your social media outlets.
To read the transcript in its entirety click the link below:
A special thanks to buildOn (@buildOnEmpowers) for suggesting the theme! They wanted to know because of their OWN website redevelopment. Visit their site and let them know what you think of it by taking a quick survey.
#Millennialchat.ter Joseph Jon Lanthier, buildOn‘s Web Editor and Social Media Writer writes today about the process of web redevelopment. He and the buildOn team (@buildOnEmpowers) recently redeveloped their website, and next week they will be joing @MillennialChat to serve as a case study for next week’s theme:
“What do we, #millennials, look for in a company’s website?”
Obligatory online revisions can often get philosophical. At buildOn, we recently launched a new website – http://buildOn.org – after months of development. I was proud to be a part of this project; it provided a chance to help construct an online home from virtually the ground up (or is it “from the virtual ground up”?). But before a single line of php code was written, we knew that:
We had to think about who we were, analyze our current site, recognize where the shortcomings were, and create a plan for overcoming them.
This new site was created in part to help better define the culture of buildOn for younger and more social media-savvy audiences than we usually attract. We are, in part, attempting to reach Millennial donors, both because they can help spread word of the work we do and because, like our students, they represent the future. (I should mention that I say this as a modest Millennial.)
During the research phase, the buildOn team and myself examined a number of nonprofit websites, most of which have been very successful at targeting Millennials. They all have a few things in common, such as lucid calls-to-action and awesomely clean designs.
They don’t look like nonprofit websites.
This of course begs the question of what a nonprofit website is supposed to look like, but the point is that on the web, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fast food chain, an expressionist painter, or a youth service organization. Online, you’re really nothing more, and nothing less, than a brand – and brands are defined more by philosophy than action (though both are essential).
With this in mind, we got to work. buildOn has encompassed so many efforts over the years that making our mission statement digestible was quite a task. We’ve been constructing schools abroad and empowering urban high school students for two decades, and we’ve got the stats and studies to prove that our programs have lasting impact.
- How do you compress the emotion of all of that into a single paragraph, or even one sentence?
- How do you make it relevant to the twenty-something sitting in Starbucks and browsing the net on a laptop without alienating more tradition corporate supporters?
We decided that most of this highwire act would be accomplished pictorially. Kudos must be given to our ace in-house graphic designer and emigre from Nepal, Srijan Tamrakar, for instilling the images on the site with so much universal vibrancy. Our new Who We Are page also tells the story of buildOn with bite-sized scenarios that offer fleshtones and human context, something our original website lacked.
Here’s another example. 95% of our graduating afterschool students may go on to college, but 95% is a number and not a story. The narrative lies in the journey those teens take through their own crumbling backyards, volunteering with the elderly and completing environmental work. And having seen what an impact they can have, those teens go on to become doctors, lawyers, and public officials that can make significant social and economic changes.
By focusing on the limitless emotional experience of our programs’ impact–with well chosen pictures, graphics, and quotes–and not the longitudinal quantification, we hope to show Millennials and other audiences the limitless impact that their support can have, too.
All websites are organic, constantly changing. And even our new design is not complete, as we’re now entering the crucial testing phase. But so far it’s been a robust reminder that oftentimes revising your aesthetic and message for key demographics involves a lot of self-searching.
The question might not be so much “How do we get Millennials, or any audience, to care about us?” as it is “How do we explain to an audience what we care about and why?”
In the wake of the Case Foundation‘s newly released white paper, we also wanted to offer our biggest takeaway from the Millennial Donor Summit and the advantage of holding a conference entirely online.
If it wasn’t for #MDS11 there may not have been a #MillennialChat. And, I do believe that because of the summit being a virtual convening, it bred the idea to create another online community to keep talking about millennials & millennial ideas.
A quick history about how our chat came to be – A group of us (#millennials) who attended MDS loved the format, but we felt like we were only being talked about and wanted to find a way to talk with each other. So, we broke away from the hashtag #MDS11 and created our own – #MDSmillennial. Spending about half of the conference day using that hashtag, topics would come up like ‘Do you agree with what was just said about our generation?’ or ‘Do we really act on these tendencies?’ and ‘How can WE, #millennials, keep in touch and learn from EACH OTHER to supplement research that has been done?’
The answer normally was – “Let’s start a Twitter Chat using the hashtag #MillennialChat and chat about it in the future.”
While we don’t have a formal white paper being published like the Case Foundation,
I would like to share the links to each of the post from the Case Foundation’s 4 part blog series about MDS11 along with a link to the published white paper.
While some will argue that an online convening could never replace the value of the relationships built and networking opportunities that stem from physically being in the same place at the same time — there are also arguments to be made for keeping cost and travel expenses at a minimum and involving individuals from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and industries who may not be able to otherwise participate. For us, MDS11 was the perfect topic on which to experiment in this type of virtual setting.
Typically, booking travel and registering for a conference go hand in hand. However, since participants are able to tune in from the comfort of their offices, there is no need to book travel in advance to cut costs, which means participants are also not so quick to register for the conference in advance. To build some early excitement and begin attracting an audience, we deployed a few different tactics to encourage participation.
The success of a virtual summit is directly linked to a speaker’s ability to keep an unseen audience attentive and actively engaged throughout the session, and the participant’s ability to identify and access what will be of most interest to them. Both sides have an important role to play when it comes to the success of a virtual convening and we’ve learned there are several ways you can enhance their experience using this type of platform.
Reflecting back on the Millennial Donor Summit, one thing is certain, underneath all of the fancy new technology, attendees must find value in their participation. Sessions can be packed with great content, but attending all of the sessions back-to-back, while sitting in one place all day, can also result in information overload.
Click on the link above to read up on the Case Foundation’s takeaways from hosting an all-virtual conference.
If you are looking for a way to talk about the pros & cons of holding a conference entirely online, then tune in to next week’s #MillennialChat.
RVSP here on Case Foundation’s Facebook page to get more information on what will be chatted about. Tuesday from 3:30pm – 4:30pm EST! Just follow the #millennialchat hashtag and jump in. A Q&A with @socialcitizen will allow for any questions about the virtual convening to be answered!
Yesterday’s chat was lively as usual! It was good because we revisited a subject that we tackled in our very first Millennial Chat ever. In that chat, however, it was mainly about how to get millennials to donate.
Millennials have a tough time giving back or sharing their money because most of us are in entry-level positions (this is why we DON’T get paid the big bucks), starting our careers (this is why we don’t have much time), or just haven’t thought about it a great deal (because we are still young).
However, it is in the millennial generation’s nature to help out especially when our friends make an ask to help out their organization. And, the tendency millennials have, to be connected to everyone, means we get that many more personal asks through all avenues of our life.
So it was good to talk it out yesterday, bounce ideas off of each other and figure out – What IS the best way to give back within budget?
Here are 4 takeaways from yesterday’s chat:
- What we lack in time and money we make up for in willingness to be involved. If we had more time to spare, the resounding consensus was that it would be spent being involved with the organization that received our donation, volunteering, or just being out in the community to get a pulse on what organizations really make a difference.
- Looking for an online tool to HELP you gain time and resources? Check these out: Sparked, Catchafire, Taproot Foundation, Whole Foods, Runa, Numi Organic, Ben & Jerry’s, WORN, TOMS, and Warby Parker.
- If you are a millennial and you AREN’T volunteering or trying to be on an organization’s board, just check out some of the benefits: Networking, giving back, resume-building, making friends, “I never would have gotten my current job w/o my volunteer internships”, “I acquire and refine great leadership skills by volunteering (intangible but invaluable)”
- To help manage your time & money, try some of these tips – give to organizations who also allow you to volunteer, budget a monthly amount to give but donate on the fly, research the organization’s financials, and just find what works for you!
Don’t feel rushed, budget some time & money, and decide for yourself. Take those personal asks and do your own research! If you want to see all the details of yesterday’s chat, check the transcript here:
Also, HUGE NEWS was announced at the end of yesterday’s chat! Next week our chat goes back to its roots! Our chat theme is -
What are the pros & cons of holding a virtual conference compared to in-person?
We are teaming up with @socialcitizen and @CaseFoundation to chat about their findings about the Millennial Donor Summit. The Millennial Donor Summit is what sparked the idea for @MillennialChat. We are very excited for next Tuesday’s chat about virtual conferences and also the opportunity for a Q&A with both Social Citizen and The Case Foundation!