Facebook and Communities of Practice

"[Face]Book 'em, Danno! ..."

In which we explore how new media can support our communities of practice, with an emphasis on non-profit organizations.

Note: This page was originally developed as part of Kehilliyot, a community of practice and Covenant Foundation Grant recipient.


About Social Media

What is Social Media? Let's take a look at how Wikipedia defines it...

"Social Media Expanded Definition: Social Media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into content publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.

Social media uses the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, message boards, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies such as blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, group creation and voice over IP, to name a few. Examples of social media applications are Google (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook(social networking), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), and Flickr (photo sharing)."

Networking in Plain English

Common Craft's explanation of social networking

Facebook is a type of social media that focuses on social networking. Learn more about social networking: The Social Networking Guide for Newbies by Karen Post, published by Fast Company.

About Facebook

Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a part of millions of people’s lives and half of the users return daily.

Source: Facebook Factsheet (December 2007)

  • More than 59 million active users
  • An average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007
  • Over 55,000 regional, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks
  • The fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older
  • Sixth-most trafficked site in the United States (comScore)
  • People spend an average of 20 minutes on the site daily (comScore)

Source: Facebook Pressroom (December 2007)

Articles and Blog Postings

Facebook and Nonprofits

A beginner's guide to Facebook for non-profits from Wild Apricot
Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin Conundrums: Are there any rules for social/business networking? from Escape from Cubicle Nation
How to promote your non-profit's cause on Facebook in five easy steps from Wild Apricot
Is It Worth It? An ROI Calculator for Social Network Campaigns from Frogloop
Online Communities Redux: Why They Matter to You from NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network
Promote Your Cause on Facebook in Six Easy Steps: How to reach out using Facebook's new Causes application by Soha El-Borno on TechSoup
Reflections on Social Networks and Nonprofits from Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media
Ten Innovative Ways Nonprofits Can Use Facebook from Wild Apricot
12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally by Judi Sohn on Web Worker Daily
Using Facebook in Your Nonprofit from The Bamboo Project
The Wired Fundraiser (pdf file) by Katya Andresen and Stacie Mann, Network for Good

Facebook and Social Networking in the Press

73 and Loaded with Friends on Facebook, by John Scwhartz, New York Times, October 14, 2007
More Than Games, a Net to Snare Social Networkers by Brad Stone, New York Times, January 15, 2008
MySpace Agrees to Lead Fight to Stop Sex Predators by Anne Barnard, New York Times, January 15, 2008
New Social Sites Cater to People of a Certain Age, by Matt Richtel, New York Times, September 12, 2007 ("Older People are Sticky")

Facebook and Jewish Community

Facebook: It’s Not all Fun and Games (not that there’s anything wrong with that) by Caren Levine on jlearn2.0
List of Jewish and Israeli Facebook Groups by Jacob Richman
What a Punum: Jewish Facebook by Caren Levine on jlearn2.0

Miscellaneous Publications on Technology and Jewish Community

"The 21st Century Jewish Learner and the 21st Century Jewish Educator," Jewish Education News, Fall 2007 published by CAJE
"Landscape of 21st Century Jewish Education," Jewish Education News, Summer 2007 published by CAJE
White Paper: Jewish Learning in the Digital Age by Caren Levine on behalf of the BJE of Greater New York


Fundraising and Social Networks by Beth Kanter
Esther Kustanowitz's presentation at the GA 2007


Doonesbury September 9, 2007, Jeff's busy day, our notions of work
On Facebook... June 23, 2007, Social Signal cartoon

Getting Started: Creating a Facebook Profile

[text forthcoming - feel free to add text!]
[including how to set privacy settings]

More Facebook How-Tos

[how to add friends; how to send messages; how to create groups; how to add applications - feel free to add text!]]

How to find a friend on Facebook.