Social Media for Good Roundup: Emails, maps, confusion and responsibility

Dark Twitter bird

Twitter bird. Courtesy of Andreas Eldh on Flickr.

The “Social Media for Good Roundups” are a series of posts in which I share interesting articles and other resources that I come across. This week’s roundup looks at good examples for email-newsletters, improved security for Twitter accounts, a critical look at the lack of coordination between crowdsourcing initiatives and additional thoughts on the role of social media after the Boston bombings.

I’m frequently shocked by how bad the e-mail newsletters sent by large International Organizations are. This blog post looks at three positive examples, that show how NGOs can integrate social media and donate-buttons into their newsletters. Speaking of newsletters: did you know there is a weekly Social Media for Good newsletter? You can subscribe to it here…

I recently described myself as a sceptical optimist and that is certainly true when I look at crisis mapping. That’s why I was very glad to read this very thoughtful piece, written by well-known crisis mapper, Anahi Ayala Iacucci, in which she looks at the Kenya elections and the multiple competing and confusing crowdsourcing system that had been set up. I’m a huge fan of coordination and think this post shows why it is necessary and helpful (even if it isn’t sexy).

Considering how often prominent Twitter accounts get hacked, it’s good to see that the company is finally starting to think about introducing two-step verification, rather than shifting the responsibility to the users. Unfortunately, there aren’t any details yet, and I’ll be particularly curious to see how they will deal with the fact that many accounts are managed by multiple users. I suppose we’ll find out soon.

The Reddit team has published this post on the Reddit community’s role after the Boston bombing. As you might have heard, Reddit users falsely identified a person as a suspect a process which then “spiralled into very negative consequences for innocent parties” – which is a very long way of saying “witch hunt”. Reflecting on the responsibilities that social media sites have, when their tools are used to harm people, is certainly something that more sites should spend time on.