socialbysocial bookI just got my first copy of the Social by Social book I co-authored earlier this year with David Wilcox, Andy Gibson, and Nigel Courtney and Clive Holtham from Cass Business School.  That’s the book next to the website where you can read the book for free or download the free PDF.  And I’m going to give it away!

About Social by Social:

Social by Social is a practical guide to using new technologies to create social impact. It makes accessible the tools you need to engage a community, offer services, scale up activities and sustain projects. Whoever you are, it shows you how to take technology and turn it into real world benefits.

We want to help people in the public and third sectors do more good, by showing them the power of these technologies and how to access them. In the process, we hope we can also educate funders and policy workers about the huge shift of mindset and expectations needed to commission these projects successfully, to give the innovators more space to work.”

What people have already said about Social by Social:

“If you’re interested in using social media in your organization, and you should be, Social by Social is the real deal.”
Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist

Social by Social is a timely and invaluable contribution to the literature and contains some fundamentally important emergent lessons for anyone considering the use of social media to develop their ideas.”
Tessy Britton, Social Spaces

“People who do the sort of stuff I do – supporting community activists in the use of social media – should get a copy and read around the subject a bit more.”
– Mark Walker, Sussex Community Internet Project


I’m going to give away this copy of the book and am pretty excited to do it! But, didn’t know how to choose from all the great readers and commenters here.  So, there’s got to be a catch. But I want the catch to be beneficial to all of us to further surface great examples, share knowledge, and surface organizations you may want to learn more about.

Details: The Social by Social handbook is all about great examples of how organizations and groups are leveraging social tools to wider their impact, better connect with their supporters, or more effectively provide services.  So, to be in the running for the giveaway, simply leave a comment here with your favorite example of an organization or social impact group using social technologies in their work. That’s it!  I’ll put all the names of commenters in a hat and just draw the lucky winner out.

Leave your comment by Monday the 26th (you have one week)!

(Full transparency: none of the co-authors get any money from book sales.  You can read the book for free online or download the PDF of the book for free as well at

Social by Social: Book Giveaway!
Tagged on:         
  • I would say that Kiva is a great example, maybe not social as in twitter, but social as in building relationships through technology, and a new connectedness between people.

    TED’s ability to leverage the attendance of hundreds to provide millions with inspiration is a great example of the power of low cost social media.

    Twitter itself is a great example of the simplicity of a social technology. That what differentiates it is actually less features, not more. But also that openness is key.

    Looks like a great book!

  • Thanks, Patrick!

    Do you have a favorite organization using Twitter? I see lots of organizations using Twitter but also many using hashtags or additional twitter account to raise awareness or tie together conversations for specific campaigns.

    The TED social network site is also an interesting example of layered networks: those who speak at TED, those who attend TED, and then those who participate or follow online all coming together in one place.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas!

  • wendy wallach

    I think PETA is a great example of a group that has a;ways been in the forefront of using social media to get their message across.

    madamerkf at aol dot com

  • Thanks, Wendy – PETA always has videos in the Nonprofit Video Awards. Are there any other specific examples from PETA you’ve liked or want to note?

    Thanks for joining in here!

  • HI Amy – I have the Social by Social book, but would like another one!

  • Tessy – I think I might have to call “no fair!” on you 🙂

    Any good examples you’ve come across in the Social Spaces work that would be interesting to share here?

    Thanks for commenting, either way!

  • One of my favorite orgs using social media is CMAP – the quasi-governmental Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. They’ve engaged the entire area in an interactive planning process through Great, great work mixing offline events with social media.

  • Justin-

    Thanks for the great example! What I like most about the CMAP case study is that it isn’t *just* a great use of technology and online activity, but a true blend of on and offline action. Thanks so much for throwing this in!

  • Dare I say Harringay Online, Amy?

    This week, thanks to our use of the networks we are building up we are uncovering issues affecting housing, and have got a problem with a local building sorted out thanks to a nice estate agent and it’s only Monday! We’re also having a neighbourly get together this week, so as to build stronger off line networks too

    (p.s. I don’t have a copy of the book but would like one)

  • I’m going to go with the Case Foundation for this one. Although their work is somewhat removed from direct service, I thought they did an amazing job with their recent series of webinars for the Gear Up for Giving. I love the way they *used* popular, effective, social media tools like Twitter and UStream, to teach nonprofits *about* social media.

    And I just heard that the America’s Giving Challenge that they are spearheading has raised $500,000!

  • Thanks, Laura! I totally agree with you! The Case Foundation took what I would call the NTEN-approach, the teach while using tactic. What better way to help organizations identify the ways online tools can be used for their work than by engaging with them on the tools. It also creates a “safe place” for questions and experimentation for those just diving in (hey, and for those “experts” too).

  • Hi,

    Well it would be worth reading around the subject. I don’t think we can see any single medium solving all our problems. I’m typing this into a web browser, I have a twitter client open and my email too. And I have a charity newsletter in my bag later. But you can use social media tools to drive people elsewhere.

    Like here.


  • Lis – Harringay Online is a terrific example! Could you share a link to the site where any of the conversations or content about the housing issue are? Would be great to see!

    I also just posted earlier today about Oakland Local, a local website launching today for the Oakland, CA, area that has taken the approach of partnering specifically with area-organizations for content and news, etc. Could be an interesting site to watch for the hyper-local work Harringay Online does.

    Thanks – and your name will be in the hat for a book 🙂

  • Thanks, Reuben-

    Any good examples of social media driving people somewhere together, to make positive change? Would love to hear any examples you’ve come across.

    And thanks for joining the conversation here!

  • My organization, and another one in town is my favorite example of a nonprofit using social media for social good.

    I’ll plug the other organization so as to not feel like an ad. The Whatcom Volunteer Center in Bellingham, WA USA is using Twitter and Facebook to notify their followers/fans of volunteer opportunities, on a daily basis. It’s been neat to see people respond to their tweets and organize groups to join volunteering events such as the National Day of Service on 9/11, or the upcoming Make A Difference Day 09.

    I’ll give a little plug for my org the Whatcom Coalition for Healthy Communities. We’re using Twitter, and Facebook to some extent, to get word out about our projects,, and the ACHIEVE initiative. Our site has tons of info relevant to our area for other nonprofits, grant seekers and policy makers, but given our small advertising budget social media tools have become an excellent way to share our message and info to anyone interested.

    My organization and the Whatcom Volunteer Center are small, but we are making the most with what we have.

  • Hi Amy,

    Great question. I’ll definitely be visiting your blog again soon.

    What you are seeing in the world of Jewish connectivity right now is smaller organizations or groups of individuals using social media channels to promote their mission, whether or not a physical or functional organization exists. It’s an interesting trend that could not happen with the supporting technologies.

    @HebrewUniversity and @JewishAgency are two large, established organizations that have really figured out how to use Twitter to forward their mandates. They’re usage is impressive.

    Examples of smaller organizations that are doing the reverse (as described) are @JewishLibrary and @JewishTweets. @JewishLibrary is a social activist working to start up a library in Vilnius. @JewishTweets is actually the most popular Jewish Twitter– there is an organization behind the account, but the account stands alone. Their popularity was helped along by their early adapter status, but moreover because they really figured out how to use Twitter as a communication tool to amplify their voice.

    Appreciate the other responses. Glad to be in the running for an interesting read.

    ~ Maya

    The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy & Innovation

  • Forgot to add: congratulations on your book’s publication. Exciting!

    ~ Maya

  • My church ( has done some fun and engaging things through youtube (username = bramsvan) and my pastor has engaged heavily through facebook and twitter (@daveferguson). My church is also planning an all online service\campus.

    Another faith based one is They are working to fight online pornography addictions, which is rampant. They have done a good job of talking about the problem where it exists, online.

    I would love to brag about how my org is doing this, but we are still working on it.

  • Javier-

    Thanks for sharing not one, but two great examples! I really appreciate your point that even with a small budget, social media tools can help small organizations make a difference. Obviously, social media isn’t completely “free” as it requires staff time and knowledge. But it sounds like you and the folks at Whatcom Volunteer Center have a good grasp of the tools and are using them successfully!

    Can you share some links with us for people interested in seeing the Twitter or facebook for either of the organizations?

    Thanks again

  • Hi Maya-

    Thank you for the congrats 🙂 And thanks for joining in the conversation here – would be glad to have you back!

    I really like the point you touch on and completely agree: social media tools allow individuals or groups to reach equal numbers of people and carry a message or call to action as potentially powerful as organizations or companies. Social media is a bit of a leveler when it comes to campaigning and communication. Obviously, there is no replacement for capacity and larger organizations can have staff dedicated to social media or campaigning, and individuals or small groups usually can’t. But, when it comes to access and potential, the field definitely flattens out.

    I’ll be checking out the different twitter accounts to see them in action, too!

    Thanks again for joining in.

  • Hey Steve-

    Thanks for joining in! I’d love to hear more about the all online service. Some things that come to mind include: why do an all online service, who is the audience, how will that audience be drawn in and connected long-term, how does the online service fit with offline actions/community, etc.

    I think everyone wishes they could brag about their own organizations and can’t, but don’t take it as a big knock. There is still so much that’s changing and growing and evolving that even organizations that are doing one thing “right” probably do something else less right. It takes time and a lot of work to get the whole gamut figured out!

    Thanks again.

  • Amy – I’d love a copy!

  • Thanks, John! 🙂 Any great examples you want to share? Perhaps you could put in a few links to 12for12K actions new readers could take a look at.

  • Amy – Yes. Especially the 12for12k campaign we did with Strength.Org, where we raised awareness about the hunger issue AND raised over $15k in 48 hours!

  • Love it! Terrific example, John – thanks for sharing the link!

  • You’re welcome, Amy!

  • Thanks for the reply Amy,

    Here are some links to my organization, the Whatcom Coalition for Healthy Communities, and for the Whatcom Volunteer Center.



    Our sites:

  • Javier – thanks so much for adding the links!

  • Kim

    World Pulse ( and their online networking site Pulsewire ( is a fantastic example of the potential for the internet to do good. World Pulse is a media organization that recognizes that there are a lot more stories than what gets told through traditional media avenues- the perspectives of women are especially lacking in global media coverage. Pulsewire is a social networking site where women and women’s supporters from all over the world can gather to tell their own stories, to exchange ideas, and offer each other resources to help solve problems. It creates community, which I believe is the most powerful role the internet can play in helping us imagine and create a better future. I read posts on the site when I need a daily dose of inspiration.

  • Hi Kim-

    Thanks so much for joining the conversation here. I’m a fan of World Pulse as well and completely agree with you that building community is how we begin to change the world. I signed up to their e-newsletter and enjoy the stories they highlight via email to pull people back in to the site.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  • I love what NPR has done with their site, Facebook page, Twitter accounts and podcasts. I’m much more engaged with NPR than I ever was when I just listened to it on the radio.

  • Thanks, Christine! I think NPR is a great example. Now that I live abroad I have found a new connection to NPR thanks to the tools you mention – podcasts of shows, Twitter, etc. It really helps me feel like I’m still connected to the topics and conversations at home.

  • Congrats on the new book! Can’t wait to check it out.


  • Thanks so much, Jocelyn! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and feedback 🙂

  • Congrats on the book! Just bought a copy – looking forward to reading it and giving it away on my blog in the next month.

  • Hey Beth – Thanks so much! I’m so excited to hear your feedback and ideas and am sure that David and Andy (the co-authors) feel the same way 🙂 Let me know if there’s anything I can help with.

  • Pingback: Social by Social Book Giveaway: Winner at Amy Sample Ward’s Version of NPTech()