I come across so many great conversations, ideas, and resources all over the web every day. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve found recently (as of December 22nd). You can join the conversations in the comments, or click through to the original posts to find what others are saying.

To follow more of the things I find online, you can follow @amysampleward on Twitter (which is just a blog and resource feed), or find me on Delicious (for all kinds of bookmarks).

  • Why Real-World Socializing Is the Next Big Thing for Social Media – "From the Latin root socials, meaning “united, living with others,” the word social is firmly grounded in the physical world and implies face-to-face interaction. If you’re a social person, it means you like to spend time with other people. But this definition conflicts with today’s concept of social networking, in which we interact primarily with screens rather than with people."
  • Here’s What People Look at on Facebook Brand Pages – "In an effort to catch your eye on their Facebook pages, brands have experimented with apps and splashy profile photos. But in almost all cases, it turns out, the humble Facebook wall itself steals the show. In an webcam eye-tracking study for Mashable by EyeTrackShop, the 30 participants who viewed top Facebook brand pages almost always looked at pages’ walls first — usually for at least four times longer than any other element on the page."
  • The Buzz Builders Blog – "As Habitat for Humanity celebrates their 35th anniversary, along with the completion of their 500,000th home this month, they’re jumping on the “social” train and investing in new web tools that integrate the “social media experience” with the “volunteer experience.” Check out these three great tools that Habitat has developed to make volunteering more social in this digital age."
  • How One Company Saved Thousands of Dogs Using Social Media – Great post from Frank Barry with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels! "Social media is all the rage, but does it actually help create real change in the world? The folks at Best Friends Animal Society would answer with a resounding yes! Best Friends has introduced the Invisible Dogs Campaign, a nod to the invisible dog leash from the ‘70s and ‘80s. “Invisible dogs” refer to the forgotten pets found in city shelters that face tremendous odds to get adopted. “[We’re] turning that into a real message about adopting dogs unseen in the nation’s shelters,” explains Claudia Perrone, marketing manager for Best Friends. Best Friends provides a valuable example of social media mobilizing people to take action in the real world."
  • What Nonprofits Can Learn From Occupy Wall Street – Social Good – The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs, and ideas – "In the six week since Occupy Wall Street began its protests, the movement has spread across the country. Nonprofits that want to create movements that take hold and spread fast need look no further than the We Are the 99 Percent Tumblr blog, says Micah Sifry, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum. Where nonprofits often stumble in their social-networking efforts, he says, is by creating campaigns that are "a little too slick, a little too professional, a little too cautious, a little too controlled.""
Great reads from around the web on December 22nd
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