May 11

Geo-tagging your nonprofit

David Leavitt

Location-based social network Foursquare recently counted its 40 millionth check-in, according to a tweet from one of their developers.

Facebook is rumored to be ready to jump into the location-based market with its own product. Nobody knows for certain if it will develop its own location check-in product or integrate with existing providers such as Foursqare, Brightkite or Gowalla.

Knowing where your network of friends are at any time can be a powerful tool in increasing your perceived connectivity to your network. With location-based services becoming a large part of the social media landscape, how can nonprofits begin to use geotagging to benefit our community?

I would love to hear your ideas, but here are some initial thoughts:

  • Mobile volunteering – People enjoy showing that they are part of nonprofit campaigns (adding badges, causes to their online profiles). Use this mentality to help people show their friends what nonprofit projects they’re involved in.  “Hey I’m volunteering at a food bank at X location, come join me!”
  • Twitter advocacy –Show a locally elected official a visual map of how many people are talking about a given issue on Twitter. Put together a real-time map for politicians of incoming tweets from his or her district.
  • Geo-location games – Foursqure became popular because of its game features.  Try using the check-in feature in conjunction with events you are holding to gain karma points.
  • Community mapping – This is a popular feature in developing countries, but there is no reason why Americans can’t get involved. Use your phone and location to identify problem areas in your community and force government to fix the problems.

What are some of your geotagging ideas?


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