In a world with 2.1 billion internet users and over 5 billion mobile subscribers, social media and technology can help drive development success. The impact that social media can have on the national and international agenda is huge. This potential is at the heart of CABI’s on-going ventures into the social media world.
CABI have already been using social media for some time through the micro-blogging site Twitter. Providing updates on CABI projects around the world, news on developments in information resources and links to blogs, subscribers to the Twitter feed gain numerous benefits. As a judicious collator of information the CABI Twitter feed is also used to pass along information on updates within the worlds of science and development. This potential for fast sharing of information is a key benefit of social media. However, a CABI Facebook presence provides new opportunities for interaction.
The potential of social media within not-for-profit and development circles is fast being realised. By offering a range of information and, importantly, opportunities for interaction Facebook is a fantastic way for anyone to get involved in the development agenda. Asking questions, sharing information, but also engaging in conversation are key ways in which CABI will utilise the community development potential of our Facebook page.
CABI will look to learn from other organizations whilst delving further into the world of social media. The potential to engage huge numbers is clear – 52 million people ‘like’ Coca-Cola. This is important, however the opportunity for CABI goes beyond simple numbers. Engaging via social media on a deeper level will provide a real awareness of the impacts that development projects are having. With constant feedback and participation, CABI can make sure that the issues being addressed are the ones which matter.
While social media will not singularly mitigate poverty or development problems, it can complement tools to increase awareness, education and participation in campaigns and initiatives. In building a community, CABI will look to engage more with people around the world who are interested in, or affected by, our work. You can join them today – and let us know what you think.