From Networked Advocacy
What do we mean by "social ties"?
The importance of social ties isn't new to most activists. However, they are not just "nice to have". Social ties are a strategic part of the ability to get things done in a network. Tell us how you effectively build social connections among people you work with ...
Building strong social ties: what you can do
- Icebreaker games
- Share profiles of network members. The Health and Environment Initiative and the White House Project posted member profiles on their websites.
- Social events. Remember, social time during meetings is critical.
- Mentoring, especially between staff of varying seniority, function and history with the network
- Job swaps
- Training/skill sharing events
- Connect online and offline activities. Communities usually need some face to face time. For example, 'meetup' groups meet online and arrange offline events.
- Use social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace - or build your own. Members of the War No Warming Facebook Group can see profiles of other members of the cause, thus building sense of community.
- HOW ELSE can we build social ties?
Evaluating your network social ties:
- How well do network members know each other? Have they worked together before?
- What kinds of connections exist between network members: professional, social, geographic, ideological, etc.? Are they "on the same page" in any ways?
- Who do network members have in common? Do they all know/work with some of the same people?
- What relationships provide what value? Which provide the best returns?
- How deeply do network members know each other? How many connections does an individual have within the network?
- Do members like each other? Do they trust each other?
- How does interacting with others in the network affect member energy? Is it frustrating? Is it an obligation/ Is it enjoyable?
- Are the right connections in place? Are any key connections missing?
- ADD YOUR THOUGHTS here...
Examples of networks using social ties
Photo credit: Crowd photo: adlaw: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adlaw/88182813/