Monday, January 2, 2012

Top Ten Global Development Communications Stories of 2011

The first ladies of Kenya and South Africa tweeting for the first time at the Social Good Summit in New York.
This was originally posted to the Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Dec. 21, 2011.
As was the case in 2010, global development non-profits continued their love affair with social media, finding Twitter, Facebook and the like amazing tools for communicating and advocating on a wide range of global issues. From global health to climate change to political systems, we’ve seen health improved, lives saved, policies changed, and governments overturned when we harness these new information pathways effectively.

Based on the 11,196 non-profit professionals surveyed in the 3rd Annual Non-Profit Social Network Benchmark Report,  the Facebook average member community size increased 161 percent in 2011, and the average Twitter base was up 2 percent. International groups reported the highest use of Facebook up by a whopping 97 percent, and nearly double the number of Twitter followers as compared to all non-profits. As a global health and development communicator, I’ve been tracking the incredible progression of how health and development organizations use both new and traditional media to connect, engage, and inspire.

It’s why I’ve created my very own Top 10 list of favorite global development communication picks of 2011. Now, on to my other subjective picks for 2011 (and, yes, the Gates Foundation is on the list!) in no particular order: