Blog Archives

Dealing with nasty Facebook comments

Icon for Post #2907

Of all the concerns nonprofits have about Facebook, the challenge of dealing with nasty comments ranks at the very top. Even higher than getting more comments in the first place.

This video shows you how to deal with mean spirited Facebook comments from a technical perspective. (Yes you can block people.)

social media policy advice

Pity the fool who has to reply to these spirited Facebookers.

But above and beyond the technical is the cultural. Interaction is key to being successful on social media – they don’t call it “social” for nothing. The ability to make comments is an attraction to Facebook. You want comments, as one comment makes a second comment more likely and so on. This rings true for comments in the positive or negative.

Hootville promotes the idea of a social media playbook as opposed to social media policy. Policies tend to be heavy on the don’ts and light on the dos. Part of any nonprofit’s social media playbook should be how to deal with unacceptable comments.

How do you define ‘unacceptable’ beyond the blatantly privacy-breaching, malicious, threatening and unsubstantiated? What if someone writes: “I used to use your service but I found Service X and they are so much better. More friendly and half the price. Losers!” 

Will you let that stay visible? Will you reply? We hope so. Some nonprofits are affronted by anything that isn’t blatantly positive but copping critical comments with dignity, grace and humour is a good look. Something like:

“We don’t see ourselves as losers but we are sorry to lose you. Anyhow we are happy you’ve found a new service that pleases you.”

Have a policy to write back to such comments that are close to, but don’t step over the line. Even better, you may find that others who are part of your socal media networks step in to defend and praise you.

And remember – not everyone who reads what you write believes you, even when you are being sincere and helpful. The same goes double for people leaving critical, nasty comments on your Facebook wall. Most often the only people who look bad are the commenters.

Tagged , , ,

Media training in regional Victoria

Icon for Post #2609

Brett will be donning Akubra, moleskins and Driza-Bone for a May jaunt through regional Victoria delivering Online Savvy 101 to members of the Hume region Family Violence Alliance.

media training in regional victoria

Brett will present the sessions wearing headwear similar to this.

The three sessions will take him to Benalla, Nagambie and Beechworth training about 20 folk in each town. It’s time to saddle up the old Honda and mosey up the Hume.

In keeping with this non-metropolitan setting Brett will be conducting the all-day sessions exclusively in his best Russell Crowe accent.

Tagged , ,

Hootville developing new community health website

Icon for Post #2358

Hootville has started work on an entirely new, dramatically improved website for nonprofit Inner South Community Health Service. Like so many other nonprofits ISCHS has been under-served by its website for too long. That changes in about 20 weeks.

community healthservice website

Staff hold little nostalgia for the existing website.

The biggest challenge will be wrangling approximately 160 services – that’s right 160 – into more intuitive groupings to enable punters to find what they seek quickly. 

There is dental, GPs, drug and alcohol counselling, fall prevention, Indigenous-specific services, domestic violence services and many many more.  

At a four hour planning workshop today we reached broad agreement on approximately 15 service categories: physical, mental, social, family, youth, older etc. By the way – is it OK to use the term Seniors to refer to older people? Your alternatives are welcome Citizens.  

We’ll show you the ISCHS site it launches mid year. Meanwhile if you want to talk to us about developing or planning your next site call Brett on 03 9017 1062. To get more from your current online presence order up an Online Savvy 101.

Tagged , , ,

Nonprofit website development development

Icon for Post #2220

Hootville Communications will be developing a new and vastly improved site for Inner South Community Health Services.  The project will be large as ISCHS has a broad mix of services from podiatry to parenting. We’ll incorporate social media and search engine considerations into everything we do. The new site will, true to Hootville’s philosophy, be more like a 24/7 unsalaried employee than an online brochure.  Our websites come with planning, training, technical back-up and graphic design. We’ll report back in six months time.

If its time to develop a better website for your organisation call Brett on 03 9017 1062.

Tagged ,

Advice for developing a new website

Icon for Post #1966

One key inspiration for our perpetual grumpiness is the appalling state of many nonprofit websites. Too many are simply too bad. Why? Lots of reasons but first is that nonprofits do not correctly brief, select or work with their developer.

Hootville Communications is very dubious about website developers which we declare  despite making part of our living developing websites. Developers are privileged in that they know soooo much more about websites than their clients which can lead to…less than optimum performance.

Over the next few weeks we’ll help you keep website developers honest with some savvy questions. Otherwise you’ll get the site they want to build for you – the quickest, fastest and most profitable. 

And yes, dear developers, in future future weeks we’ll tell nonprofits what they are doing wrong.

Q2. What features would you recommend?

A. The developer better have some strong recommendations or you’ll end up with a boring online brochure. Chief among the smorgasboard of ideas: social media sharing technologies such as Sexy Bookmarks, eNewsletter such as MailChimp, online payment, bookings and donations systems, embedded video, Google Analytics, Google Maps of key locations, embedded Twitter feed, pop-up banners, integrated Facebook, easy SEO options such as HeadSpace2 to enable Google-friendly page names and tags. You want lots of suggestions based on the developer’s experience. You needn’t utilise them all but you are paying for their wisdom. Are they wise?

web developers offer buffet of options

You want a buffet of enticing options; including some you've not had before.

Why do you want all these features? Because having and utilising them means your site is worth visiting more than once. It turns your website into a 24/7 employee and that the money you invest gets a better return. We’ve all been trained by some companies to interact with them via the web; perhaps to book an appointment or pay a bill. In fact we often prefer this. Your site should do the same. Without features your site is likely to be feeling pretty lonely, pretty soon.

Let’s say you want to offer online bookings on your new site. If you use a well-established CMS (see question one below) you will have a range of options for this purpose. This is similar to the range of apps you have for your smartphone which all offer largely the same thing, such as choosing a restaurant. Each app is competing for your custom and is reviewed online by nerds. Read and consider these independently of the developer. The more you know, the smarter your questions; the better your choice.

In a way this is a trick question – you are asking this to see if you the developer will supply more than technical know-how.

 

Q1. What content management systems do you work with and why?

A. Your content management system (CMS) is fundamental to how your easy or otherwise your site is to build, maintain and expand in the future. You use the CMS to present your words and images on the web as a working website. It will determine how many options you have for features such as online payments, online shopping, booking systems or social media sharing. The CMS will determine if your site remains cohesive with ever-evolving technologies. It will also determine the mental health of your web editor.

website developers

These guys think their suits are sooo special.

A website is not like a Saville Row suit – you don’t benefit from having it handmade from scratch by one artisan. Think of it as a quality car, assembled from dozens of tested, proven parts from various specialist manufacturers, enhanced by some (relatively minor) choices you make, all under the experienced eye of one car company which takes ultimate responsibility and most of the profit. (We hate car-analogies but in this case it’s a valid one.) 

Hopefully the developer will answer “WordPress” or another proven CMS such as Drupal or Joomla! though we cannot vouch for these platforms. If they talk of their own special CMS which only they develop and maintain, walk away. Run away if they explain that their system is superior to say, WordPress which drives 19 million sites. Slam the door behind you if they start explaining that you must pay ongoing fees for use of their CMS.

You can save yourself from a whole lot of wasted meetings by clarifying this straight away. Developers will generally have a preference. This is their preference, not yours. Don’t be swayed without great reason.

Do some homework by asking owners of great (not good) websites about their CMS. You may be surprised at the passion of the responses. And be sure to ask the person who actually updates the site – not the boss or the techie.

Tagged , , ,

social media training in Melbourne

Icon for Post #1584
social media training for fclcv

With this training under their belts equality before the law will just be a matter of time.

The Federation of Community Law Centres Victoria has booked Hootville Communications to deliver social media training to a swag of its members in Melbourne Wednesday August 3. We’ll train members in the smarter use of Facebook and Twitter plus we’ll look at getting more from websites. It’s essentially an abridged Online Savvy 101 workshop.

Tagged , ,

A beastly Facebook experiment

Icon for Post #1462
Facebook advice

Maybe there's hope yet...

We’re all about EdgeRank at the moment and so should you if you’re in charge of a Facebook page. This piece by Thomas E Weber of The Daily Beast summarises one man’s attempt to go viral via Facebook. As you’ll read, most of us have developed an immunity.

Lazy (aka busy) citizens should skip to points six and nine as they offer hope to the devious (aka innovative).

Tagged , , ,