Alright, I admit that when I first heard about one of the newest social networks out there, Pheed, I was underwhelmed. Are we not overwhelmed with social networks as it is? But both professional engagement and personal curiosity got the better of me, and I signed up. The interface looks rather like . The screenshot to the left is Pheed’s signup page: clearly it is pitched toward an artistic, and likely younger, audience. Nevertheless, it has a couple of features that nonprofits and charities could find especially useful as they present their own content via their social networks. Here’s how to sign up and see if it could be of use to your organization.
Phirstly, your Pheed can be setup immediately by signing in via your Twitter and/or Facebook account. And when you do so, you are given the choice of drawing on your other account’s settings and look. Assuming you have branded your other social networks with your charity’s logo and colors, you can thus have a similarly branded Pheed account in moments. If you decide to update your branding, do so at Facebook or Twitter, and when you sign out and back into Pheed, you will see the updates there. Easy-peasy!
The next set of choices is rather more radical for a social network: You can chose to have people follow your Pheed via a paid subscription, or by a pay-per-view model, or for free. If the last, you can change later or establish pay-per-view status for particular posts or events. So far, the majority of people on Pheed seem to be musicians (is Pheed the new?) and photographers, both of whom have an economic interest in sharing some, but having customers pay for most. How might a nonprofit use these various subscription tiers? Pheed could make a streaming seminar or other educational video or post as easy as posting said information and clicking the copyright/subscription button. Then the world will know of what your organization has posted (via Twitter and Facebook), yet will have to subscribe/pay for the specific content. Your nonprofit’s fundraising won’t explode on Pheed, but with a modicum of outreach prowess, you could defray costs for videotaping an event without dipping into the general account.
As I noted above − and is evident in the screenshot to the left − Pheed’s posting interface looks and behaves quite like Tumblr’s. But note the ‘Copyright this pheed’ to the left. Pheed clearly wants to encourage the posting of new content. And because nonprofits tend to like to avoid legal controversy (vis ), an easy copyright tag could be just the thing to encourage your staff to share information about your work without too much fear of blatant stealing (either stealing from your organization’s posts or accusations of lifting material from others’ sites).
What might be of even greater importance and opportunity for nonprofits is that speakers at seminars and interviewees and guest bloggers on your Pheed will enjoy some assurance that their information will be linked to them. Let’s be honest: the opportunities to lift unattributed material from your Pheed account still clearly exists (and surely will be done: I found an account of a 20-something claiming he had copyrighted images of Marilyn Monroe). Nevertheless, Pheed offers a certain gravitas to your organization’s posts that is sorely lacking on most every other social network.
At the moment and not surprisingly, Pheed’s audience is pretty limited. That audience is young, hip, and artsy. Your charity’s audience might not sport many tattoos, but reaching out to the younger set might not be a bad thing in itself. The ease of setup and branding, as well as the opportunities to retain the rights of content posted, make it a social network worth joining and keeping an eye on.