13 Blogs to Read for #SocialGood in 2013

December 13, 2012 BY Aaron Sherinian


The new year is around the corner and while we don’t know everything in store for 2013, one thing is for certain: Technology and social media will continue to play a major role in how people around the world innovate and connect for good around global issues. 

It was a big year for the conversation around social good, with new thinkers asking some big questions on their blogs, empowering us to learn from and interact with one another.  Some innovative bloggers helped drive that global dialogue, and we're all counting on them to help push our communities to do even more – and do it better – in the coming year.

In that spirit, I’ve put together a list of 13 blogs to read for #SocialGood in 2013.  This is by no means a comprehensive catalogue of all the great blogs out there, but it does include a mix of blogs that inform and educate on topics I care about, particularly on the intersection of international affairs and how to use social media for social good.  Consider it a tasting menu of resources that challenge, provoke, promote, and engage.

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  1. AlertNet Blogs: The blogs section of AlertNet, a humanitarian news service run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, includes news and opinions on a range of global development issues.  When the headlines seem to be more focused on SoHo than the Sahel, AlertNet helps provide a global perspective on areas of the world where we should be watching, taking action, and driving innovation for impact.

  2. Armchair Advocates: Its tagline says it all – “Where social media meets social good.”  This blog is a favorite for information and tips on how people and groups are using social media to drive change.  The blog has a special gift for honing in on some organizations and causes that surprise with a fresh approach to taking action on global issues.

  3. Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media: Beth Kanter dispenses smart advice on how organizations can harness social media to advance their missions.  If you know Beth, you know that her blog is infused with the same spirit that makes her a great teacher: It's all about people, stories, and impact.

  4. Devex: This website has been a favorite of mine for years, and the news feature is a go-to stop for the latest international development news.  While it may seem slightly out of place to include a site this robust on a list of blogs, I consider it a regular part of my morning routine, and I tell anyone who is looking for a job or looking to make a difference around the social good conversation to be aware of what people are posting about/talking about on Devex.

  5. FrogLoop: Care2, an online community for people who care about causes not as an afterthought but as a key part of their lives, runs this blog focused on helping nonprofits effectively use digital tools to communicate.  The ideas don't require a complete re-design of your organization or your approach; these are smart tactics that you can implement as soon as your next staff meeting.

  6. The Global Conversation: The Global Conversation was launched at the 2012 Social Good Summit and is an ongoing dialogue between people around the world about using technology and social media for good.  (Disclosure: As readers of this blog know, the UN Foundation is a partner of the Social Good Summit.)  This is a site to watch in the coming year, and I encourage people not only to consume the information, but contribute to the dialogue.

  7. Huffington Post Impact: This is a great resource for first-hand opinions from advocates of global change.  The site has helped drive a number of important conversations this year and will no doubt help shape the agenda around social innovation and international development next year.

  8. Lens: The New York Times’ photo blog provides powerful images of news and events from around the world.  When the issues around social good and global engagement start to feel far away or out-of-reach, this blog is like a refreshing window and reminder into why we all care so much about what we do.

  9. Mashable’s Social Good: Mashable’s Social Good section provides the latest news on how technology and social media are being used to bring about positive change.  Mashable really knows how to find and tell a story, and its new recent re-design has taken an already powerful site to a whole new level of utility...and chic.  It's like having a Mensa genius/fashion model/Nobel prize winner in your smartphone.

  10. Mom Bloggers for Social Good: This is more than a blog – it’s a coalition of over 1,000 mom bloggers across the world who use their social media platforms to spread the word about causes and groups working for change.  The UN Foundation is one of their partners, giving me the opportunity to witness their passion and reach firsthand.

  11. Poverty Matters: The Guardian hosts this blog, which includes news and smart commentary on global poverty issues.  I like the size and scope of the articles, which don't isolate people by talking down to them about complex issues, but aren't afraid to take on the complexity of the problems and issues they cover.

  12. Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog: This blog, published by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, provides ideas and information on how to drive social change.

    Last, but not least, there are three blogs/sites that help keep my team smart and have a great nose for where innovation and global engagement meet global opportunity and need.  Disclaimer: The UN Foundation is a supporter of two of these excellent sites, but they are part of the "must-read" list in my life, so I share them here as part of lucky #13!

  13. United Nations Blog, UN Dispatch, and The InterDependent:  These outlets provide an invaluable and interesting round-up of global news and views, reminding me how much goes on every 24 hours in a world filled with issues and problems without passports.

They also help show where solutions are taking shape and how constructive global engagement is taking these solutions to scale.  These writers aren’t sitting at a desk thinking about these issues, they are all around the world living them and talking to the people who make things work.

Now I know I have left off a number of key blogs, many of them written by friends and partners, but what I love about this community is that we know how to share and keep each other in-the-loop when it comes to smart resources to help keep us savvy.  Please let me know what blogs you'll be reading in 2013 to help keep global issues and social good on your radar screen...and at the top of our shared agenda for a better world.




POSTED IN: #SGSGlobal, Social Good

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