Blossom Nnodim’s #AdoptATweep – Leveraging Social Media for Social Good in Nigeria

Blossom Nnodim is a Nigerian writer, master of ceremonies and social media enthusiast. Nnodim is passionate about the good inherent in social media, and she not only uses social media to create value, but also to spread good.

Global Voices caught up with Nnodim to discuss her #AdoptATweet campaign, the positive impact of social media, and the role of online platforms in Nigerian politics.

Nwachukwu Egbunike (NE): ”Author, blogger, compère (MC).” That’s how you describe yourself! Can you tell us about the Blossom we don’t know about?

Blossom Nnodim - "Social Media for Social Good means creating a positive societal impact using social media as a voice"  (Image used with permission)

“Social Media for Social Good means creating a positive societal impact using social media as a voice.” – Blossom Nnodim
(Image used with her permission)

Blossom Nnodim (BN): The Blossom you do not know is one that is outwardly fearless but inwardly at a crossroad between doing what is right and what is expected from the society. She deliberately sees life as a “half filled” cup despite the fact the emptiness often time outweighs the fullness.

NE: You are the creator of #AdoptATweep, a social media and entrepreneurship project. What is it all about, how did it come about and what has been the story so far?

BN: The #AdoptATweep brand came out of a desire to create as many “overlords” as possible on Twitter. I joined Twitter actively after the existing “cabal” had already being formed. At this point I realized that most Nigerians tend to take Twitter validations serious either by way of retweets or follow-backs by an assumed overlord.

The real truth about coming up with the #AdoptATweep concept was to demystify the entire Twitter concept and make regular users become celebrity users in the shortest possible time.

Following the success of the first year, the concept naturally took on a more serious approach and it was at this point that the “Twitter-preneurship” focus of #AdoptATweep was explored and the focus shifted. More details can be found here.

NE: You are an advocate of Social Media for Social Good. Can you explain what this means?

BN: Social Good is an action that benefits society. This gives a somewhat non reaching definition especially with the invention of social media. As such, the striking word in the term “social good” is the social component, which aptly conveys the “shareable” aspect of the term. Social Media for Social Good means creating a positive societal impact using social media as a voice.

Anyone with access to technology, Internet, qwerty keyboard, etc. can organize an impact reaching campaign that has the possibility of benefiting the society. Social good is the process of using social media and social-focused communities to create a positive impact on our surrounding environment.

NE: There have been fears over Nigeria’s government ramping up of Internet surveillance and, most recently, failed attempt to gag netizens. What is your take on free speech and the Internet?

BN: There is a thin line between freedom of speech and hate speech. This line is not always clearly defined and as such netizens could in a bid to break the news inadvertently share updated that could tear down instead of building up.

The Internet surveillance bid and recent attempt to “gag” citizens at first glance may seem like an effrontery on freedom of speech. Deep down, the key focus is on false information. The only challenge is on the full explanation of what false information means. If the Federal Government [of Nigeria] is both the decider on what false information is and who becomes culpable in disseminating false information, the challenge could range from intimidation of the opposition to clear cut witch-hunting.

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This post first appeared as Nigerian Blogger Blossom Nnodim Talks ‘Social Media for Social Good’ · Global Voices

Ian Rosenberger’s Thread International – A For Profit Endeavor with a Non-Profit Mission

Social Entrepreneurs: Merging Profit Endeavors with a Non-Profit Mission

By Nick Frost | 90.5 WESA Pittsburgh

Credit Nick Frost / 90.5 WESA Tim Zak (left), Director of the Institute of Social Innovations at CMU, studies social changes which includes Ian Rosenberger (right), founder of Thread International, is just one example of a new type of entrepreneur called social entrepreneurs.

There are many emerging companies that blur the lines of for profit endeavor with a non-profit mission, these social entrepreneurs, as they are called, are concerned with both financial sustainability and social impact.

Ian Rosenberger, founder of Thread International, an East Liberty based company recycling plastic bottles in Haiti for use in the manufacturing of apparel is one of these social entrepreneurs. Tim Zak, Director of the Institute for Social Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University studies innovators such as Ian.

Zak says, “we often think of entrepreneurs as those who have a motivation for financial gain and perhaps as a nice byproduct there are some social impact, where social entrepreneurs differ perhaps is that they are still addressing the needs of people that their needs are not adequately met by existing solutions, but their primary motivation is on social impact that is financially sustainable over a long period of time.”

Rosenberger has created a company that appears to fit that definition and it all started after a natural disaster.

“After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, I got the chance to travel down there and while there, spent a week and fell in love with the country and people. And the two things I see the most when I travel to the developing world, and I’ve had the chance to see a lot of interesting places now, are poverty and trash. In a place like Haiti where you see thousands of non-profits and NGO’s focusing on social problems, but not a lot of progress being made, we saw an opportunity to pick up a lot of trash, create a lot of jobs and have a social impact at the same time. The idea for Thread was born out of a need to create jobs for the people we were coming to love, the friends and family, in Haiti almost four years ago now.”

via Social Entrepreneurs: Merging Profit Endeavors with a Non-Profit Mission | 90.5 WESA