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«Dialogic Connections: An Analysis of Groundwork Anacostia River, DC’s Use of Facebook and Twitter Madeleine Shaw The George Washington University ...»

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Twitter page does an excellent job of presenting all three paradigms evenly. Lovejoy and Saxton emphasize that when this framework is being employed by an organization, it should be employed as an entire system. An organization cannot focus directly on making one type of post and be successful in their use of social media. They must consistently utilize all three as equally as possible. Groundwork’s Twitter page not only uses all three categories of posts equally, but also successfully interchanges the order of the types of posts made. The tweets are not always in an information, community, action order; often there will be multiples of one type of tweet made in a row followed by multiple tweets of another type. Randomizing the order of the tweets sent maintains the interest of all groups of individuals following Groundwork’s Twitter account. If too many of one type of tweet was sent out in a period of time, audience members who identify more with one of the other types may become disinterested and cease to follow the account.

Despite the face that Groundwork is using their Twitter in the way that Lovejoy and Saxton recommend for organizations of this type, ie by incorporating all three types of tweets, there is still not the presence of dialogic connections. One of the most crucial components of these connections is that the result is an exchange between the community partner and the audience members. Groundwork, through its Twitter account, does an excellent job of reaching out to the community and attempting to interact with them through social media and subsequently in person. However, there is little to no response being made by the audience members. The conversation is one-sided and because of this cannot be categorized as dialogic connection.

There needs to be more exchange and interaction between GWARDC and their audience for their practices to be considered “dialogic connection3”. This can occur in a number of different ways, such as community members retweeting, hashtagging, or favoriting tweets that Groundwork sends out. A possible area of study for future research within this field could be that given these conditions, how could nonprofits of GWARDC’s size effectively foster dialogic connections between themselves and their audience? Groundwork is clearly putting in the effort with their Twitter account to create these connections, and no more can be done on their side.

However, the involvement by the community members is not as prominent as it needs to be in order for these connections to come to fruition. Therefore, the lack of interaction could be the result of a failing on the part of the organization or the community as a whole.

Overall, GWARDC is using their Twitter account in the way that Lovejoy and Saxton recommend in their study. They are incorporating all three types of tweets and are interchanging the types of tweets they send out regularly. Groundwork’s Facebook, however, is not being used as efficiently as their Twitter. The Facebook account does not seem to receive as much attention from the organization itself as the Twitter account does, from an outsider’s perspective. Many of the posts made to the Facebook account occurred on the same day, whereas tweets seemed to be more spread out.

Analysis of Groundwork’s Use of Facebook When just looking at GWARDC’s Facebook posts, the organization’s social media presence comes across as very information-oriented. Their Facebook activity does not indicate the strong presence of dialogic connections. The majority of Groundwork’s posts on their Facebook page consist of textual excerpts with attached photos of Green Team events. While these encourage people to find out more about the organization and see the students in action, it does not allow for much active participation by the audience.


In order to successfully form the dialogic connections that they need to form in order to function on social media successfully, Groundwork needs to utilize their Facebook page to its full capacity. To do this they must increase the amount of community and action posts they are making. If possible, they need to make a community post and an action post each time they post an information post before they make another information post. In other words, the amount of information, community and action posts made needs to be equal. This is the only way to build upon the knowledge and relationships being formed through these online interactions.

Once Groundwork increases their community and action-based posts, they will have reached the same point with their Facebook page that they are currently at with their Twitter account. Once this point has been reached, if there is again a lack of interaction with the community members, the question of whether or not this is the fault of Groundwork may again arise. The interaction with members of the community on Facebook will be more difficult to gauge, considering that many of the individuals may look through the photo albums or read all of the posts without explicitly taking action themselves. However, unless actions such as liking, sharing or commenting on posts or photographs that are posted occur, the relationships GWARDC is fostering cannot be classified as dialogic.

Groundwork has the potential to be very dialogically connected to its audience members.

Their Twitter account has already created a space for online interaction and community involvement by their audience members. By increasing their Facebook posts and encouraging more community involvement through their Facebook page, Groundwork will become an even better known name within the social media world of their audience members. Their follower base will continue to grow as will their presence in the social media world. GWARDC may be a small nonprofit, however they have the capability to be very influential in the District of Columbia environmental education world, granted they can utilize social media to foster the dialogic connections necessary to reach that point.


Groundwork Anacostia River DC website: www.groundworkdc.org Kim, Daejoong; Chun, Heasun; Kwak, Youngsun & Nam, Yoonjae. “The Employment of Dialogic Principles in Website, Facebook, and Twitter Platforms of Environmental Nonprofit Organizations.” Social Science Computer Review, no. 32 (2014): 590-605.

Lovejoy, Kristen & Saxton, Gregory D. “Information, Community, and Action: How Nonprofit Organizations Use Social Media.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, no.

17 (2012): 337-353.

Potomac Piranhas website: www.potomacpiranhas.org Prince George’s Green website: www.pggreen.org Shirky, Clay. “The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change.” Foreign Affairs, February 2011. http://www.bendevane.com/FRDC2011/wpcontent/uploads/2011/08/The-Political-Power-of-Social-Media-Clay-Sirky.pdf

Groundwork’s Facebook –August 8 2014 - November 8 2014Posts:

1. 11/6/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Hello Groundwork Supporter. If you have not had a chance to support the youth in our green team program, you still have time. Just click on the link below and follow the few steps. It is quick, easy, and FREE! We just need you to "Support this Group" and Johnsonville will donate the money to our program. Thank you for your


continuous support!https://www.pearup.com/groundworkdc/rally?og=329421&fb_action_ids=101528254969 82154&fb_action_types=pearupapp%3Ashare Link: “Groundwork Anacostia River DC” + Johnsonville sponsorship 2. 10/21/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): The District Department of Environment has completed yet another wonderful Stream Restoration project. Broad Branch Stream has been day lighted and on it's way to being restored. During the celebration of the project, the Green-Teamers from Groundwork Anacostia River DC was able to complete a water quality demonstration for the community members and partners. Our young people did an amazing job explaining the importance of monitoring the stream and how we all can help to increase the health of the stream. #SustainableDC#GreenTeamRocks PLUS 23 photos added 3. 10/16/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Green-teamers touring the Fort Circle Trail and learning about invasive plants with Julie Kutruff from the National Park Service.

Photos: 14 photos 4. 10/8/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Water monitoring training with green-teamers at Dunbar High School. — atDunbar High School PLUS 7 photos 5. 10/8/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): http://www.potomacpiranhas.org/ 6. 10/8/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Thanks to the Shenandoah National Park Trust, the Green-teamers from Groundwork Anacostia, Groundwork Richmond, and Groundwork Hudson Valley were able to experience week long adventures in the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains. During their time in Shenandoah National Park, they were able to help maintain trails and remove invasive plants, hike the Appalachian trail, and learn about the history of the park.

Thanks again SNAPT! This summer was a great one.

http://us1.campaignarchive1.com/?u=15b87fa36996ffa4059f7b57e&id=29f3fdb20b&e=d8666ebd85 Link: “SNPT Awards Nearly $200,000 to Shenandoah National Park” 7. 10/3/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): The work the Anacostia Watershed Society does is incredible. Check out the Anacostia River through the years in honor of their 25th anniversary!

Link: “Visions of the city’s “other river” throughout history” 8. 9/22/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): The "Clean Waterways" Cleanup with Anacostia Riverkeeper and Groundwork Anacostia River DC! 9.20.2014 Photos: 37 photos 9. 9/19/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): COME OUT TO VOLUNTEER!!!

We need your help to clean up our waterways! Come out to volunteer this Saturday, Sept 20th from 9am-12:30pm to the Clean Waterways Cleanup at Kenilworth Recreation Park in Northeast D.C. We hope to see you there!

Photo: flyer explaining the event 10. 9/16/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): We need your help to clean up our waterways! Come out to volunteer this Saturday, Sept 20th from 9am-12:30pm to the Clean Waterways Cleanup at Kenilworth Recreation Park in Northeast D.C. We hope to see you there!

Photo: same as previous 11. 9/12/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Yesterday was the first Green Team outing with our new green teamers from Washington Math Science (WMST) Public Charter at the Washington Youth Garden in the National Arboretum. They were able to plant radishes and beets, pick vegetables, and help make a dish in just one visit. What a great way to start off the year.

Photos: 37 photos


12. 9/9/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Green Team Kickoff Event this past Sunday with art, poetry, and music with women of Ecohermana! What better way to start the school year off than with some fun near the Anacostia River. #GreenTeam2014/2015 is ready for an amazing year.

Photos: 20 photos 13. 9/9/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): George Washington University Freshman Day of Service with Groundwork Anacostia River DC on September 6th. These GW freshman students did an amazing job cleaning trash from the Bandalong Litter trap in Watts Branch Stream and the Anacostia River. Thanks for the great work GW The George Washington University Photos: 26 photos 14. 8/28/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Green Team Camping and Working in Photo Album Title: Shenandoah National Park 2014 Trail Maintenance and AT hiking Photos: 29 photos 15. 8/28/14: GWARDC (Groundwork Anacostia River DC): Groundwork USA and Anacostia in Yellowstone 2014 Photo Album Title: Groundwork’s Green Teamers Ground Workin’ it in Yellowstone National Park Photos: 20 photos

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1. 11/7/14: @GWARDC: Engaging the east side http://wapo.st/1tJlsrs DC, we can do this! Our elected leaders need the will and the residents deserve to have this.

2. 11/7/14: @GWARDC: I'm going to "The Washington Post 2015 Award Application Information Session MD". See you there? http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-washington-post-2015-awardapplication-information-session-md-tickets-14049567635?aff=estw … via @eventbrite Link: Registration for event 3. 11/3/14: @GWARDC: On Tues. Nov. 11 at 6:30pm You’re Invited to a Life Changing Business Opportunity Reception at 3939 Benning Rd. NE. Limited seating! BYOB!

4. 11/3/14: @GWARDC: VOTE November 4th, 2014! Your Vote Counts! http://lnkd.in/dRRCXk8 Link: California Greenworks Inc., Your Vote Counts 5. 11/3/14: @GWARDC: VOTE November 4th 2014!

6. 11/2/14: @GWARDC: eepurl.com/6-B-L The Community Foundation Announces Second Round Recipients of the City Fund Grant. Groundwork Anacostia awarded.

Link: The City Fund article about the grant recipients 7. 11/2/14: @GWARDC: Help Groundwork Anacostia River DC score sponsorship support on Pear https://www.pearup.com/groundworkdc/rally … via @Pear_says Link: PearUp Groundwork Anacostia River DC + Johnsonville Sponsorship 8. 10/31/14: @GWARDC: Twitter Buttons https://about.twitter.com/resources/buttons … via @twitter 9. 10/31/14: @GWARDC: Help Groundwork Anacostia River DC score sponsorship support on Pear https://www.pearup.com/groundworkdc via @Pear_says Link: Same as before 10. 10/29/14: @GWARDC: Thanks @MaryCheh & @CMDGrosso for leading the charge to secure safe & affordable transportation options for DC riders! @Uber_DC #UberDCLove 11. 10/27/14: @GWARDC: Video http://blog.childrenandnature.org/video/Ask yourself, What is nature deficit-disorder? I wonder why?

Link: Children and Nature website


12. 10/26/14: @GWARDC: Growth is good! Smart growth is better! Be a part of the growth.

13. 10/26/14: @GWARDC: The "green" movement has moved a a level far beyond its infancy days.

Now, billions of dollars are being invested. Get on board!

14. 10/25/14: @GWARDC: @PotomacPiranhas: Thank you all for coming to hackathon 1.0 !!

@AlexandriaETC @LivabilityProj http://www.pggreen.org/ Link: Prince George’s Green Photo: Group photograph 15. 10/21/14: @GWARDC: The little-known tool Republicans will use if they win the Senate | http://MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action http://front.moveon.org/reconciliation/#.VEZG8Tu33jg.twitter … Link: Video about “reconciliation,” MoveOn.org 16. 10/19/14: @GWARDC: I'm attending Celebrating the Future... – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-the-future-of-the-anacostia-ticketsref=estwenivtefor001 … Link: Celebrating the Future of the Anacostia, Eventbrite 17. 10/19/14: @GWARDC: The most tremendous opportunity to change the course of your family's future for generations. Make the decision, check out ACN!

18. 10/15/14: @GWARDC: This cause is close to my heart, please sign:

http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/deadline-soon-tell-the-epa-to-cut-carbonpollution-now?bucket=&source=twitter-share-button … via @groundswellmvmt Link: Groundswell: Tell the EPA to cut carbon pollution now petition 19. 10/7/14: @GWARDC: Study: Bay cleanup would bring $22B boon to states DC, MD, VA all connected by the water http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/study-bay-cleanup-wouldbring-b-boon-to-states/article_fdbb0b4c-856e-50c6-aafacff69bf853ad.html#.VDPoYJVyNKM.twitter … via @heraldmailnews Link: Study: Bay cleanup would bring $22B boon to states; Herald-Mail Media 20. 10/5/14: @GWARDC: I'm attending Coalition International Regional Event http://conta.cc/1nuUogi #constantcontact Are you looking for an opportunity? Here it is!

Link: event Registration

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