Membership

Social Network Association Aims to Encourage Accountability

By Jasmine McGee / Jul 10, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

The just-launched Social Network Association says its goals involve fostering accountability for social networks worldwide. With a website, a variety of membership options, and its first advisory board member, the association is getting the wheels in place.

Social media may be all the rage, but do the online spaces where people go to chat and collaborate need an association of their own?

The Social Network Association is betting they do. With strategic backing and planning by Social Network Intermedia, the newly formed association hopes to develop best practices and foster accountability. More details:

The backstory:  Jim Nico founded Social Network Intermedia in 2011 to provide a broadcast media outlet for social networks, business, and individuals. The first-of-its-kind association, with Nico serving as CEO, is an outgrowth of that organization, intended to encourage social networks to improve their standards. “We believe the rise of cyberbullying, cyber hate, and cyber crime, particularly on social networks, must be self-regulated before government regulation becomes necessary,” the Social Network Association’s website states. The organization lists PR Newswire, Dun & Bradstreet, and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas among its strategic partners.

Membership options: To create a diverse membership of social networks, partners, and individual users, the association offers a variety of  options—ranging from a $1 lifetime membership for individuals to memberships for organizations starting at $199 per month and  for social networks starting at $299 per month. The association will create “minimum standards of compliance” for member social networks to encourage them to act in the best interests of the public.

Partners, perks, and benefits: Joining the Social Network Association gives members access to a variety of benefits. Organization members and partners are eligible to vote for the Social Network Awards and are offered discounts on their first press release with PR Newswire. Social networks have the option to partner with the association and gain access to a handful of perks, including an enhanced company listing on the association’s website.

A voice against cyberbullying: The association’s advisory board has a new member with a compelling personal story. Carol Todd’s teenage daughter Amanda suffered online ridicule, blackmail, and depression before she took her own life last year.  The suicide was a catalyst in the push to stop cyberbullying. Todd founded the Amanda Todd Legacy, which helps fund anti-bullying education, support programs for youth with mental health problems, and other initiatives. Those goals are what led her to join the advisory board. In a press release announcing Todd’s addition to the board, Nico said: ”Carol’s mission to raise awareness of and decrease instances of cyberbullying, particularly those that lead to suicide like that of her daughter, aligns perfectly with the Social Network Association mission.”

What would you look for in an association squarely focused on social networking? Let us know your take in the comments.

Jasmine McGee

Jasmine McGee is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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