Lots of people have already covered the "big insights" from the famed South by Southwest Interactive Festival (also known as SXSW), which just wrapped up yesterday. They're talking about Twitter's new @anywhere announcement, how find-your-friends services Foursquare and Gowalla were everyone's favorite toys, and probably a lot of other really cool things that I missed because I haven't yet mastered being in six places at once.
Instead of talking about big insights like everyone else or reiterating what others have already said, I thought I'd share some nifty little insights that might help you in your work in social media.
#1: If you want your supporters to help you accomplish something, particularly online, make the experience as simple and frictionless as possible. Make it as easy as possible for people to help you, and they won't need artificial incentives to compel them to do so.
#2: When considering your social media strategy, don't decide on certain tools or tactics because they're shiny and new or everyone else seems to be using them. Use tools and tactics guided by your organization's mission, with the intention of helping to propel social change.
#3: Social media can, of course, be used for fundraising, but you won't raise money just by being present on Twitter and asking people to donate. Focus on building authentic connections with the goal of creating a movement, which ultimately will help you raise money.
If you're interested in learning more or listening to some of the panels, the folks at SXSW are very good about posting podcasts of most of the sessions. You can find them here. Once they're posted, I'll be sure and add links or embed them on the blog.