Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are not built for discreet conversations. People who are dealing with health issues or trauma, for instance, probably don’t want to use Facebook to associate themselves with a nonprofit that specializes in such matters, even though they may want to find a good online connection to information and peers.
The Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that works with veterans who have been injured in combat, has solved that probably by starting WWP Connect, a private social network just for the people the organization serves.
“A lot of the issues our warriors and their families deal with are personal. It’s not something that they’d want to walk up to someone on the street corner and tell what they’ve been through,” says Jen Boyce, the organization’s social-media manager.
But in the group’s private social network, wounded veterans can share information and support and talk with charity staff, family members, and graduates of the charity’s programs.
“It’s amazing to see them go on and just open up in a completely different way than they open up on Facebook,” says Lauren Villeneuve, online-engagement specialist at the organization. “It just is much more safe.”