April 14, 2015

A Book Review: The Dragonfly Effect


As a blogger and social media addict I often wonder how we can use the influence of these relatively new forms of communication to create social change. I use social media to connect with old and new friends, share pictures, post tidbits about my life, and to simply stay in touch with the world around me. But what if each person made the effort to to use social media to create social change and make a difference in each other’s lives? The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith sheds light on the power of social media and how it can be used toward the greater good. The authors discuss how social media users and organizations can use social media to drive social change in small, impactful ways as well as on a massive scale using a simple four-pronged method.

Below is a brief video synopsis of The Dragonfly Effect by its authors:



As Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker discuss in the video and in the book, the effective model to create an integrated effort towards social change is illustrated using the Dragonfly, an insect that can propel itself in multiple directions with tremendous speed when its four wings are working in unison. The co-authors identify a four-step process symbolized by the wings of the dragonfly to achieve your social media 
philanthropic goals: 

The four wings symbolize the four major areas below:

Focus: Identify a tangible goal. What do you want to accomplish?

Grab Attention: Cultivate a message that appeals to an audience and makes them pay attention.

Engage: Go further than publicity and grow a personal connection. Make your audience care enough to motivate them to take action.

Take Action: Provide your audience with the tools and resources they need to take action. Be eager to make changes to your strategy to inspire more of your audience to change from a consumer to a member of your team.


The clout of an engaged social media community can be ground-breaking. The author states “Tweeting 
isn't just sharing what you ate for breakfast this morning; Facebook isn't just for poking friends. You can leverage these social technologies, strategically and integratively, toward a specific goal that deeply matters to you.” In today’s world, communication tools to interact in real time with people across the world are at our fingertips. Social media tools allow us to share stories, organize support, and possibly save lives with the click of a few buttons, and the impact can be enhance by using this systematic approach . We no longer need exponential sums of power or money to start a revolution.

The Dragonfly Effect opened my eyes to the power of social media and how it can be used for the greater good. In the near future, I would like to participate and be engaged in a social media campaign that fosters social change, and I am currently looking for a cause that I can be a part of. 

What about you? Do you think effective social change can be cultivated using the power of social media, and have you ever been a part of a cause that was accomplished using social media?

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