Strengthening Civil Society Through Social Media
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Strengthening Civil Society Through Social Media

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Presentation for 21st century network, February 28 2012. Slides only ...

Presentation for 21st century network, February 28 2012. Slides only
At times of financial restraint and when Governments are looking at how civil society can be recruited to deliver on their own agenda then how can we ensure that the many associations that make up civil society can protect their independence. Can social networking help create a network of mutual independence that strengthens the countless groups that are the social glue of our civil society?
http://www.meetup.com/21stCenturyNetwork/events/41358702/

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  • The intro to the webinar http://www.meetup.com/21stCenturyNetwork/events/41358702/\n\nAt times of financial restraint and when Governments are looking at how civil society can be recruited to deliver on their own agenda then how can we ensure that the many associations that make up civil society can protect their independence. Can social networking help create a network of mutual independence that strengthens the countless groups that are the social glue of our civil society? This is the topic of this webinar.\n\nHow do we develop social networking so that groups can have an influence and make a difference? Is it sufficient to just set up a meetup site or a NING site for example and then hope that it will take off into cyberspace and be successful. What more do we need to do to reach wider audiences and particularly vulnerable and marginalized groups that do not always join into existing online communities?\n\nIn this webinar we will look at how one umbrella group NatCAN (The National Community Activist Network) has used social networking to involve community and activist groups through the NING platform and they will discuss how successful this has been and what more needs to be done. Joe Taylor of NatCAN will present this part of the webinar. http://nationalcan.ning.com/\n\nDavid Wilcox will then discuss how successful this approach is in reaching out to marginalised groups and other audiences and the importance of developing a strategy that goes beyond online communities.\n\nHe will look at the importance of texting, sharing photos, and increasingly, tweeting, using Facebook and Google Plus to compliment online communities.\n\nIn this environment then what are the skills necessary to be successful.\n\nProbably the most important roles may well be those of information aggregators, online-offline organisers, social reporters etc doing a mix of making sense, joining up, helping others to engage, and working across networks rather than just on individual platforms.\n\nHow do we develop this new network infrastructure, what mapping is necessary and how do we find and enable the facilitators and orchestrators of this environment so that it can be successful?\n\nDavid Wilcox\nhttp://socialreporter.com\nhttp://socialreporters.net\ndavid@socialreporter.com \n@davidwilcox\nFree book download on social tech for social impact http://socialbysocial.com\n\nDrew Mackie\ndrewmackie@mac.com\n\n\n
  • Much of the discussion about the use of online networking for civil society has been around what technology to use, with some polarised attitudes on\n* the need for a one-stop online platform - for example http://yoursquaremile.co.uk/ supported by Big Lottery Fund\n* the value of local blogs and online communities - see http://talkaboutlocal.org.uk/ and http://networkedneighbourhoods.com/\n* the scope for using systems like Facebook and Twitter - because that’s where people are\nIn addition, there has in the past been a split between those favouring online networking, and those who believe nothing substitutes for face-to-face. There is now more cross-over.\nThis presentation suggests we need a framework that involve undertanding structures, individual attitudes and behaviours, and roles: we need a mix of media, and for existing organisations to behave in ways that make it easier to network.\n
  • This diagram suggests that local level, people seeking to build networks, and connect within communities, will map existing physical and social assets in order to identify resources,encourage local action, and act as reporters to tell stories about what is happening.\nWe need the eqivalent at the national level - and some joining up between local and national.\nThere are some online spaces and networks operating nationally in the field of local action - for example:\n\nhttp://nationalcan.ning.com/\nhttp://oursociety.org.uk/\nhttp://newsnet.mediatrust.org/\nhttp://yoursquaremile.co.uk/\nhttp://fieryspirits.com/\nhttp://abcdeurope.ning.com/\nhttp://www.transitionnetwork.org/\n\nHowever, while people may be members of several networks, there is little linkage. There is also a lot of activity on Twitter, blogs and other networks, but it can be difficult to make sense of the many conversations and references.\n
  • While there may be more talk about networking, many organisations still operate as hierarchies, or in clusters of hierarchies. To achieve the soirt of civil society networking we are exploring here, we need more of a mesh.\n
  • While technology is an important enabler, for it to work we need attitudes and roles disposed to networking, more open organisations, and to work out a personal style that support networking.\n
  • Oscar Berg writes about The collaboration pyramid (or iceberg) http://www.thecontenteconomy.com/2012/02/collaboration-pyramid.html\nWhile he is writing about enterprises, the same principles apply more widely:\n\nThe majority of the value-creation activities in an enterprise are hidden. They happen below the surface. What we see when we think of collaboration in the traditional sense (structured team-based collaboration) is the tip of the iceberg – teams who are coordinating their actions to achieve some goal. We don’t see - and thus don’t recognize - all the activities which have enabled the team to form and which help them throughout their journey. We see the people in the team, how they coordinate their actions and the results of their actions, but we rarely see the other things which have been critical for their success. For example, we don’t see how they have used their personal networks to access knowledge, information and skills which they don’t have in their team already but which are instrumental for their success.\n\nThe layers which are below the surface are usually not recognized or valued. Below the surface you typically find:\nThe direct and indirect contributions from people outside the team – by the extended team, stakeholders and external contributors\nOther kinds of broader and ad hoc collaboration (social collaboration) than those that fit within the traditional definition of (structured, team-based) collaboration\nThe ongoing community building that makes people trust each other and commit themselves to a shared purpose\nThe efforts of gaining the workspace awareness that is necessary for making the right decisions in any collaborative effort\nBring those above the surface so they can be recognized and supported. If people can't do those things, even the traditional collaboration efforts will suffer or might not even happen. If we are to improve efficiency and effectiveness of collaborative efforts, we need to better support these layers.\n\nThe first step towards improving these layers of collaboration and support other kinds of collaboration is to recognize their existence and value.\n
  • Drew Mackie offers this analysis of networking types - Networkistas\nNetwork Thinker\nA network thinker feels that the IDEA of networks applies to many real world phenomena. There is an assertion that networks are the way things work and that we need to adopt a network culture to be effective in the modern world. Thinkers don't necessarily know much about the mechanics of networks but see networks as the right prism with which to view complex situations in communities and organisations. In fact they may feel that analysis of networks is somehow pointless - a bit like trying to analyse art or love.\nNetwork Analyst\nAnalysts do know about the mechanics of networks. They are familiar with concepts of centrality and use specialised software to draw and analyse them. These diagrams and measures may seem abstruse and complicated but are the meat of the analyst's work. An analyst may not be a good networker or capable of building a network but they do know how networks work.\nNetwork Builder\nNetwork Builders are out there in the real world interacting with other people who are members of various networks. They will be good networkers themselves and probably have a working knowledge of centrality but their central skill is being able to connect other people. They have persuasive communication skills and are able to spot the usefulness of a potential link in creating, strengthening or extending a network.\nNetworker\nThis is the fun role. Networkers are out there doing it. At any conference the bars are full of them. Twitter and Facebook are full of it. Networkers don't necessarily know the networks they are part of. They know how to create and sustain links between themselves and other people. But what they will call "my network" is usually just a list of contacts and a list isn't a network. Networks are made up of these individual but overlapping lists. Networkers often feel that the total network can't (or shouldn't) be analysed and are too busy networking to be bothered.\n\n
  • I developed this diagram for a conversation with staff at Big Lottery Fund, where John Popham and I did some work in 2011 exploring how BIG could be more than a funder. The blog entries are here http://www.socialreporters.net/?p=256\nI suggested the BIG might aim to do more in catalysing and convening. \nEvents could be reported in ways that help build networks, with content curated to provide more resources.\nVisits to groups and other activities could be used to develop stories about local action, and build networks\n
  • I’m developing the role of social reporter, as someone who aims to help people make sense of the masses of content in different places; who connect people and conversations; and who helps people use social media for themselves. There is also a role to scrutinise and challenge.\n
  • \n

Transcript

  • 1. GlobalNet21 webinar February 28 2012Can social networking help create a network ofmutual independence that strengthens the countlessgroups that are the social glue of our civil society? Maybe - but how? And who? David Wilcox socialreporter.com using some ideas from Drew Mackie Joe Taylor to bring us down to earth
  • 2. We won’t do it by• Building (yet another) civil society online platform• Expecting volunteer local bloggers to do it all• Just favouring Facebook, or Google+, or Twitter, or Linkedin• Polarising online and face-to-faceWe may do better by• Thinking about network structures• Developing networky attitudes and behaviours• Understanding roles of people• Making organisations more sociable• Blending media and using what suits usBecoming network builders .... not just networkers
  • 3. National - local challengeNewsnet Your Square Mile NatCan Our Society ABCD Fiery Spirits Transition Towns... and Facebook, Linkedin Twitter, Google+, blogs These don’t join up
  • 4. Still many hierarchies loosely joined Developing a social innovation network How can we help local groups, civil society organisations, agencies, share ideas and experience of doing "good stuff" locally and nationally. Move from models 1. and 2. to model 3 2. Cluster: Join in (if you can) 1. Portal: "join us" nodes for ideas and support; people, events, hubs ideas via stories and conversations 3. Mesh: join up your own connections
  • 5. If we want more connection andcollaboration we need• Networky attitudes• Networky roles• More sociable organisations• A personal approach
  • 6. Collaborative attitudes and behaviours Collaboration pyramid Oscar Berg http://www.thecontenteconomy.com/2012/02/collaboration-pyramid.htmlCollaboration depends on connecting, conversing, sharing, being visible, discovering, building trust
  • 7. somehow pointless - a bit like tryingmeasures may art orabstruse and complicated but are the to analyse seem love. meat of the analysts work. An analyst may not be a good Understanding of network roles networker or capable of building a network but they do Ne Network Analyst know how networks work.plies to many Analysts do know about the mechanics of networks. They An works are the Network Builder are familiar with concepts of centrality and use specialisedare Network Builders are out there in the real world interactingk culture to be with other people who are members to various and analyse them. These diagrams and sof software of draw networks.arily know much They will be good networkers themselves and probably measures may seem abstruse and complicated but are the s the right prism have a working knowledge of centrality but their central me meat of the analysts work. An analyst may not be a good and skill is being able to connect other people. They have meetworks is networkerare able to spotof building a network but they do or capable the love. persuasive communication skills and knowcreating, strengthening or how networks work. ne usefulness of a potential link in Network thinker extending a network. Network Analyst kno the idea of networks the concepts and maps t Network Builderut the mechanics of networks. They Networker Network Builder ptsNetwork Builders are out there in the fun role. Networkers are out there doing it. At any of centrality and use specialisedThis is the real world interactinganalyse them. These diagramsare members of various full of them. Twitter and Facebook are full of there in with other people who and conference the bars are networks. Networkistas Network Builders are outabstruse and complicated but are the Networkers dont necessarily know the networks they are part of. it. They will be good networkers themselvesby Drew Mackieand probably They know how to create with other people who are membework. An analyst may not be a good of centrality but theirand sustain links between themselves and have a working knowledge other people. But what they will call "my network" is usually just a list central skill is network but to connect other people. They network. Networks be made up networkers themof building abeing able they do of contacts and a list isnt a have They will are good of theseork. have a working knowledge of cen persuasive communication skills and are able tolists. Networkers often feel that the total individual but overlapping spot the usefulness of a potential link in creating, strengthening or is being busy networking network cant (or shouldnt) be analysed and are too able to connect othe skill to be bothered. extending a network.acting persuasive communication skills a Networker rks. building “my” network usefulness Network Builder link in cr of a potential weaving the networkbly Networkerral extending a network. e This is the fun role. Networkers are out there doing it. At any the conference the bars are full of them. Twitter and Facebook are full of g or Networke it. Networkers dont necessarily know the networks they are part of. They know how to create and sustain links between themselves and fu This is the
  • 8. More sociable organisations Curate content Resources Events Commission Host Convene and catalyse Capture stories and Build knowledge networks Visit ExplorationsMoving from central to social - and a knowledge ecology
  • 9. Finding a personal approach to networkingMine is social reporting Commend Listen out Connect Spot opportunities Capture Join up Interpret Make sense Introduce Bridge Socialreporter Aggregate Encourage Help out Scrutinise Mentor (if no-one else will) Support Signpost
  • 10. A few questions• What works for activists (and you)?• Should we focus more on mobile?• Why don’t online systems join up?• Are civil society organisations networkable? http://socialreporter.com http://socialreporters.net david@socialreporter.com @davidwilcox