Read some blogs yourself, then try a free blog tool for yourself
The best blogs are honest, interesting, useful and consistent – not an easy task
Ask yourself: Do I have the resources to make a good blog? Is a bad blog worth it?
What is Twitter?
“ Twitter is a service for friends, family and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? ”
Yeah – I didn’t get it either – at first
Twitter is a lot of conversations
Why is Twitter popular?
It’s like instant messaging or text messaging but to a huge group
Oddly enough, communication happens and communities form in tiny bursts
It’s quite addictive…
Starting with Twitter
Sign up, it’s free
At first, you’ll see almost nothing
Start “following” people
Participate – say something, ask a question, respond to others’ questions
AUDIO / PODCASTS
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a “social utility”
People “live” online there
It’s not just for kids (half of you are there!)
The average Facebook user views 45 pages during a session
There are different kinds of FB pages: personal, groups, companies or organisations like yours
Starting with Facebook
Sign up for a personal account
Find your friends, look at what they are doing
Join some groups
Search with keywords relating to your organisation’s mission
Start contributing and creating
Everything is on Facebook
RSS – Really Simple Syndication This is what powers social media technology
To keep in the game, organisations MUST:
Facilitate conversations, don’t control them
Involve people, don’t ‘own’ your cause
Allow people to get involved: Student or employee on social network does not equal messer!
Try things and be patient
Aggregate content for your audience
What’s so different about web 2.0?
It is fundamentally different from previous forms of media
Social media platforms provide a framework for people to connect directly to each other – the architecture has permanently changed, though technologies will continue to evolve
People are using social media to glean information from each other without relying on organisations
This shift is permanent! Get involved or lose out!
This doesn’t mean we replace offline activity
The best users of social media blend online and offline activity
Example: If you’re running an awareness event for your students or organisation
Create a network or start a group around the event
Write blog posts in the run up to the event
Invite people to post their own photos onto your site, ask them to post their feedback etc
Those who took part will feel like part of a team
Those who couldn’t be there will feel like they haven’t missed out
Social media isn’t a miracle cure
It may take a long time for your social media investment to pay off
It might even never pay off in the way you originally intended
Social Media is one tool
Don’t overinvest in social media
Know your audiences (current and future) and court them appropriately
If you neglect conventional media, you might leave out your core audience / supporters
Don’t underinvest in social media either
One more warning
In social media, you might be the topic of discussion but you’re not always the centre or the master of it
You will have to give up some control to gain more followers and influence. This is OK.
Relaxing your grip
It’s the nature of social media that not all information is exactly right but the bulk of it is generally right (see wikipedia)
Not all comments will be favourable
How you react to unfavourable comments says a lot about you
Pick your battles and don’t be afraid to apologise when you’re wrong
Keys to success
Social Media is just one piece of the puzzle, don’t neglect the rest
One size doesn’t fit all, do what’s right for your organisation and your people
Keep experimenting and always test
You will give up some control – learn to live with it and learn to love it
Savvy Chavvy & the power of bespoke social networks
A social network for young Gypsies and Travellers in the UK
Won the first Catalyst Communities award in July 2008
‘ Chavvy’ is a Romany word for ‘child’
Young Travellers use the network as a safe place to learn, have discussions, find family members, make friends and arrange events
Rosina Hughes is 17 from Wareham, Dorset. She says:
"It's great to have a site where you feel comfortable and safe discussing these things”
"They have Gypsy hate groups, so it's important that we have our own space."
“ You're all dirty” and “ you're all scum” , are some of the racist responses she says she has received on other social networking sites.
You can set up your own network for your community or organisation by using free networks like:
We set Savvy Chavvy up using Ning
Some examples of other bespoke social networks
Hundreds of people in the UK with mental health problems use the network to share information with professionals and other service users in Uganda
2500 residents of this town in London use it to share information, launch campaigns and build community spirit
Over 6000 people with diabetes use the network to support each other and share information
TOP TEN TIPS to set up a network on Ning
Firstly, you need to consider the purpose of your network – who will be your members and why will they use this website above others? What need does your network address?
Go to www.ning.com and set up your network, choosing a catchy name and Ning web address. It’s very simple; all you need is an email address and it takes a couple of minutes
Choose how public or private it is going to be – can everyone on the web see and contribute to your network or will it be closed and private for your members only?
Give your network a tagline and short description - what’s it all about? The tagline should consist of one pithy sentence, E.g. www.savvychavvy.com: ‘A social network for young Gypsies and Travellers in the UK’
Next, add features to your network. You can drag and drop functions like ‘forum’, ‘chat’, ‘blog’, ‘video’ & ‘photos’ into the front page.
You might, for example, place the ‘forum’ function prominently in the middle of the page if having discussions is the main purpose of your network
Choose a design – Ning will give you lots of templates to choose from and you can customize one with your own choice of images, fonts and colours
Your network is now ready for content – help to define the network’s identity by starting discussions, posting photos, adding videos etc that are relevant to the purpose of the website
Invite people to the network – start by inviting relevant people and welcoming them by writing a note on their pages.
If you’re trying to attract a certain community don’t send out blanket invites to attract a volume of members – the quality and relevance of your members is what will help it grow and develop into a sustainable space.
You can support this by writing your own relevant joining up questions
Keep the community active and interested – once you have a working network, keep your members engaged by making small changes to the site, adding new content and sending them relevant information (without spamming them with constant messages!)
Ning is free but you can purchase optional services like the removal of ads, the ability to use your own domain name and extra storage
PART 2: PODCASTING
Sareena is a 21-year old British Asian who is taking part in a scheme to encourage more ethnic minorities to become magistrates
Richie’s in prison for the first time; 3 and a half years for GBH. He’s making an audio diary about real life on the inside
It’s polling day in the local elections – we’ve been to Hammersmith in West London to find out how people have been voting
1) Guardian daily news podcast – Presenter John Denis interviews the Guardian’s political editor, Patrick Wintour about the Conservative Party Conference. 2) Mark Williams, the ex offender who has been burgled himself, returns to Wandsworth Prison to speak to former cellmates.