Digital Engagement and Social Media The RSA is committed to making the best use of all available technology and innovation to improve the way Fellows find each other, inspire, connect with and contribute to the Fellowship. Such ‘digital engagement’ is a great way to strengthen relationships, showcase projects and generally enhance the Fellowship experience. The web-based tools which help people to share information, opinions, knowledge and interests online are commonly termed “Social Media”. As the name implies, social media involves the building of online communities or networks to encourage participation and engagement. The RSA uses blogs, message boards, social networking websites (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) content sharing websites (such as YouTube, Flickr and Delicious) and many other online channels including Twitter. This quick guide from the RSA Digital Working Group, aims to give Fellows an understanding of how to use Social Media to communicate and collaborate with each other online. These guidelines will evolve, preferably with your help, so please check back periodically to leave comments and ensure you remain up to date.
The power of Social Media <ul><li>We believe that digital engagement should comprise a large part of your dissemination programme when planning a Fellow-led project, activity or event. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to enabling Fellows to maintain contact with one another, and with outside stakeholders, social media are a great way to: </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcast, in real-time, developments on your work: millions of people around the globe use social media as the main source of live update information. </li></ul><ul><li>Raise the profile of your work, help build interest between major outputs or milestones, and promote discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Generate traffic and disseminate messages online, which helps Fellows and other interested (and interesting!) people find you. </li></ul>
Why get digitally engaged? <ul><li>You’ll have seen frequent references to the power of networks in the RSA </li></ul><ul><li>Journal. Here’s a reminder of what Fellows and others working towards 21 st </li></ul><ul><li>Century Enlightenment are saying (click on the titles to view): </li></ul><ul><li>Do web networks work in the real world? </li></ul><ul><li>Nico Macdonald discusses whether online debate can translate into offline action, in the online supplement to the Journal, Spring 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Lord Carter's Digital Britain Review </li></ul><ul><li>The many and the few </li></ul><ul><li>An idea is only as successful as the number of people who know about it, says Sanjeev Goyal – so what should firms and governments be doing to enlarge their spheres of influence? </li></ul><ul><li>RSA Connected Communities Project </li></ul><ul><li>Nudge plus networks </li></ul><ul><li>Policymakers need to acknowledge the part that social networks play in changing people's behaviour, argues Paul Ormerod, even if it does make their lives more complicated . </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks key to community regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>Connected Minds: Loneliness, Social Brains and the Need for Community (video) </li></ul>
Start by listening… Most people, even the most digitally literate, spend the vast majority of their time online reading. In social media, reading is often synonymous with listening. This graphic describes those people as observers. Observers make up 90% of your online audience – you’ll never hear from them yet they read your every word. Often called ‘lurkers’ they have a reputation for consuming things from an online community without contributing. Our view is that lurkers are really listeners as well as observers and we encourage all Fellows to join in the conversations online. It takes time to get used to the jargon of ‘platforms’ and the etiquette used online (netiquette). The best way to make use of that time is to spend it familiarising yourself with the layout and culture of various social networks and think about which role you might take. We all take on different roles in different online spaces and are most active in those which suit us best.
Digital Fellowship <ul><li>The decision to participate in an online social network is entirely yours – as a Fellow you are not required to participate online. The views and opinions you express are your own. You should be aware that posting information or views about the RSA cannot be isolated from your working or personal life. Just as with traditional publishing and media, any information published online can be accessed around the world within seconds and will be available for all to see. </li></ul><ul><li>Our Fellows and stakeholders need to be confident that online activities uphold the RSA’s reputation as a neutral and politically impartial charity. </li></ul><ul><li>To this end, Fellows and staff are encouraged to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share activities, events and projects - seek to learn from others. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the RSA’s political impartiality, non-commercial bias, and confidentiality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When disagreeing with others' opinions, keep it appropriate and polite. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat social networks as an extended conversation, talk to real people in professional situations. In other words, avoid overly pedantic or "composed" language. Post useful comments - no ‘spam’ (unsolicited promotional messages) and no remarks that are offensive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage good netiquette in all online communication. </li></ul></ul>
Netiquette is *important* The public must be able to trust the integrity of the RSA’s communication, and safeguarding the RSA’s reputation is crucial. <ul><li>Respect others and their opinions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In ‘digital engagement’, Fellows from various backgrounds come together to learn and create, not fight. It is important to respect their feelings and opinions though they may differ from yours in ideological, religious, or environmental perspectives. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider others' privacy, and your own. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for permission if you want to forward the content of someone's email or private messages to third parties. Be mindful of what you share about your personal or professional views and activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joking around </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful when using humour. It is important to remember that tone of voice often plays an important role in letting people know that you are making a joke. Because people can't hear your voice they may think you are being sarcastic. Some people use slang such as LOL (laugh out loud) when joking online. On some platforms it is appropriate to use emoticons like ‘smileys’ :) and ‘winks’ ;) to let others know what you are thinking. Emoticons are a important part of online communication, but be careful not to overuse them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don't Spam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spam is unsolicited “junk e-mail” sent to large numbers of people to promote products or services. It also refers to inappropriate promotional or commercial postings to discussion groups or bulletin boards. If you ‘spam’ your group by mistake, send out an speedy apology. </li></ul></ul>The best online communities are self-moderating: all Fellows have a role to play.
(N)etiquette How we behave is important and something we regularly consider online. We need more people, not just seasoned webslingers, to contribute to defining digital communication for our Fellowship, to demonstrate and test our 21st Century Enlightenment values. You could get started online by signing up on rsafellowhip.com and responding to Paul’s invitation extracted below. Dear All, Below is the post I recently made on LinkedIn to the "official" RSA group there, I am hoping to create some thinking about the 'how' and the 'why' of the RSA sanctioning any specific group/platform or technology as a means for Fellows to engage. Clearly, anything that is badged as being RSA needs to adhere to a set of principles that are in line with the aims and objectives of the RSA. Please let me know what you think. Netiquette, the RSA and social media What are the rules by which we, as Fellows, should follow when using groups like this? Is it acceptable to be flagrantly advertising our companies, trying to sell consultancy or peddle products and services? Or, should we be mindful of the aims and objectives of the RSA "For over 250 years the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress." Is your post to this group *really* in line with the aims of the RSA? Discuss/debate and contribute, please. Your comments and feedback will inform the RSA Fellowship Council working group on Digital Engagement and I will feedback to the next RSA FC meeting. Paul Buchanan
Fellowship Social Networks <ul><li>Rationale: </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks create hubs of online activity, conversations through themes, location and activity. There are several RSA social networks on the ning platform (you may hear some Fellows referring to one or all of these as "the ning" or "nings") including www.virtual-coffee-house.ning.com for Fellows based in the North and www.citizenpower.com for those interested in the Peterborough project. On the home page www.rsafellowship.com you will see there are other networks built around region and theme. </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: </li></ul><ul><li>These social networks allow individuals to connect with each other independently; you can post events and activities (that are open to all), start a discussion or organise a group around a specific interest (e.g. education or social enterprise) and engage with others interested in these areas. </li></ul><ul><li>How to use them: </li></ul><ul><li>Start by registering on www.rsafellowship.com . It will take a day or two to approve your account; don’t worry this is to avoid spam. </li></ul><ul><li>Set up your profile, ideally include a photo and your interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Take a look at some of the blogs, discussions and forums. Feel free to comment. </li></ul><ul><li>Post details of events and activities that are relevant to the RSA and Fellows. </li></ul><ul><li>Join a group or if there isn’t one that appeals consider starting your own. </li></ul><ul><li>You can adjust your settings including email notifications of group activity through the link on every page. </li></ul>
Facebook and other fun stuff <ul><li>If you have a Facebook account join 12,000 other people and show your </li></ul><ul><li>support by visiting http:// www.facebook.com/theRSAorg and clicking ‘like’. </li></ul><ul><li>On the theRSAorg Facebook page you will find links to RSA blogs, commentaries </li></ul><ul><li>and events. Beware of imposters – there are a few unendorsed groups! </li></ul><ul><li>www.youtube.com/theRSAorg is where you can watch RSA Vision, our exciting </li></ul><ul><li>series of free public lectures from the world's most inspiring thinkers. The very </li></ul><ul><li>popular RSA Animate series is available from http:// comment.rsablogs.org.uk /videos/ </li></ul>If you have an iphone or Android mobile phone you can download the RSA Vision App to browse and watch videos on the move. http:// www.thersa.org/iphone
LinkedIn The RSA group on LinkedIn is a place where Fellows can share their interests, views and activities in a less formal context. The group is a powerful engagement resource because it promotes broader cohesion while overcoming the physical challenges of accessibility, synchronicity and geography. Fellow raise topics that spark interesting conversations and potential avenues for collaboration. The LinkedIn Group is an excellent source of purposeful serendipity and, unsurprisingly, the diversity of group topics bears witness to the eclectic composition of the RSA Fellowship Click here for an invitation to join the official group for Fellows of the RSA. You will need your Fellowship number to hand when requesting to join this group. Unlike the ning sites you will see external advertising on the LinkedIn pages.
Twitter Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service. It allows users to communicate with "followers“ – shorthand for friends, colleagues, indeed anyone with shared professional interests . Communication takes the form of short text messages 140 characters in length, called "tweets". “ Entering” Twitter is like entering a room full of people chatting. Some conversations are interesting and focussed while others are less so! As in any social context, people gravitate towards what interests them. Once you have found people whose ideas and reflections you find stimulating, the real fun of Twitter begins. For the RSA Fellowship, Twitter is already a lively medium for exchanging ideas and sharing resources. An example of an RSA tweet might look something like this. RSA avatar Text of tweet Twitter ID A searchable thread using the # tag Date of tweet
<ul><li>Once you have a twitter account you’ll want to find good people to follow. We recommend you start </li></ul><ul><li>with the main RSA accounts: @ RSAevents and @ theRSAorg . This list helps you keep up-to-date </li></ul><ul><li>with speakers from RSA events. </li></ul><ul><li>To follow a theme rather than a person, try searching the hashtags #FRSA or # theRSA for general </li></ul><ul><li>chat, #21CE for 21 st Century Enlightenment, # RSAde for Digital Engagement or # RSACatalyst . </li></ul><ul><li>Most RSA events also have a hashtag for people who are following the discussions online. You can </li></ul><ul><li>find the relevant hashtag on the individual event pages . </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you are not using twitter you can get a good overview of what more than 80 Fellows are </li></ul><ul><li>tweeting about on The FRSA Daily ‘newspaper’ </li></ul>Who to follow?
Thanks… and what next? <ul><li>Come and join our conversation on the Fellowship network </li></ul><ul><li>http:// rsafellowship.com/group/digitalengagement </li></ul><ul><li>Colin Beveridge Roxanne Persaud </li></ul><ul><li>Charlotte Britton Charles Millar </li></ul><ul><li>Jemima Gibbons David Miller </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Ambjorn Vivs Long-Ferguson </li></ul>