Let me start with telling you a personal story. I got hooked to social media and more specifically to Twitter, thanks to a dear friend and colleague - Michael Riggs. Back in 2008 we happened to attend a meeting together and where sitting on a panel together. Michael is an early adopter and he was one of the first people to have an iPhone. At this meeting, he was using his cool iPhone to Tweet.... And I was mesmerized, as he was doing something which everyone deemed as weird. So I asked me: Michael what the hell are you doing? and with a straight face, he said, Rox I am tweeting. We talked about Twitter, how he was using Twitter etc. Back home, I decided, well, you know what, I’ll give this tweeting business a shot and that is when it all started. I started tweeting and soon realized that Twitter’s secret was all in who you follow. Given my interest in knowledge management and social media, I started following KM practitioners, such as Michelle Lambert, David Gurteen, Weknowmore etc and in no time I was learning so much. Every day, the people I was following would share great tidbits of knowledge. Soon I realized that I had access to whole new world and numerous experts and practitioners which before I could have never dreamt of. I started posing questions and would get replies in no time. It was like an epiphany! and that is how I got hooked to social media and today I consider myself as a social media junkie.
Soon I realized that WOW, a whole new world had opened. This was a world based on: - CONTRIBUTION - COLLABORATION Which created an awesome and unique community And so what does this means for development workers? Believe it or not, in an environment where we are all competing for funds, in times where funding is scarce, embracing social media has met more unity, more complementarity. We are doing more with less and we are projecting an image of “ONE-UN” We are engaging with our audience, we are listening to them and they are listening to us. More than ever, we’ve realized that the audience is interested in our work and because of the nature of social media, we are reaching a whole new audience - those within the 24-34 age bracket! - We are now talking about topics which may not necessarily be closely linked to our specific mandate. For example, my organization, IFAD, is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and advancing agriculture, yet today - unlike a decade ago, thanks to social media, we also talk about population related issue, health related issues - which after all are all linked to our mandate. It was as if, before we did not see these links and we were definitely much more in our institutional silos. Outside of the development world, we’ve seen how social media channels have led to revolutions, toppling of governments. We’ve also seen how these tools can be used and are used to organize flash mobs and riots - e.g. London riots. So as Michelangelo used a scalpel to make David - a scalpel can also be used as a weapon to kill!
Today thanks to social media revolution, we’ve opened up and as a result of being part of an open social network, we both as individuals and as international organizations are contributing to CROWDSOURCING Well, crowdsourcing has now become the best ally for rural development workers. One of the biggest challenges for development workers is the fact that the media in general is not all interested in our issues. They do not find agriculture or development sexy. It is not the latest love affair of Paris Hilton or the latest sex scandal of a prominent political figure. It is about people dying of hunger and poverty, it is about famine and drought, it is about crop failure, it is about speculation in the health sector, it is about poor governance. So how can we reverse the tide. Let me give you a concrete recent example - Horn of Africa - before the UN declared famine in Horn of Africa, Twittersphere was buzzing with images and stories of people being affected by the drought and famine. The crowd started using the tag #hornofafrica - and this hashtag got a life of its own - and I think the rest is history - 25 July first meeting, 18 August second meeting, a number of virtual chats hosted by UNICEF, FAO. WFP Executive Director tweeting live from the refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia - IFAD President, calling on the African leaders to get their house in order and commit to invest in agriculture - Guardian Development Blog has become one of our closets allies, writing about our issues
So much about social media in general - here is how IFAD - a specialized UN agency and IFI - is using social media: - We listen and more importantly we GIVE - At IFAD we are using Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, SlideShare to share the impact of our work and in doing so we engage in real time interaction - this means, we have to be quick in responding and in interacting, this means that we have little or no time to get “clearances” to send a tweet or respond to a facebook question - as part of the contribution and collaboration pillar we are building a community and are involving our audience and participate in other people’s activities
I once heard an ex-ABC journalist say” Silence is heard and remembered” she said this within the context of how often we fall in the trap of not responding immediately to events as we get caught in the web of our respective bureaucracies. Today, for example, with Twitter, we have a chance of reversing that tide and take advantage of the power and potential of this tool - because TWEETS are heard and RETWEETED. This means that our messages go viral in no time. For example, we have had Helen Clarke or WECANENDPOVERTY and other prominent personalities retweeting our tweets and this is how our msgs are getting viral Twitter is one of the most popular social media tools and the numbers talk for themselves - over 200 million users - ranging from heads of states & govt to 13 year olds - over 65 million tweets a day
People have short attention span and no time to read long documents - so what better tool than something where you can convey your message with 140 characters or else - what better tools to share the impact of your work in small doses over a sustained period, using TEXT, Video, LINKs and Pictures - all in one go - what better tool that can send out your message at any time of the day, thus catering to all different time zones - what better tool that one that allows you to seamlessly combine the “work and social” dimensions in an elegant manner [for example, after the ABjua bombing, IFADNews sent a tweet “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the UN bombing in Abjua, Nigeria” - what better tool that allows you to reach simultaneously people’s head, heart and purse - Horn of AFrica is one of the latest evidence of this very fact - what better tool that one that allows you to report live from event - at IFAD we’ve adopted social reporting - which is a method that combines journalism and social media and allows you to report live using social media from events - what better tools that allows you to host virtual chats - something that we did, when we launched our Flagship publication - Rural Poverty Report 2011. We had the lead author answer to questions and comments from the virtual world
Now, let’s look at another tool - Facebook and first, let’s look at the numbers - more than 600 million users half of which on a daily basis use this tool - people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook - in some cases this is more than what they spend with their families - and many use it on their mobile device - something that will soon become the prominent way of communicating
For us it is a new way of engaging and reaching out to a whole new audience - 24-34 year old - the future decision makers It allows us to share nuggets of our work and allow our audience to interact with us We recently conducted a survey and results showed that our audience use our Facebook page to know more about rural development and agriculture related issues. And most importantly we listen to the chatter and are almost religious about answering all the questions that we get on Facebook
One of the feathers in our hat is the IFAD social reporting blog. The other UN sister agencies and development workers have told us that our blog is one of the better ones. When we ask them why they think so, they say, that the majority of the blogposts come from heart and they are not the usual organizational spiel This is fair assessment, but at the same time, we also know that some blogposts are perhaps a bit too promotional, but for the time being, we are letting go, as we do not want to discourage colleagues from contributing to the blog We are encouraging colleagues to use blogs instead of writing boring back-to-office reports which - if you are lucky - may be read by your boss and then duly get filed and never retrieved ever again. Through blogposts, colleagues are consistently keeping each other informed of their activities Blogs are interact and you can include different media - pictures, links, videos, powerpoint presentations, pdf files in a single blogpost. So instead of having millions of attachment you have a single blogpost with all the “annexes” We still have a long way to go to get the entire organization on board and probably we will never reach everyone... But slowly but surely we are making significant progress
Videos, YouTube and similar other tools are also are a great asset for development workers. Amateur and professional videos allow us to share stories in real time and to raise awareness about our issues and challenges. Videos, like pictures and facts and figures are one of the favourites of the social media world Here are some of the number - in 2010, 700 billion videos views - 2 billion videos watched every day - 20 million videos uploaded to Facebook every month
IFAD has a YouTube channel where we post our corporate products: documentaries psa vnrs And we also have Blip.TV channel where we post: videos from our projects other amateur footage interviews we personalities and colleagues We use Blip.TV for less corporate and more social video products
At IFAD we’ve adopted social reporting Social reporting combines journalism with social media. It is a knowledge sharing method which allows us to report live using social media channels. The philosophy behind is to bring live what is happening in the room to those who are not in the room. This means we need not only to share what is said in the room - soundbites - but also the mood in the room - and this is social aspect of it. This methodology is a great example of a multiple-way communication, of collaboration, contribution and creating a sense of community. Thanks to social reporting, we can engage with our audience, asking them to send us their questions before, during and after an event. We can cover each other events, thus amplifying each other’s messages and raise awareness. Here are examples of a recent social reporting - this was a Horn of AFrica related event which took place on 18 August.
Earlier this year we launched our Flagship publication Rural Poverty Report 2011. Just in two days - the day before the launch and the day of the launch, we managed to reach almost half a million people via Twitter Now you have to remember, that agriculture and rural development is not the most sexiest topic - so while these numbers may not seem very big - for us they are. What is most important is that we would have never reached these many people with traditional media! The highlight of the social media campaign for the RPR were the two virtual chats which we hosted on Facebook and Twitter
THis blogpost summarizes eloquently the strategy we adopted for using social media to launch our Environment and Natural Resource Policy. As a result we managed to engage a wide range of audience outside of the UN family and many private sector entities. This was the first ever event, where we integrated fully social media. the chairperson on regular intervals would ask the social media corner what was the virtual world saying and enquire whether there were any comments and questions on our social media channel. We tried to field as many as possible, live and those that did not manage to do, we responded to after the event. I do encourage you to read the blogpost.
A question that management inevitability asks when you propose anything new, is how much does it cost? - there is no cost per se associated with using social media channels - that is we do not have to pay to use Twitter or Facebook, but what is required is focused resources to monitor the chatter, to answer all questions - because no question should go unanswered. And for organizations such as mine, multilingualism is important. We need to communicate in all four official languages - and today we are primarily communicating only in English. But the opportunities of using social media outweigh its challenges as it allows us to: - enhance partnerships and work together in a more collegial manner and as a result amplify each other messages - really do crowdsourcing and practice participatory approach in every aspect of our work - allows us to reach to a segment of the audience - the younger generation - the future policy makers which before we could not do so - so easily - and last but not least, since we are funded by taxpayer money, these channels allow for more transparency and openness Before finishing, I just want to spend a couple of words outlining the conditions in which we operated to achieve these results: We have a supportive management. Our current President used to be our KM champion when he was Vice-President. When he was elected as President, one of the first things we in Communications Division did, was propose that he have an internal blog - and he accepted. Subsequently we recommended that he get a personal Twitter account - which he accepted We in communications division where given the space and authority to decide on social media strategy. And since the boss had embraced social media, the rest of the organization followed suit! We started by raising awareness and training colleagues We created a team of social reporters who now are deployed to cover different types of activities We showed the impact of using these tools for corporate events We developed our social media guidelines which are available on-line
I love this icongrpahic, because it shows the reach of social media tools and if you are still a skeptic hopefully we’ll make you want become a social media citizen
In leaving you with these 10 social media commandments, I think we should all be thinking of : how will the role of traditional media change with the surge of social media. We are already seeing that the news is made on social media - on YouTube - rather than on CNN what will be the 21st century website look like? will websites the way we know still exist? what will be the press release of 21st century look like? will they be replaced by Tweets or a Facebook status update? why are still some people skeptical of the power and potential of social media?
I thank you for your attention and hope you’ve found this long spiel useful. THank you
Social media: best ally for development workers
Social media: development workers’ best ally <ul><li>Roxanna Samii, IFAD KM Singapore, 1 September 2011 </li></ul>
Pillars of social media Contribution User generated content Community Harness power of crowd Collaboration Participation = Open social network
Social media a tool to amplify IFAD’s work <ul><li>Listen and give </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in real time interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Involve and participate </li></ul>
Why Twitter? <ul><li>Tweets are HEARD and RETWEETED </li></ul><ul><li>200 million users </li></ul><ul><li>500,000 new users per day - ranging from heads of states & govt to 13-year-old </li></ul><ul><li>65 million tweets a day </li></ul><ul><li>65% Twitter users are over 35 years </li></ul>
What is the value of Twitter for IFAD? <ul><li>Share IFAD messages and news instantly </li></ul><ul><li>Share rural development & agriculture related info </li></ul><ul><li>Report live from events and missions </li></ul><ul><li>Host virtual chats & engage in conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to chatter </li></ul>http://www.twitter.com/ifadnews
Facebook <ul><li>More than 600 million active users </li></ul><ul><li>Daily, 50% users log on to Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Average user has 130 friends </li></ul><ul><li>People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>More than 200 million active users access Facebook through mobile devices </li></ul>
Why does IFAD have a Facebook page? <ul><li>New way of reaching out & communicating </li></ul><ul><li>Share rural development & agriculture related info </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with younger generations </li></ul><ul><li>Host virtual chats </li></ul><ul><li>Answers queries </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to chatter </li></ul>http://www.facebook.com/pages/ifad/107399332627995?v=wall
IFAD social reporting blog <ul><li>Share knowledge in a fun & engaging manner </li></ul><ul><li>Report live from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Missions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Events and conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share insights & experience </li></ul><ul><li>http://ifad-un.blogspot.com </li></ul>
Videos <ul><li>In 2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>700 billion video viewed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>13 million hours of video uploaded </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 billion videos watch every day </li></ul><ul><li>20 million videos uploaded to Facebook per month </li></ul><ul><li>186 videos watched every month by avg viewer </li></ul>
<ul><li>Over 200 videos, ranging from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate documentaries broadcast on BBC, CNN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentaries produced by projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video news releases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public service announcements </li></ul></ul>http://www.youtube.com/user/IFADTV http://ifad.blip.tv IFAD work in action
Why has IFAD adopted social reporting? <ul><li>Mix of journalism, facilitation and social media </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge sharing method </li></ul><ul><li>Allows people not present in the room to follow an event or activity </li></ul>
Impact of social reporting: Rural Poverty Report launch <ul><li>467,166 people reached via Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Blogposts read by 943 people </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook entries shared with more than 8550 people </li></ul><ul><li>Videos viewed by over 1250 people </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted two virtual chats on Facebook and Twitter </li></ul>
Impact of social reporting: Launch of ENRM policy <ul><li>http://ifad-un.blogspot.com/2011/06/another-example-of-how-social-media-is.html </li></ul>
Challenges and opportunities <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>focused resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>systematic monitoring of the chatter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multilingualism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>partnerships & complementarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>crowdsourcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reaching out to future policy makers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more transparency and openness </li></ul></ul>
Remember the 10 social media commandments <ul><li>Thou Shalt Blog (like crazy). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Create Profiles (everywhere). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Upload Photos (lots of them). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Upload Videos (all you can find). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Podcast (often). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Set Alerts (immediately). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Comment (on a multitude of blogs). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Get Connected (with everyone). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Explore Social Media (30 minutes per week). </li></ul><ul><li>Thou Shalt Be Creative (go forth and create creatively)! </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Fast Company at: http://bit.ly/VxXPB </li></ul>
Social media: development workers’ best ally <ul><li>Roxanna Samii, IFAD Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rsamii </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: http://rsamii.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: http://facebook.com/roxanna.samii </li></ul><ul><li>IFAD social media guidelines: http://www.slideshare.net/ifad/ifad-social-media-guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>