Monday, May 14, 2012

Seminar on Social Media

I take my hat off to Ku-ring-gai Council who today hosted a Social Media Seminar for representatives of local community groups. I went along as a rep from an organisation to which I belong.


The groups represented included Rotary, the Local Police, Church Groups, Children's Groups and Cultural Organisations. The people in the audience had different levels of experience with Social Media; some had not ventured into the social media world and some were daily users.


The presenter, Anne-Maree Kerr, was from Tri Community ExchangeI congratulate Ann-Maree on having slides with great graphics and little text and for talking without notes. Ann-Maree had a relaxed presentation style and gave us an insight into her personality by sharing some personal anecdotes.  


Ann-Maree started off well by giving a brief history of the web. She outlined the 5Ps she would cover during the session and launched into her presentation. I was quite impressed at this stage.


Plan - before you launch into using social media think about what you are trying to achieve
Places - what are te best tools
Policy - an organisation need to have a published social media policy
Promote - once you have a presence how do you how do you get it out there
Process - ongoing things to keep your presence alive



After one and a half hours Ann-Maree had only given her introduction, mentioned some social media tools, scratched the surface of her 5Ps and talked at length about Facebook as a means of communication for community groups. Ann-Maree certainly knows Facebook inside out; I learnt about a few more Facebook features including Facebook's profanity blocker. I felt like I was attending a session entitled "Facebook (and Other Social Media)".


After we returned from afternoon tea there was only just over an hour to cover the 5Ps and all other social media tools. Anne-Maree explained the 5Ps more fully and gave us links to a couple of Social Media Policies for Organisations. I would have liked to explore the policies in more depth but that is just my personal preference. 


Anne-Maree then demonstrated and talked about Twitter another tool she suggested as useful for organisations. At this point time was running out and I felt sorry for Ann-Maree as I thought she would have to rush with her coverage of Blogs, Google+, LinkedIn, Wikis and other social media tools. 


Ann-Maree told us that blogs still have a place. She gave virtually no information on Google+ a tool whose Hangouts offer enoromous potential for cash-strapped non-profits and community organisations to communicate for free in real time via video with their members and the broader community. It took questions from the audience for Anne-Maree to mention Wikis, a valuable tool for community groups to use to collaboratively develop online resources for their organisations and bookmarking services such as Digg and Delicious. 


Presenting to a diverse group of learners is a challenge and today Anne-Maree demonstrated that she is able to explain sometimes difficult concepts in simple terms that most can understand. What concerns me is that some participants will have left this talk without being exposed to a full range of social media tools to evaluate for use in their organisations. That some of them will go away and set up Facebook pages for their organisations is a positive outcome.


Thank you Ku-ring-gai Council for hosting this event.


This post represents my personal opinion and not that of organisation I was representing.






















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