social media

Social Media for Public Services in Scotland

The good folks over at Learning Pool are running a free event with the Scottish Improvement Service for those working in public services in Edinburgh who want to get the most from the social web. This highly interactive session, facilitated by Dave Briggs and his partner in crime Breda Doherty, will provide delegates with everything they need to get started with social media and to ensure they have a strategy for success.

The seminar will be hosted at COSLA’s offices in Edinburgh on Wednesday 2nd February – you can find out more details and book your place online on the Learning Pool website.

The session will cover the following topics with a mixture of engaging presentation and practical exercises:

  • Why social media matters
  • Designing your strategy
  • The social media toolkit
  • Governance and risk
  • Making your strategy work

Sounds good to me.

Being good and being social

Last month the Snook team spent an evening being and good being social...

"Founded in August 2010 by Ross McCulloch of Third Sector Lab, Be Good Be Social brings together third sector professionals interested in social media for social good. The events are a chance to learn, debate and connect with others working for non-profits, charities and social enterprises. Unlike traditional conferences Be Good Be Social combines networking, inspirational talks, practical workshops and, importantly, the chance to collaborate in a relaxed, friendly environment. You’ll hear real-life case studies, ground breaking new ideas and hands-on solutions.

The events are for social media newbies as well as the digital die-hards. Coming along to Be Good Be Social will help you understand:

- The practicalities of where to start with social media

- The benefits of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogging and beyond for third sector organisations.

- The risks involved in your organisation’s social media presence.

- Strategies for effectively engaging with supporters, donors and partners.

- How you can measure your social media success."

The evening kicked of by everyone asking themselves "what are we all doing here?" the answer being to talk about meaningful engagement. Martin Keane ( the first full-time member of staff dedicated to social media in a Scottish charity, One Kind ) was first up. Martin talked about breaking his audience down into thought leaders / advocates/ lurker / newbies. I was particularly intrigued by his concept of a social media volunteer, he talked about 'mini movement builders'

Martins talk echoed two of the messages we push out when delivering Studio Unbound sessions ; being online levels the playing field and it's about making connections with individuals. I liked his advice to always keep an air of mystery around your online profile, something Cassie and I have spoken about lately in response to noticing the way people use these tools is shifting.

The audience then split into two to attend workshops: one delivered by ourselves and the other by the brilliant Steve Bridger

We split our audience into groups of three:

1. We are about Marketing -we want to improve our brand through all channels!

"Our brand is important to us and our future service users. We want to improve out brand reputation across all channels. How do we integrate both online and offline media so we don't forget our offline service users?"

2 We are about Feedback

"We maintain a Scottish Heritage site. We often send out questionnaires but get a low response. How can we keep up to date with what our followers thing of us and improve our service?"

3. We are about Reinforcement

"We connect to young people through the phone. How do we ensure that our message is concise if we start to spread ourselves across all of our channels?"

Each group had a one character to focus on. We had elements of a story board to complete that tied in with channels their characters already used...websites / personal devices / networks / outlook etc.

Each group designed new ways of interacting to answer their question:

1. Marketing: Our solution focused on the online as well as the offline. The motivation behind the interactions was creating something for greater good. Our character joined justgiving.com and then used newspaper club. This newspaper was then delivered to our characters local  library ( characters daughter designed the paper from Oz over the phone ). We then held an event and got a student Social Reporter to come along, during this event we developed some ideas for potential apps.

2. Feedback: #schmob is a flash mob event designed for Scottish Heritage organisation. It involved lots of bicycles and mountain climbing . When you reach certain mountain you get a point, you upload an image to the Scottish Hertiage site. Inspired by MyCanmore.

3. Reinforcement: Our group took our user through an online journey but allowing her to help someone begin the same journey offline. By calling Child Line, the organisation slowly start engaging her in online tools. Inspired by the Samaritans who offer emotional support via text messaging

The workshop taught us that people really responded well to the visual tools we used. Also, building up characters with the group rather than using pre-defined personas works well to make it real. Never underestimate the power of a persona! Using stories to bring things to life and make stuff tangible is brilliant fun!

Rosie MacIntosh (who tweets from @oxfamscotland ) was up next and opened her talk by saying "because we work in a charity, every day we go into work we are changing the world bit by bit". We like it. She told us all about Oxfam's: citizen journal network. It is brilliant.

"What is a citizen journalist anyway?

If you listen to Andrew Marr, we are 'inadequate, pimpled and single'

Well, maybe we are, but we're lots of other things too. We're people who are concerned about the world around us. We're people who see injustice, and instead of turning the page or changing the channel,  take action. We're people who have something to say.

If that sounds like you, why don't you join us?"

One girl called Helena has been championing the initiative and recently wrote an article on how to find the perfect outfit for an interview in Oxfam. Follow them on twitter

Oh, and you can read what other good, social people saying about the event...and the conversation is still going... join in!

Huge round of applause for Ross for making it happen and thanks @jubilee for the awesome pics.

Here's to being good and being social!

using your mobile to do something good

Last week I went to the first event held by Orange to mark the launch of their forthcoming initiative to promote mobile micro volunteering. I rocked up with the lovely Cassie Robinson knowing nothing about the idea or who was going to be there. The  50 people crowd wore stickers - developers sporting a blue sticker, people from orange an orange sticker and social entrepreneurs a green sticker. The aim of the evening was simply to 'meet in each other in person' - simple and true.

The force behind this new initiative is the merging of Orange and T mobile ; Everything Everywhere . They have more customers than the population of Canada! They certainly have the potential to harness this power to do something good!

Jamie T put together a good write up here and I was interviewed by the brill Brian Condon - you can listen on audioboo.

This new venture is encouraging people to make minutes matter, to do something from your phone that will take 5 minutes. It clearly presents new opportunities to work differently and it may highlight how much generosity there is in the world.

I suppose I am most interested in the balance of actions that can be done online and what can be done offline. Nevertheless, I am always interested in things that aim to liberate and inspire people so I will be watching closely.

p.s I was a big fan of the speakers wearing a red flower in their shirt pocket. Nice touch.

Studio Unbound VI

This week Studio Unbound traveled  to Dundee to kick of our sixth session. The show got off to a late start, but we were genuinely excited to be presenting to such a multitude of design disciplines. Sarah talked about networking, mindset and Mypolice...to name a few. I joined in via skype and focused on the difference between under grad and masters level and what my dissertation taught me.

We got a great reception, I was talking to the students on twitter and have captured their feedback and insights here. Sarah naturally focused on Service Design and Systems Thinking, we got a strong sense from the audience that these messages were suitable for all disciplines.

Sarah, being the lovely lass she is, went for coffee with some of the students afterwards and had great conversations about  Service Design as a discipline and a process. It has become an attractive and adaptable process at The University of Dundee , the students recognise it helps their own disciplines move into Social Design and designing co-creatively with people. We left Dundee more determined than ever to make Making Service Sense a reality...the students want it and need it!

We have been totally humbled by the response from the students and it makes us happy to hear them describe Sarah's blog and Redjotter as very accessible and their main source of learning about Service Design.

Many of the audience didn't know where to start to start with twitter, but we think we convinced them showing real examples of how twitter has changed our life! There was a good proportion of students already part of twitter although they admitted they don't use it or know what to say. The ones who did use it said it had made them feel more confident !

We have had some amazing feedback from designer Lorri Smyth about the effect  Studio Unbound has had in the Textiles studio .

  • There have been lots of people joining Twitter who hadn't used it before. Those who are a bit scared are receiving encouragement from others who have joined or have their own blogs already.
  • The other day some girls in my class set up a studio blog to discuss fundraising...we are working on other ways to use the blog ; to promote and network our year.
  • Inspired by the idea of Mypolice I began to wonder how as class rep I could use social media to facilitate better communications between staff and students. I am thinking of lots of ways to engage the class through the blog by writing articles and voting on polls etc to produce some positive action out of all the moans I hear!
  • Meanwhile we are working on our self motivated brief while the tutors are busy busy with the degree show. I proposed a series of peer led skills swap shops to extract and share the skills we have gathered as a class. People seem really up for it. I see the blog playing a part in this too.

You can follow their adventures here.

You can also read some brill feedback from Laura about her perspective as a jeweller on the session.

If you would like us to come and talk to your class or your students do get in touch !

We are not electronic beings

A new service called Usocial charges you about $200 (£125) to “buy” 1,000 new friends on Facebook and Twitter. Although the people who are being 'sold' don't realise it! Who is using this service?

“A woman in Detroit said she travels for business a lot,” said Leon Hill, uSocial’s chief executive. “She said she’ll be stuck in a hotel room without anyone close to her [this month]. She just wanted more people to keep in touch with during the holiday season.”

A man moved to Taiwan six months ago, although he intends to return home next year. “Living out here, in the area I live in, there’s very little interaction. Very few people speak much English.I want to know what’s going on. You can read news on the internet, but you get a better gist of what’s going on through people’s opinions and chatting.”

We are more connected than ever before yet young people are lonely and facebook only adds to the problem.

“Social networking has not helped because it is a remote contact. Some young people don’t have any real friends.“They are completely surrounded by people, but they can still be lonely because they are not able to make lasting bonds.”

Sue Palmer, author of a book, Detoxing Childhood, said: “It is reckoned that 10 per cent of communication is through language. The rest is reading faces, expressions, body language, establishing tone of voice.If children are not developing those skills, then that is worrying. We’re not electronic beings.”

I reluctantly joined facebook about a year ago. I set up an account as 'Redjotter' as I wanted to use it to connect to people for 'work, inspiration, networking et al'.  None of my family or 'real friends' who I see most days are my friends on  facebook. People laugh at me because of this but it just didn't feel right. Of course there is an overlap as many people I  'work' with have become very good friends.

This article makes me think of that scene from the movies when a lonely someone is standing outside in the cold peeking through the windows of a family home wishing they were part of it. It seems when some young people look at their 'facebook friends' it makes them feel the 'friends' are having more fun, visiting more exciting places and generally leading more exciting lives than they are and this can only lead to feelings of vulnerability.It is sad but seems to be as true as always.

Instead of focusing energy, talent on skills on ventures such as uSocial we should be thinking about how to make real conversation happen.