<< by on October 23rd, 2009
To start off the morning, top-ranked Changeblogger, Beth Kanter, discussed social causes and how social media can be used to promote them. She provided four suggestions in opening up non-profits, specifically to social media, however the same suggestions could be used for businesses. First, work in a networked way to connect those you around you to others with similar interests. If you think about connecting, when something acute happens, you’ll be able to take action. This type of networking assists with movement building.
The art of network weaving, meaning, people who intentionally weave new and richer connections among groups and networks, will induce innovation and the spread of ideas. The next tip was transparency, and although, we can’t be fully transparent all the time, you can work on it and gradually become more open. Also, creating a social culture within the organization needs open leadership. Leaders of the movement will hopefully at least be comfortable with their discomfort. Everyone involved needs to be aware that thing to change in order to create a social culture. Some common fears like’ if we enable staffers to write something and could get sued’ or ‘employees will spend too much time on Facebook etc.’ or ‘it might hurt our brand’ need to be dismissed. What needs to be learned is trustbuilding, and enabling your employees to learn what is private and what isn’t and do their jobs.
Next up, Twitterville Author Shel Israel discusses the new book, and also gave some in the future.
Tools change but people remain the same.
One of his first eye-opening instances with Twitter was when he was able to meet up with a friend, who by coincidence was in the same city as him.
Then another thing happened to move Shel more towards accepting this new network. He heard of the incident of a 19 yr. old photojournalist traveling in Egypt taking photos of a riot. For doing this, the student was arrested and as he was being driven to a jail, he took out his phone and tweeted, “arrested.” His friends back home had made him join Twitter a week earlier and this message was sent to only 62 followers, but eventually spread to the State Department. The student was released within 24 hours and as he exited the jail, tweeted “freed.”
That’s how Twitterville started.
The book began as a business book and big things kept happening and media kept changing. All in all, it’s about conversations, and for the first time we can effectively and affordably have conversations with people all over the world. Another example of a company listening to a rider complaining about a bus being late, turned an otherwise nasty rider complaint into understanding when the bus company responded with the reason why it was late. He said, generally, we hate large institutions because they’d rather reduce us to eyeballs, and we’ve had no recourse. Now we can blog about it or tweet about it.
And how about the big question: Where do the next million people come from? He thinks the future of social media, is filled with surprises and that we’re nearing the end of the beginning era of social media. Although Twitter use may level off, it’s here until the next thing pops us and surprises us all.