Thursday, 13 October 2011

Using Social Media session

Interesting discussion at the Professional Service Directors Executive yesterday about our web pages. Or rather our lack of them! Although we all have individual departmental pages, there's nothing that pulls us all together, or even says who we are. So, that will hopefully be remedied in the next few weeks. Lots of good discussion about what messages we want to send, who the audience is etc.

This morning was a special half day meeting of our Internal Communicators Network which focused on the use of social media. It as a full house, so lots of interest from a mixture of people who already use various forms of social media, to those with no experience of it at all. We made it as interactive as possible with a well publicised hashtag (Tweets archived here), a Twitterwall on the screen at all times (produced using Spout for iPad which I was quite impressed with), and all presentations videoed and uploaded to YouTube. You can see the videos here. As I write this there's only mine there, but the others should be up soon.

The session started with an introduction to what social media is by our own Bob Booth (looking very dapper I might add), and some tips on how to use it. One of the best in my opinion was that you will be judged not by the complaints about you or what you write, but how you deal with them. Engaging with people, joining the conversation is the way to go. Then I gave my talk, which was the story of me using social media. How I started blogging, and why, how things have changed since I started, how and why I use twitter, the blurring of work and social activities, and lots of other stuff. Lots of lessons learned along the way which I hope were helpful to people who might be thinking about starting a blog or other forms of communication using social media.

Other talks followed, including another from CiCS on how we use Twitter and some of the lessons we've learned, from the Library on how they use Twitter, and from the Student Union about some recent research they've done on how students use Facebook, and how this has informed how they use Facebook to communicate and interact with them. Interaction was the key theme in all the talks - social media is definitely not a one way communication tool.

The session finished with a panel question and answer session, including a discussion on who owns the IPR and copyright to things posted using social media (answer - it's complicated), and whether the university has a policy on the use of social media for staff (answer -it hasn't). A good session, at least from my point of view. Hope everyone else found it useful.

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