Saturday, June 28, 2008

Session on Social Media

This week, I presented "Social Media" in a 20 minute session to a group of County Extension Coordinators with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Notes on this sessions are:

A survey of the participants was conducted. One item on the survey asked them to "Write down the 1st three words that come to mind when you think of Extension." Education, 4-H, information, and people were the most common words used. 

 The survey also asked participants to describe their most preferred methods (cost not considered) of delivering educational programs. Program meetings, face-to-face, and home and farm visits were the most used terms.

The survey also asked the participants to indicate the most important resource. People, information, education, and knowledge were the most used. 

People in our organization are our most important resource because of the relationships that they build with the people in their community.

People are influential because of these relationships and trust that they have built with people in their communities.

Social media is about developing relationships through conversations online.

55% of people who use social networks feel as strongly about their online communities as they do about their real-world communities (slide 17).

Extension has great opportunities to engaging new audiences, particularly when you consider that 87% participate in internet communities related to social causes that are new to them (slide 18).

Conversations take place anyway and we need to be participating. Being social on the web means that

  • we are part of the conversation.
  • communications are multi-way.
  • creditability can be realized.
  • trust can be attained.

Social media can help you

  • keep up.
  • keep clients informed.
  • share information, knowledge, resources, solutions, and expertise.
  • work with others.
  • stay connected with colleagues, faculty, industry, and clientele.
  • build professional relationships.
  • build professional reputations.
  • converse.

Anything you do, keep in mind: marketing, education, and communities (slide 37).

The Social Media: Learn, Share, Converse, Connect, Collaborate slideshow is saved as a Google presentation.

The informal survey was given to them when they registered and was returned to me at the end of the first day. In the survey, I asked them if they had heard or used some social media tools (I picked a few tools). The results showed that their knowledge of most of these tools was very limited. The raw data can be found in this Google spreadsheet.  The survey can be found here.

I did not have time to explain how using a feed reader can help them become more efficient in keeping up with changing information on the web. We will be covering that as well as how to use some of these tools.

From the discussions after the presentation, I gathered that some are seeing that they need to start using these tools. Also, they seemed interested in the generated word clouds I created in Wordle.

I am certainly looking forward to the upcoming training sessions.


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