If you haven’t already then I’d recommend anyone who is interested in the idea of social media surgeries listening to this audioboo by John Popham who talks about his experiences visiting three social media surgeries on consecutive nights in Yorkshire:
John does a wonderful job of explaining the simple way that a surgery works – in particular that it is really a conversation – where both people are engaged (the surgeon and the patient) in figuring out a solution to the patient’s enquiry.
As John explains, sometimes people are a little concerned about helping others, because they’re worried they don’t have enough skill to offer solutions.
But the surgeries are good way of breaking down this problem. Firstly, of course, there are others there who can help. And, secondly, the conversational nature of the surgery helps you to understand what might be useful and you can then work together to explore a solution. Even if you know only a little, your support can be invaluable to absolute beginners. You can reassure people that social media can be an enriching and empowering tool – and very much worth persevering with. And that, as it happens, is what social media surgeries are all about – as John says.
John plans to keep these podcasts going, so keep an eye out for them in the future. And, since I’m on the subject of podcasts, if you’re interested in finding out about my own experiences with social media surgeries have a listen to my own, rather smaller and much less accomplished, effort.