This was the question Beatrice asked me. She wasn’t sure if she could help as a surgeon at one of these events designed to support local community and voluntary organisations in a relaxed one to one format:
I would like to make myself useful helping other people and I would like to know what skills I would need to be a good social media surgeon.
I am not a technical person by background. I have, however, spent a fair amount of time on the internet and it would be good to know what skills would be in demand at such an event.
It seems I have a bit of time to mug up on skills before the event but I’d be grateful for any advice on where to focus. Twitter is my platform of choice. I have just splashed out on a camcorder and digital recorder but I doubt I will feel confident with these tools before the event. Can I still be a useful person if I stick to Twitter/Facebook/general internet skills?
Oh yes – very. The fact that Beatrice wants to help is really the most important skill/thing she needs – but I also replied with:
- Ability to ask simple questions like “what are you trying to achieve” or perhaps “how do you use the web at the moment”
- Willingness to listen to the answers
- Enough knowledge/experience of say twitter or blogging or facebook to be a couple of steps ahead of the person you’re helping.
- Patience, willingness to ask for help from another surgeon if they ask you something you can’t answer (including ability to google to answer questions you can’t answer)
- Ideally a laptop or similar so you can show people how the social web works in your experience.
That’s about it really! A sense of fun helps too (see the pic above of “surgeon” and “patient” in Dudley).