Posts Tagged ‘Voluntary Sector’

Social media surgeries, simplicity and being there

Posted on 22nd June 2011 by
A proper cup of tea

A proper cup of tea by James Shade on flickr

 

I often say this about social media surgeries: please keep it simple.

Why?  Because the most important single thing about a surgery is that it should be there.

Being there is a core part of supporting communities.  Month after month they know you’ll be there, they get used to it, they get used to the relaxed format and they come for help, come for ideas, come for connections, come back to offer help.

It is just a truth that something is more likely to happen if it’s simple.  A cup of tea with a friend is much more likely to happen than (more…)

The perfect mix for June’s Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery

Posted on 9th June 2010 by

Social Media Surgery May 13th 2009
On our way to the June Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery, I worked out that it’s been six months since our first event in the Studio – the first that I was sort-of involved in. In all that time I don’t think we’ve had a better turnout – for the type of people that have come down and the variety of things that they are interested in.

Scanning down the list of names and organisations that turned up, we had – in no particular order – representatives from two hospices, a city centre residents’ group, a campaign for sustainability in Solihull, a basketball club, a neighbourhood forum and people from two social enterprises.

The help

While the Civic Centre Residents Group continued to get help on their posterous blog (it’s their third time down to a surgery), it was great to see people from two hospices come along. Tony Coulson and Daphne Welch of St Mary’s Hospice in Birmingham received help from Michael Grimes with their website. Mark Binnersley, who is also at the St Mary’s Hospice was helped with Twitter by Catherine Howe – who had come from Brighton to learn more about what the Social Media Surgeries are like here in Birmingham and very kindly stepped in when it looked like we were running out of surgeons.

Given that was only five minutes into the evening – and we already had a pretty full set of tables – it was something of a relief. But she wasn’t the only person more than happy to help out with some of the great variety of different issues that we dealt with that night.

Goodbye to Heidi

Heidi Blanton, who has only recently become a social media surgeon, was charged with helping Paula Mitchell and Jane Hartnell of Acorns Hospice. Sadly this is likely to be the last surgery that Heidi can attend, because she’ll be heading back to the USA for a while, but we hope to see her – at least for a visit – in  the not-too-distant future.

Paula and Jane were looking for help with using social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook to better communicate with the many people who have an association with the hospice. But they also had an inquiry about how they might be able to get news feeds onto their websites with RSS – after Paula was approached by someone trying to sell them the service for a very large amount of money!

Transitions Sutton Coldfield

Another particularly interesting arrival was Lenka Moore, from Transition Sutton Coldfield. I’d not heard of Transition before tonight, but you can learn more about it by visiting the Transition Network site. Andy Mabbett helped Lenka to set up a WordPress.com blog (which I’m trying to find the url for) for the organisation – which looks to make local communities more sustainable in a time of environmental and economic challenges. I asked Lenka a few questions about her organisation and what it hoped to get from setting up a blog.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA6ruktyk4s]

Internet in a church – the first Yardley Social Media Surgery

Posted on 30th May 2010 by

Yardley social media surgery

We’ve just ticked off another historic landmark in the development of social media surgeries, with our first Be Birmingham-funded Yardley social media surgery, which I’m pretty sure is the first to be held in a church – St Michael and All Angels.

After a few tricky moments with Wifi (something I’m reluctantly becoming something of an expert in) we were able to impart some help to the church itself, which through Anne Maddox and Mark Hayward is now running its own blog. As you can see from from the post that was put up on the day of the surgery, there are already a lot of interesting things going on with the blog!

Mark has been in charge of the existing church website and is now, thanks to some help from Nick Booth, equipped to use the blog, add pictures and start to explore the benefits this new approach can bring to the community work the church is involved in.

Yardley social media surgery

Mark wasn’t the only person getting help, though. Dan Davies also helped Louise Darwood, who lives in Yardley, with help in setting up a blog and using Twitter.

In the video Louise – who is involved with the Riverside Church in Moseley – explains that she is very interested in becoming more involved in campaigns in her local area and hopes the blogging and using Twitter may allow her to develop her interests further.

This is just the first of our Be Birmingham-funded surgeries in Yardley. There’ll be two more – on June 23 and on July 28 – to look forward to, if you’re interested. And, if you want to find out more about what happened at the surgery, you can read my Surgery Manager’s report on the Social Media Surgery Plus website, here.