Last week I talked to the Ma Social Media Students at Birmingham City University about social media surgeries for community and voluntary organisations. I was explaining how they emerged from a wide range of activity that was building social capital here in Birmingham.
It’s a story I’ve told before but never really in such a concentrated way – in fact I told it twice in one day. The students were a guinea pig for the talk I was planning to give at Michael Overduin’s Science Capital event on “Networks, Nodes and Knowledge: from local enterprise to global engagement”.
The slides are here but what I’d like to share if what one of Dave Harte’s students made from the talk. Dave shared the whole thing with his overseas students who study the degree remotely. He asked them to:
This week I would like the distance learning students to reflect on the talk by Nick Booth and consider how you might go about setting up a social media surgery in your own town. What would your strategy be? Have a read of Nick Booth’s ‘recipe’ listas a starting point.
Your response should be a short (5-10 mins) video that tells us the following:
- What’s your town like? – rich? poor? digitally deprived??
- Is there a way to connect to voluntary groups and community organisations (an umbrella organisation of some sort)?
- How would you go about connecting to other digitally minded folk to persuade them to help set up a surgery?
- What’s stopping you doing this?”
This is a question about social capital and innovation, where is it, how does it happen. Can you nurture or grow both. Dave highlighted one response from Jeff Sage.
Jeff talked about how a group in London Ontario developed “Emerging Leaders” a network for connecting people. As yu can see they also work with different agencies in the city to help improve their community. Principles that struck a chord with the social media surgery ethos include:
never duplicate efforst of others or create silos and making mistakes should be a goal, rather than something you’re tryng to avoid.
One coincidence – Michael Overduin, who asked me to compile the initial story on the surgeries – hails from Ontario.