Listening can be a useful tool for many reasons. Listening can spark ideas that would have otherwise been left in the back of your mind. Listening can create connections and complete ideas into working theories. I recently read a book titled, “Where Good Ideas Come From.” The book basically described “listening” as a great way to cultivate ideas. Steven Johnson said, “A network needs to be large enough to make random connections and flexible (plastic) enough to adopt new configurations” (Johnson, 2010, p.46). This perfectly describes the platform of Netvibes. Netvibes brings together ideas that are loosely connected and creates a space for them to become whole. I have enjoyed using Netvibes and appreciate its ability to find interrelated ideas in seemingly disparate articles. This is an interesting video of the author, Steven Johnson explaining “Liquid Networks” and the different ways they foster innovation.
Listening allows organizations to stay up to date on trends and social issues that may be of importance to their mission. It allows them to anticipate needs and or crises that other agencies may not be fulfilling. This is only one of the ways that organizations can use a platform like Netvibes to give the best service to their clients. Another interesting way to use listening would be to create a resource list of agencies that offer services that clients are likely to need. An agency might not be able to fulfill all the needs of the client, but an agency who is listening to other agencies can send individuals in the right direction. Listening can lead to new collaborations, expanded services, or identification of areas in need of improvement.
This past weekend was inundated with fundraising walks and events. The weather could not have been better. The sun was shining and the supporters were out in full force with their matching team t-shirts. I participated in two walks that championed very different causes. One was a walk to end Alzheimer’s and the other was to support animal shelters in Atlanta.
Both of these events utilized social media and email campaigns to maximize support and donations. The Alzheimer’s Walk raised $444,835.55. Paws in the Park had a smaller goal of $180,000, the actual amount raised has not yet been released.
Events like these are great examples of social media’s power and ability to generate support. For example, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event sent the participants helpful hints on how to raise money for the cause. One of the proposed tactics was to use social media such as Facebook or twitter to raise money. Paws in the Park sent out a similar email. The Alzheimer’s Association even sent out a short video clip to encourage participants to spread the word. All of these actions suggest that the organizations have realized the value of social media and its necessity.
As evidenced by my most recent blog post, I am a novice at best when it comes to blogging. Sure, I can think of things to ramble on about but that doesn’t mean that I can format a picture or make my blog attractive (or functional).
I was recently asked if I could start a Facebook page for the agency that I am interning at. My answer was simply, no. I could probably create a page and even post statuses and pictures to it but there is much more that goes into a social media presence. I explained to the staff member that there would need tobe a social media policy in place and someone to update the page regularly. Who would be in charge of the content? Who would be responsible for monitoring the posts and answering questions? Who would (fill in the blank)? My questions were endless and the staff member soon realized that this would be much more involved process than she had time to deal with.
That is exactly why I decided to push myself out of my own bubble and take a social media course. My skills are limited and I would like to be able to use social media in the future for professional purposes. I limit my personal social media involvement and have never quite understood the appeal of posting my every thought. The fact that once it’s put on the internet it can never be undone gives me serious anxiety. But, there is no denying that having a working knowledge of how to run a social media campaign will only help me in my career. Even though I grew up using computers and smart phones there is still so much that I need to learn to be proficient in social media. Hence, the social media course.
Social media has certainly changed the way I communicate with almost everyone in my life. For the most part, events are orchestrated through a Facebook group/event page. I stay updated on all of my long lost family and friends with social media and can easily send out mass messages to them with the use of Facebook or email. So, social media has given the public the ability to stay connected and in the know. The question I am interested in is, what is the downside to this new era of communication?
Social media undoubtedly connects people who would never meet under other circumstances. It has the power to connect people across the world. Some people use the power of social media in a positive way while others use the access to do harm or commit crimes. I believe that social media does more to help than it does to hurt. With that being said there is not much you can’t find on the internet but it is up to the individual to use social media to promote or share things that make people laugh or even make the world better.
photo by: pointlessxnostalgic
I’ve met a few good storytellers in my day, whether they were telling personal stories or trying to convince me of something, they all had common elements. The story teller made me feel like I was a part of the story and that it somehow directly affected me. The story was thought provoking, interactive, and relatable. A good story wills you to action or at least prompts further investigation of the topic.
Story telling can be used to make someone feel satisfied with life or to convince them that there is more out there. In this way social workers use the art of story telling to accomplish all kinds of things. We could use a well told story to convince decision makers to vote or think in a way that promotes social justice. We could use stories to justify the allocation of resources or the need for more within an agency. It could be as simple as making the public aware of an issue. A good story can mobilize people and cause them to share the story with others.
A simple example of how a social worker used story telling while training new employees seems to be appropriate for this blog topic. My intern supervisor was explaining the challenges of working with patients suffering from dementia to new employees. She illustrated the challenge by having the employees list every step that they take to get ready in the morning. It sounds like a simple task but it soon became clear that dementia could cause you to put the open coffee creamer back in the fridge, use the restroom without pulling down your pants, or to get in the shower with your bedroom shoes on. This simple exercise allowed the new employees to see the world through the eyes of someone with dementia.
As I prepare to launch a social media campaign I find myself analyzing what types of stories draw me in and hold my attention. One of the keys to good story telling is to connect with the audience in a meaningful way in order to give them a glimpse of your world or cause. A good story is deeply felt, whether it be happiness or another emotion. I realize that not all stories appear to be relatable on the surface. This is why it is important to have a succinct and appealing title or description. People are bombarded all day with stories so if you expect to capture their attention you will need to put some thought into your title. I found this link that Dr. P posted about story telling to be very insightful. I do not normally equate corporations with story telling but that is exactly what they are doing when they present products to the public. Get Storied gave me a lot to think about professionally and personally.
When a person is representing an organization or agency through social media they must be aware of the implications. A professional social media page is not the place to air your dirty laundry or discuss personal opinions. The distinction must be clear. The reputation of the agency could be tarnished as a result of the misuse of social media.
I have never used my social media pages for professional use. However, I was told by professionals to be aware of my social media presence because it can often portray you in a negative way to potential employers. I personally do not share much about myself on my social media sites. In my opinion, many people overshare on their personal social media pages. I am not comfortable with posting my every thought online. I realize that I do not use the social media pages to their full extent. But, I think this class will help me find a median when it comes to my social media presence.