Running the social media game

Beth Kanter and I had a couple of great workshop sessions at the UK Circuit riders conference yesterday, talking about social media and nonprofits - and I think the participants enjoyed it too. We tried to make it as interactive as possible. Beth live-blogged the opening session.

For our workshops, Beth had slimmed down her 81-slide Powerpoint presentation (it is a real work of art) to a "Wikitation", which is slides on the wiki organised so it is easy to jump to examples. That way Beth was able to run through the main social media tools and explore how people were trying these in practice. You can see both see both here.

MarcostenWe then ran our newly-develop social media game, in which groups invented an organisation or network and then each took one of three challenges:

  • Improving internal communications
  • Improving external communications and engagement
  • Using social media as an individual - maybe a circuit rider, for example

Many of those present had experience of social media, and were able to offer explanations and tips to others during groups discussions. The different scenarios offered some fresh ideas and insights too, I think. You can see another US presenter at the conference, Marc Osten of Summit Collaborative, getting into the gaming sipirt.

FlipchartWe had a wifi connection, and by the end of each session Beth had taken and posted pictures and results of discussions to the wiki. Nothing like showing what's possible on the spot. You'll see those on the wiki too.

There's so much blah-blah-hype around social media is was wonderful to work with someone who has so many of the tools at their finger-tips - and is prepared to share. Beth and I had not met face-to-face before the event, but were able to work online to develop the presentation and game. Beth's use of the wiki during the event (subject to some dropped connections) was amazing. OK, we need to clean it up a bit, but that will be done with the energy and insights generated on the day. I'll reflect further later on the scope for integrating workshop activities and online tools ... and will be looking for other opportunities to experiment.
The other delight at the event was a chance to meet up with fellow UK enthusiasts for social media including Steve Bridger, Miles Maier, Paul Henderson and Nick Booth. We can't rival Beth's US fellow social media bloggers yet, but I think a little blog community is emerging here around social media and social network where the focus is nonprofits and civil society. Drop a comment in here if you are interested in linking up - we hope to have a get together fairly soon. Beth suggested we start tagging social media posts with nptechuk ... the standard US tag is nptech.
If you want to try the game for yourself, all materials are available here, free to use with attribution under a share alike license. Do get in touch if you are interested in discussing
Next game - demystifying Web 2.0