#begoodbesocial – my take.
Not long back from the first meeting of #begoodbesocial at The Melting Pot in Edinburgh. If you work in the non-profit arena in Scotland and you haven’t already heard about this then get over to the website and have a gander.
There are a few meetups designed for the social media savvy in Scotland but the concentration lies mostly on harnessing social media for business success so it was really interesting to have a group of people talking about social media for good. Kudos to Ross McCulloch for pulling off a very successful evening.
From my perspective, as someone who is trying to introduce social media into an organisation that has not used it before it was comforting to hear that others face the same issues as myself. It was also satisfying to hear that those who are pushing the boundaries of social media within the non-profit sector in Scotland are doing so with similar aims to those I have for my organisation.
In particular it was great to hear Rosie McIntosh from Oxfam Scotland talk about citizenjournalists.org.uk a project launched by Oxfam Scotland to try and build a base of citizen journos that take social media beyond “clicktivism”. It’s an intriguing idea and I just love that there’s no media hype connected to it, just the true belief that we can all change the world one small step at a time.
Following Rosie’s presentation some good points were raised about branding (or lack of) of the site and the danger of other charities being able to “hijack” the site for their own causes. I wish I’d spoken up but I didn’t, I’m a relative newbie to this world afterall! What I wanted to say, as the conversation moved from cause hijacking to the constant competition for funding was this.
We all talk about the difficulty of introducing the doubters to social media, about the fact that we’re basically having to affect a culture shift within our organisations, we talk about telling them its about the people behind the Facebook, the human web. We talk about sharing information on Twitter, we Livestream events, we Slideshare ….. why then are we not taking this opportunity to extend that culture shift into the whole sector, to realise the true possibilities open to us, to really share, to work together?
Maybe I’m being naive but if we really all do go into work in the morning with the aim of changing our own small corner of the world just imagine what we can achieve with a powerful tool like the human web. If we’re all good and social together we can surely achieve so much more, and hey we’re already making huge cultural changes, why not just push it that little bit further?
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Heralded as one of the first in a new generation of ‘think-and-do’ tanks, Glasgow-based Think! Research and Consulting is attempting to blur the divide between research and practical action, and to work in new ways that go beyond the typical client-consultant relationship.
Clients will include frontline third sector organisations themselves as well as those agencies that sit behind and support the frontline – national government, local public authorities, and third sector intermediaries, funders, and investors.
Jonathan Coburn, founding Director and Principal Consultant at Think!:
“I tend to approach the future in very positive terms. Even during the tough times ahead I can see tremendous opportunities to empower communities, stimulate social action, and carve out an even greater role for the third sector in public service reform. I see our role at Think! as providing the objective evidence and support required to make sense of change and to help make things happen.”
Think! has been set up as a unique form of private-social partnership. This partnership brings together the expertise of CEiS (now the UK’s oldest and largest social enterprise development agency) with the former social research team of one of the UK’s better known private sector consultancy practices – EKOS. To this mix it has added a highly experienced pool of third sector researchers and consultants that are located across the UK and internationally – I’m pleased to say I’m one of them.
With commissions already secured with clients in locations ranging from Alloa to Vancouver, Think! is set to make a big splash on the national and international third sector scene.
Via NCVO – This stunning infographic comes free with the UK Civil Society Almanac 2010.
All the interesting third sector conferences and events happen when I’m busy. This isn’t paranoia, this is fact.
Media140 Third Sector takes place in London as part of Social Media Week. The event will showcase non-profit organisations that have successfully integrated the use of the Real-Time Social Web into their organisations, answer questions for those less confident and explore the tools available for fundraising, communities of support, volunteer networks and cross platform campaigns.
As usual I can’t make it but if you’re free on 4th February I urge you to make it along to hear the ludicrously impressive range of speakers, including:
- Steve Bridger, Builder of Bridges
- Rachel Beer, Founding partner of Beautiful World
- Jonathan Waddingham, Digital Strategist at JustGiving
- Jacqui Darlow, Digital Marketing Manager Dog’s Trust
- John Carnell, Founder and Chief Executive BullyingUK
- Rob M Dyson, Digital/Social PR Manager, WhizzKidz
- Lucy Buck, Founder of Childsi Foundation
Last year Media140 raised £8000 for Mencap and The Big Issue, charities voted for by their twitter followers. Tickets are free for the third sector event with a suggested donation to the Disaster Emergency Committee in aid of DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
So are you going to Media 140 London or one of the other Social Media Week events?
If so, rub it in my face. Leave a comment to let me know what part of the events you’re most looking forward to.