A site about how community groups and charities can make the most of data and open data to do something useful. Focused on Birmingham, relevant everywhere.

Making social media less intimidating


In a recent blog post, Dave Harte talks about how Twitter seems to alienate some people for their mistakes. Particular beginners in the social media arena can end up being scared of this technology, which is actually just about having a conversation. This problem not only exists on Twitter, but in general with social media platforms.

“I think I gave a rather dour speech about how Twitter seems to come with a whole set of unwritten rules that puts newcomers off and can be intimidating for organisations.” (Dave Hart)

Several projects and events to educate and teach people about the advantages social media are happening every month in Birmingham. Focusing exactly on getting people up and running, showing them how, by using simple tools, social media can help them and their projects.

The notion of intimidating technology, is particular relevant at the moment with the new Digital Britain report. Social media is enabled by the technology around it and to understand it, you need a basic understanding of the processes behind it.

Getting people online is a problem that is addressed in the Digital Britain report, but what can be done to encourage people to engage in social media once they are connected?

Attiye and Gavin at the Birmingham Social Media Surgery

Attiye and Gavin at the Birmingham Social Media Surgery

Events and organisations like ‘The Social Media Surgeries‘ and ‘We Share Stuff‘, has proved the importance of hands on, personal advice, compared to a formal lecture. Fazeley Digital has a great explanation of the problem with formal teaching.

“[T]he danger is that you hear an expert speak, they make some interesting points and before you have had a chance to think about what it really means or how you are going to act on it, the evening is over, the moment’s gone and you are on to the next event.”

Please let us know if you have ever helped people getting to grips with social media, or indeed, if you have ever felt intimidated by it.

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