Monday, December 19, 2011
Twitter and Social Media 101
The above is a very interesting video from "Vitamin T", the online Webby Awards training service. Beginning at about 2:38, our host, David Michel-Davies, Executive Director, The Webby Awards begins a discussion on how we have moved into socializing 'from home' (or in the case of Arabia, from school).
The 'incident' at Arabia (or whatever it was) for better or for worse, has enlightened, or hopefully enlightened DCSS staff, administration and security as well as parents as to the power of Twitter and social media. I can't emphasize enough - for young people, using social media is no different than using a telephone for older folks. It's nothing special - it's just how they gather and communicate. The fact that this 'incident' can be followed via the tweets of the students as they experienced it live and in the hours just after is a new phenomena. Gone are the days of passing notes or gathering in the bathroom to make plans for a mini-meltdown. Nowadays, we literally live in a soup of social media - a variety of ways to gather and experience all kinds of events with like-minded people. People like to connect. It's a basic human instinct to belong. If our schools are unable to provide that sense of social belonging and instill a desire to be fully a part of a school environment, then students will certainly (and easily) create social networks of their own.
I personally think there was some kind of message in this mayhem. I think students desire a better sense of belonging. Of trust. Of support. Of hope.
Don't fight technology. Find a way to create school environments that wrap their arms around the students they serve. All of them.
If you enjoyed that training, you might also like this one, called "The Culture of (Dis)Satisfaction", which focuses on how consumers express dissatisfaction with brands via social media. Schools can effectively be considered 'brands' so this one is relevant too, IMO. The interesting part is where he explains how brands should best respond. At about 13:30 he talks about "Random Acts of Kindness" as a way to gain warm fuzzies as a brand.