In the past 18 months or so I have seen quite a lot of appetite for the idea of using social networks such as fb/mys/bebo to promote positive activities... but not sure if this has really been pushed.
So - imagine you are a provider of activities - a youth service, sport & leisure, voluntary sector, etc.
You have a list of activities for the next three months or so - saying What, Where, When, Who & How.
You've managed to get these onto a website or blog or something, so people can view them
There are feeds such as RSS from this site, so you could start to tell others
You then enter a social network - with the tools provided, you think you could start to send this information out to the relevant people/networks...
.. but then what? Is it OK to just deliver positive activity info via these networks, or is there a further step - that of people then talking about it? After all, a social network is just that - full of discussion & connections (or connexions ?!)
But what if someone posts a comment that your provision is "rubbish" (to be polite) in a social network? What if someone starts a group to request more ping pong and less youth work?
I guess my whole point here is that it seems a good idea to use social networks to promote positive activities - just that we might need to think through the full implications of delivering information into such spaces..
(of course people, might also say nice things too!)
I don't think that this is unique to digital media, I think there are transfers over from the offline world with regards to consultation / participation and how true to it you stay.
Interestingly I've just been blogging about experienceing this issue (in a more reduced format) with the group from China and their blog. I think the main basis is being open and honest with the young people about what the rules / boundaries are around the tools you're using and how you will use any information they supply.
hi am new to all this networking on line stuff and just read your peice, in our centre we have young people who spend every free minute chatting with other young people from the centre and the local area.
we approached them and raised the issues and concerns we had as workers and as parents about the use of such sites which generated much heated debate and more questions than answers at times.
after much discussion we agreed with the senior members to built our own social site through ning.com for our young people to chat with other members and we are using it to promote the work we do and that of the young people who attend our youth projects.
we had concerns about negative feed back but as the person who approves the comments / material posted then we can to some degree remove or ban such comments that set out to cause hurt, harm or offence but do allow comments that have merit or we think is needed to improve the service we provide.
We dont permit anyone outside the centre or the work we do to become members of the site so that we can provide a safer way for our members to chat with friends and in receiving information on services, events.
as i say i'm new to this stuff so am interested to hear how others use networking sites to promoite their activities, centres and in engaging with young people as we have found this to date as a very positive venture given the location / area of Belfast we are working in.
I think if you go the next step, where people are talking about it then you need to be prepared for a few negative comments, and I think as long as these comments are constructive and are not bullying people or are ofensive etc then you can take on board what people are saying and use it to improve your provision.. and you can leave comments replying saying what you have done.
as for the ping pong comment, it is a good point, but when youth services do questionnaires about provision or when i ask the young people that I work with what they would like, and they said that they would like more ping ping and less youth work I would look at how I could do this without loosing the element of youth work, so you could do ping pong nights (for example) but these young people are not going to playing ping pong fro the whole time they are there so there is still the opportunity to do youth work with them.. but for me at the end of the day if they are coming to the provision myself and my team are providing they need to expect to have youth work taking place within the other activities that are being provided.
Thanks for that; your youthworktoolbox website looks useful, particularly the podcasts.
We're looking at going with Mailchimp as it's very user-friendly and very much integrated with social media which is a major plus.
I currently use Awebber for my email campaigns.
It's a paid service, but after my research, it seemed to be the best option for me.
I also have a mail chimp account, but I have never used it.
Awebber was not too difficult to set…"
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