Last night I joined the Mosman Council‘s Bernard de Broglio for the first Social Media Mob, a fantastic initiative from Bernard to support community groups as they discover the benefits of social media. While we were expecting web team representatives from local community groups we were certainly not disappointed to be faced with a small group of eager, enthusiastic seniors who first requested an explanation of exactly what the internet was. What followed was a lively discussion that has given me plenty to think about.
Firstly what a fantastic experience to help find the best examples that resonate when explaining the online world. If my pen had been working better I’d have taken notes on myself as I realised which analogies helped the penny to finally drop.
Secondly, it was interesting to realise the struggles that community groups have in communicating effectively. Fueled by volunteer staff there is little money available for anything and if you’re fortunate enough to have a large contact base you’re unfortunate enough to have the costs associated with touching base through any medium. Obviously this is where we know the benefits of social media will impact greatly on the way they generate leads, inform members and strengthen their community.
It was fantastic to see their enthusiasm grow as we outlined how Rostrum could use podcasts and You Tube to communicate in the best way they know how – Fred had stars in his eyes as he considered his impending online fame. Colin from the University of the 3rd Age was determined to find a way to link other Mosman groups and leverage a combined effort for the greater good and watched with interest as Bernard demo’d the Mosman Readers network on Ning. And Ailsa is anxious to rekindle the fire that kept her working 6 and a half days a week for decades before her forced retirement.
Which brings me to my third thought – I can’t think of a generation better suited to social media than that of our senior citizens. With so much to share and a desire to connect more then ever, I hope more take advantage of the wonderful opportunities like those offered by Mosman Library.
~ by mandi bateson on August 7, 2009.