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Social Media Workshop 40 Years Policy and Politics Conference University of Bristol 18-19 September 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Media Workshop 40 Years Policy and Politics Conference University of Bristol 18-19 September 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Media Workshop 40 Years Policy and Politics Conference University of Bristol September 2012

2 Why listen to a bloke with a dragon? Because the dragon might eat you??? Because there might be more dragons elsewhere?!?! Because Cabinet Office listened to the dragon & mentioned dragon in press release? Because Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson invited dragon for tea & cake in Parliament? Because 12 MPs follow dragon on Twitter?

3 “The “social” in social media implies a conversation. The difference between social media and the TV is that with the latter, viewers seldom engage with the programme-makers of the show that they are watching. Only in very recent times have programme makers expanded into the world of social media. Think X-Factor. What is social media?

4 Megatrends 1 – the death of control The age of influence  Big organisations and companies had a monopoly on mass communication and got used to controlling the message  Anyone literate with an internet connection can self-publish for free  Hard to control, can only influence The age of control The old era The new reality

5 Megatrends 2 – Fewer gatekeepers Many to many  Manage the gatekeepers  One-way, broadcast model.  Managing reputation = managing the media.  Less reliance on media: people get information direct from the source, and from each other.  New-style comms must reach beyond media to a complex interactive model. One to many The old era The new reality

6 Megatrends 3 – Fragmentation A huge cloud of interaction  People got most information from a handful of news media.  Organisations could efficiently manage (or at least monitor).  Conversations are distributed wherever people form opinions: blogs, social networks, YouTube  Separate provider for the content, and the platform for the content A few centralised channels The old era The new reality

7 Megatrends 4 – New web landscape Pull communications  The Web was a channel for pushing out information.  Sites were static e-brochures.  The Web was utilitarian. People felt neutral about it.  Now, people spend most time on interactive social media.  The social web is informal, immersive and emotive. Web as distribution channel Web as community Push communications Old (web) era The new reality

8 Megatrends 5 – New journalism Messy and opinionated  The world of press releases, news conferences and interviews was well ordered.  Journalists knew the rules of the game and were predictable.  Balance, professionalism, accountability  Huge and distributed.  Everyone can report.  Each sets his/her own rules.  No obligation to be balanced.  Complicated recourse for inaccuracy.  Opinion dominates content. Ordered and predictable The old era The new reality

9 How big is social media in the UK? 30 million+ accounts Almost half the UK population 10 million UK accounts > newspaper sales 5% of users write 75% of tweets

10 Discussion point: Any thoughts, comments or observations on those megatrends?

11 Responsibly ‘I trust my officers with the powers of arrest and the ability to deprive you of your liberty. Therefore I am going to trust them to use social media’ A senior police officer on Twitter. -That is not to say they are given access to social media without any training. Social media carries risks. So does life. What matters is how we manage those risks. -Part of that training involves you seeking out further knowledge – enough for you to ensure that you are comfortable using social media. How should I use social media?

12 Before you start – information security Social media is value neutral; people are not. Bad people use social media as well as good people. You need to protect yourself from the latter. If you have staff that report to you, you or your institution may have duty of care to ensure your staff are properly trained to be aware of, if not, handle social media. Please ensure that both you and any young people that you know read through guidance from the Information Commissioner at

13 A short clip on safe social media use A short digital video on social media guidance from the Department of Justice in the State of Victoria, Australia.social media guidance

14 Greater variety of learning methods Social and digital media has transformed the academic landscape in recent years. Learning is now no longer restricted to reading text books or journal articles from recommended reading lists, nor is it restricted to lectures in lecture halls. -Web-based journals -Podcasts -Digital video – including animation -Blogs -Direct sources – e.g. online transcripts such as Hansard or court records Issues of accuracy and credibility of sources? Recall megatrends earlier.

15 Digital videos To demonstrate one such method of learning, I commissioned four young people to help me produce some digital video guides on social media tools. Introduction to Facebook Introduction to Facebook – by Kate McAlpine and Martin on Twitter respectively Introduction to blogging on Wordpress Introduction to blogging on Wordpress – by Nyika Suttie on Twitter

16 Twitter See https://twitter.com/abouthttps://twitter.com/about “Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters in length, but don’t let the small size fool you.”

17 What can you get into a tweet? Lots -Announcements -Links to news, information, articles and columns -Photographs -Comments -Feedback

18 How do I use Twitter? Excessively -I know I need to tweet less regularly. (1,000 tweets and re-tweets is not particularly healthy!) -I tweet through an ‘avatar’ – in the name of Puffles the Dragon Fairy. -I tweet using both laptop and smartphone -I use Twitter both as a medium for online chat and as a medium to share information and state opinions. WARNING – this is where people get unstuck – more to follow -I have published “House Rules” that I use to manage people’s expectations. -I have met up with people I first stumbled across through Twitter, and I have sold cuddly toys online to people I’ve not met.

19 Who can you follow and engage with? That is up to you, but Puffles has lots of recommendations in a series of blogposts themed as Puffles’ Twitter Lists Puffles’ Twitter Lists Following and unfollowing is much more informal than friending/unfriending on Facebook. Turnover of followers tends to be higher Don’t feel obliged to stick to ‘professional’ contacts. Branch out to other areas of interest – especially hobbies.

20 How do I use Twitter? Social media is a new phenomenon. Therefore lots of people will inevitably be either unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable with it. You won’t become an expert using Twitter overnight. It takes a little bit of time to get used to it. Be patient. Twitter exchanges can have the feel of a private chat in the pub. But the whole world is potentially watching. -Diane AbbottDiane Abbott -Chris HuhneChris Huhne Don’t drink and tweet. You know why. SPAM – it’s evil and I hate it but we have to deal with it.

21 Would you like to see a demonstration of Twitter?

22 “I’m interested in reading who is saying what on social media, but don’t want to be active” A form of web feed used to publish frequently updated content like blogs and news Receive updates from all sites in one place. Really Simple Syndication Subscribe to feeds to monitor blogs and social media efficiently Publish feeds on news or blogs to make content easy to follow Why RSS matters for academia Get a free account with Google Reader or Netvibes Useful for the ‘passive’ social media user Work out how to use it

23 LinkedIn – a bit like Facebook, but for business At its most basic level, it is your online CV Helps link you up with other potential contacts that may be of interest to you Tends to be more popular in the commercial world Most people within my network do not use it actively – hence why I rarely use it. This may not be the case with you.

24 The potential impact of social media on specialist academia

25 The challenge to academia There are many parallels with challenges faced by large organisations – including the civil service and other parts of the public sector, such as: I.Transparency – you may be expected by the public to publish more information than you otherwise would wish to II.Accountability – more people outside academia may question, scrutinise, challenge, and even ridicule some of your work III.Flattening hierarchies – will grades, titles and institution brands count for more or less?

26 The challenge to academia IV.The pace of change – how do you respond both individually and as organisations to the demands placed upon you by social media users? V.What opportunities are there to publicise your work to wider audiences, engage with the public and possibly diversify funding sources? VI.What new allocations of resourcing will you have to make to meet new demands? What new skills will you need to ask of new staff, and what training for existing staff?

27 Questions? Copies of these slides can be found on my website at:

28 Credits Icons on slide 3 Slides 4-9 – Jon Worth Stats on slide 9: FB as of Feb 2012 at february-2012/http://www.clicky.co.uk/2012/02/uk-facebook-statistics- february-2012/ Twitter as of May Social Media Policy Guide – Department of Justice, State of Victoria, Australia at Facebook and Blogging digital videos, - my own commissions

29 Acknowledgements Jon Worth for being brilliantly supportive as always Professor Alex Marsh for the commission Nyika Suttie, Martin Young, Kate McAlpine and Alice Sheppard for their hard work on the videos My family as always for putting up with me Puffles – for being Puffles All of Puffles’ followers who help make social media so much fun, varied and interesting All of you that attended, commented and fed back


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