Social Media Workshop in Philly

Beth Buchanan and I are taking our social media show on the road.

After our Social Media Mania workshop last fall in Albuquerque at the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC), we’re excited to be asked to lead the workshop for the annual convention for the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) in Philadelphia from April 12 to 14.

Along with our cool Prezi show and our overview on social media, we’re adding a piece on how social media drives social and global movements.

How does social media influence public opinion? Look at the power of social media in terms of justice for Trayvon Martin, the Arab Spring, the Kony 2012 video, financial support for Susan G. Komen, and even the Occupy Wall Street movement. Weak-tie connections? Hardly. Social media makes an impact.

We’re also going to strategize on specific ways to make your own personal goals on social media happen.

Join our workshop on Thursday, April 12 at 3:45 pm, or Saturday, April 14 at 2 pm, or stop by the convention any time.

While the three-day event is offered by the Religion Communicators Council, non-profit communicators, social media junkies, connectors, and wannabes are all welcome!

Lots of cool people to network with! So, work that net!

It’s fun to meet IRL (in real life)! So join us!

BTW, Beth and I are still discussing whether our Twitter hashtag should be #rcc2012 or #rcc12 But we’ll probably go with the shortest hashtag because that’s what @bjbuc recommends.

Learn more about the RCC and register at the Workshops for Communicators.

worry is contagious — so is hope

At our social media mania workshop in Albuquerque yesterday we had an awesome group — a lot of knowledge and a lot of support for each other.

Outside the San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque

When Beth (Buchanan) asked for questions on post-it notes, one participant, S., wrote, “My mom cyber-stalks me…I’m scared to blog-because she’ll read it.”

After the workshop, I looked for S. but didn’t find her. I wanted to chat about her question and reassure her. Then I realized I hadn’t called my mother in a week so I called Mom to tell her how great I’m doing.

But Mom had feedback for me. She’d read my recent post on Getting Help. And I have to admit I put the phone on speaker as she spoke and pushed back my cuticles. She said, “You should get more help. The Michael J. Fox foundation will help you get care for Chris and the kids.” She is always after me to contact the Fox foundation for help.

“Mom, I think it’s true that the Fox foundation is a caring organization,” I said. “But I think their money goes into research and not into hiring home health care for people with Parkinson’s. And, as I mentioned in that blog post, I am getting help for Chris. Although, yes, it’s hard for me.” (Did that sound defensive? Um, yes, a little.)

Mom said she’d seen Michael J. Fox on Letterman or some late night show and that Fox reminded her of my husband. “He is not doing well,” she said.

Hmmmm. Here I am at this wonderful UMAC conference, wanting to brag about how great my presentation went. And I want to be worry-free (and free) from my little family for a few days and now I’m getting worried all over again. And I’m worried about worrying, because what if Mother reads this? If you do, you know I love you and I thank you for having good ideas, concern and love for me! 😉

But here’s the thing — worry is contagious and I don’t want to catch it.

The view from my hotel room. The sun was so bright, I had to look down.

I stopped writing this post this morning to think. I went out to my little patio to look at the sunrise. The sunlight blew me away. The sun is much bigger and brighter and closer in Albuquerque than in New York City. There is something valuable, beautiful and worry-free in a big bright morning sun.

I did find S. after this morning’s session. And S., Beth and I talked about the challenges (and joys?!) of having tech-savvy mothers who read our blogs, tweets or updates and then praise, worry or comment.

I vowed to Beth and S. to be a mother who does not cyberstalk her kids on social media. It may be impossible. Like my own mother, I want to protect, get help for and read them well.

Social Media Mania

I’ve been trying to post on one of my blogs every day for the month of June. Yesterday I was dragging. I didn’t have anything to say, couldn’t come up with a good idea, had too many social occasions to attend. One of those occasions was our monthly Lunch and Learn workshop which is a venue for our brilliant Communications staff to share their expertise.

At yesterday’s lunch, Beth Buchanan of the web team gave an awesome session. The title? Social Media Mania. It inspired and informed the two dozen of us there, half of us experts (ahem! like moi?) and half beginners (moi aussi!). After Beth’s session, I felt energized to get through my slog of a daily blog.

Here are a few take-aways from Beth.

Beth's profile pic!

How do we get into social media?

  1. Sign in
  2. Listen
  3. Engage
  4. Evaluate

I’m not particularly good at Numbers 2 and 4, but I am going to be!

Buchanan emphasized a few best practices for social media. Such as “Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.” In other words, think before posting.

Social media is a conversation, not a monologue, she said. So don’t swamp people with your point of view without taking an interest in theirs.

Another novel concept — and why haven’t I thought of this? — Have a social media strategy and make it work for you. To get thinking about this, start with the question, Who is my audience? (How am I supposed to know!)

I loved some of Beth’s quotes (and did tweet them during the session), like this one: “You establish who you are by what you post.”

On Twitter, Beth said if you’re tweeting for a company — for every three business posts, include one personal post. Duh! I microblog on Twitter for New World Outlook magazine @NWOMag and for myself @MaryBethC but I don’t cross-over; personal is personal and business is business. But I’ll try to cross-pollinate, just like Beth Buchanan, the social media maven at Global Ministries, does. Thanks, Beth! @BJBuc and @connectNmission !

Beth is the friend and colleague who got me started on blogging, Facebook and Twitter. And now there’s no stopping me! At least for the month of June!