Post-event thoughts (updated 8 June 2009):

Last speaker of the day at PSFBuzz NE was Dave Briggs, who had also done a rather marvellous job of chairing the day.
I’ve not heard Dave present before and I really enjoyed the anecdotes and informal style which encapsulates the camaraderie of the whole event.
Dave presented his personal story first – from non-web-related role to working at Downing Street in five years and this was a great way of showing not only how fast online is changing in terms of technology and communications but in forming new ways of working and roles as well. This was all expanded on later in the presentation and is great food for thought.
Moving onto Dave looked at common mistakes and misconceptions about social media before imparting his four steps to success:

  1. Listen
  2. Acknowledge
  3. Create
  4. Share

Along with these four steps there are a few of other things Dave said which struck a chord with me: that people aren’t going to like everything about social media and the battle cry of JFDI!
These are principles I’m carrying with me in working life and trying to get the organisation in the right position. However, as much as I love shouting JFDI (and sticking my LocalGovCamp sticker to random things), I do temper it with a degree of public-sector-risk-averse caution (ie I do some research and work things through and if it still seems like the best idea then I FDI).
And the other thing this presentation made me think again about is policy. I had a go at some draft usuage guidelines a few months ago (mainly copied from Carl Haggerty) but haven’t followed up after circulating within my team. So, action for me from this session and Carl’s session is to re-visit that document and probably rehash some of it to make it less strategy and less about specific networks and chase it to get it in place.

What I wrote at the time:

– recycling jokes again tch 😉
– digital engager – not a markerter 😉
– Dave’s dad is on FB – profile is fairly empty but 63 year old is thinking about it
– data and mash ups – example is a google map of BNP members.
– This stuff changes lives: Dave’s tale
– never worked in a web team, never worked in comms.
– interest is personal – tried to implement in each of his jobs; benefits office, scrutiny etc
– not able to do in day job so blogged about it at home
– Now working at Downing Street three days a week
– wouldn’t have got that job if he’d used his ‘work’ experience cv but had a personal cv – social media changed him life
– websites don’t change the world people do
– web 1.0 v web 2.0 – tim berners-lee thought of web 2.0 when he originally thought of online – collaboration and sharing
– be open, admit you don’t know all the answers
– if you’re building your policy, don’t use the word Twitter – be broad – don’t talk tech talk culture
– you don’t have to like everything – find what you like, what fits but try stuff
– things moving scary fast – youtube is about 3 years old – already seen decimation of music industry
– when will socmed be everyday? when the tech becomes boring…
– lots of Clay Shirky love from Dave – and I like it!
– The Long Tail – value in niches
– Where does Here Comes Everybody come from? Finnegan’s Wake
– self-organising (ppl changing the world but the tech allowing them to do that)
– There you go – Dave Briggs a fellow of the RSA
– infobesity – too much information, not enough time. It’s filter failure – learn to listen properly (tech can help with that right?)
– you have a problem and you share it you can fix it better and quicker – crowdsource everything?
– for councils could be community groups etc open source yourself!
– if you put it out there the geeks will come (and build it for you)
– digital natives will expect things to be done a certain way – will expect IM etc or won’t want to work there
– if you can’t offer that will you be able to attract the talent in the years to come?
– if you don’t do it someone else will…and then you lose the control…
– serendipity – it’s how Twitter works! networks grow and opportunity arrives…
– timetric – the youtube of graphs! everyone go look!
– if you build it, they WON’T come – need to market and drive, create reasons to visit.
– if you start using socmed you will need to be an interactive organisation – djinn out of bottle – need to start thinking about change to process, change to roles etc
– non-professional – if it’s corporate ppl won’t engage. if it is unprofessional they won’t engage either – has to be inbetween…the middle way
– try again, fail again, fail better!
– learn from your mistakes – go to #failcamp – talk about things they tried that didn’t work out
– JFDI! don’t kill off ideas through planning
– everybody in org repsonsible for online stuff – not just web team.
– new roles – community manager, social reporter, online cultivator, digital curator.
– venn diagram – internal / external collaborate / communicate – Carl / Blue Kiwi at Devon
– 4 step – listen, acknowledge, create, share!
– Listen: part of the reason ppl say horrible things about you is because they think you’re not listening and they can get away with it!
-Acknowledge: even just realise there is conversation – step in!
– Create: incremental process, try stuff
– Share: open up data – more back to Stuart’s presentation.
– start small, test, fail, learn, do better!
– create a community in your organisation or surrounds…use the enthusiastic to help and support you
– make policy – copy Carl’s (already done!)
– dont’ create strategy! (oops) will go out of date and makes it boring
– so JFDI!!!!