2011 Conference Social Media

Social Media: The Good, The Bad and the BS #heweb11

COR7 was the session that was turned inside out, upside down. As in, there was no speaker. Instead, the attendees led the show. And, in fact, the entire conference—and even the world—can also participate.

“This is not a presentation – this is collaborative. There is work to be done here,” announced Brandon Croke, one of the three session leaders, all representatives of Inigral, a company that builds private Facebook communities for schools.

Brandon explained he was tired of going to social media conventions where one person would get up and share what he or she did. But, where this inspiration really came from, he explains, was from his days spent in Toledo working for a social couponing start-up. In the Midwest, there is a lot of rebirth that needs to happen, he says. He attended the Midwest Futures conference the week before he came to High Ed Web and witnessed 200 of the smartest people in Detroit sitting around in one room. From this, Brandom learned that we—as in the people—need to be on our toes. One person speaking at you or waiting from orders from the top won’t help.

“Do more collaboration to solve problems,” he said.

And this session was born.

“This session is about you guys, and this is a team-based session,” Brandon said before splitting the crowded (in a good way!) room into several groups and appointed group leaders. Each group was sent a Google Doc,which listed three challenges for the group:

  • Social media wins
  • Social media fails
  • Social media wants

The groups spent 20 minutes brainstorming, five minutes on each questions and the remaining time deciding the top three answers for each question.
As the teams collaborated, there were lots of laughs and a real energy about the room. Dozens of people with a similar passion, all with many of the same problems discussed what works for them, what doesn’t work and what they wish for. But, Brandon reminds us, “Some people’s wins may be other people’s fails.”

The Inigral team then took the top three suggestions from each group, carefully combining any duplicates. They then created and posted a poll for, first, the session attendees, to vote on the #1 social media win (#SMwin). After the session, polls will be posted for social media fails (#smfail) and social media wants (#SMwants). The poll, exclusively distributed
on Twitter, will be tabulated later this evening and displayed as a nationwide map.

It’s an experiment, Brandon says. Really, social media is often about taking risks and learning from them. Seeing how the country feels about social media wins, fails and wants can be a great learning experience.
Oh. And there is a prize to the team whose idea/concept gets the most votes. As the blogger of this session, I also participated in a team with Mallory, David and Mario. I completely enjoyed this brainstorming session with my peers. Throughout the Padre Island room there was lots of chatter; it was truly great to hear the collaboration and process of groups going through the elimination process. I think that was Brandon’s hope for the experimental session.
May the best team win. Follow @Inigral on Twitter for the links to the polls so you can vote and monitor the winners.

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By Donna Talarico

Donna Talarico, a Red-Stapler-winning HighEdWeb presenter and volunteer editor for Link, is an independent writer and content strategist. She is the marketing columnist for Wiley's Recruiting and Retaining Adult Learners, and her work has also been published in CASE Currents, The Guardian Higher Education Network, and elsewhere. From 2010 to 2015, she told the Elizabethtown College story as part of an award-winning marketing and communications team. Always a storyteller, before higher ed she worked in print and broadcast media, and for a leading eCommerce company. She is the founder and publisher of Hippocampus Magazine, a bimonthly creative nonfiction journal and small press. She loves road trips, board games, greasy spoon diners, and words.

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