I attended this years ARC representing Equity members who are stagemanagers. The Stagemanagement Committee's motion to the ARC about implementing Skype, was accepted by a majority vote as a viable communication method which once instigated will lead to members of committees attending meetings from outside London or whilst away on tour with greater ease and regularity. The Equity website was a hot topic throughout the weekend. People's fear and uncertainty of the Internet is so prolific I took great enjoyment calming fears and quelling anxiety. I think many went home with a little more confidence in technology ready to start exploring the benefits of social media.
It may be hard to believe for some that Equity does not have any form of conference calling available or that applications such as a forum discussions on the website are not yet available. What you have to remember is that this is a work force who do not have a PC on their desk, or a desk for that matter and for the majority who have a PC at home they spend much of their working lives on tour or living in digs with no Internet access. These are the IT curious its just not part of their world. For them the journey is just beginning and for a community so geographically remote from each other the Internet is a gift beneath the Christmas tree that has yet to be unwrapped. Mobile phone web access will be a revelation when they own devises capable and web sites optimized to look at.
It was with the magic of wi-fi and with my trusty laptop I had the opportunity to introduce the IT curious to Second Life giving them a guided tour around Pilot Theatre's Second Life presence. The set designers especially saw the potential of Second Life and 3D environments. I often struggle with business people to convey the power and potential of the 3D web or virtual worlds but here they all got it immediately it was a breath of fresh air.
It was directly in response to the conversations about social media, social networks and Internet security fears during the ARC and their desire to see a functioning social networking application that I came home and created one to give an opportunity to experience first hand a private social network and participate in its growth.
I'd been considering setting one up using the Ning.com platform model ever since joining the Association of Virtual Worlds. Now I saw it as a way to demonstrate what services I could offer to Equity and other clients by inviting them to take part in one. I could also unite my diverse networks in to one place.
During my career I have collected and recorded my contacts in indexed books and business card files. I have used many time and again and passed names on too. My Indexed books are invaluable as they contain all the businesses I have done business with and the items or services they provided me, and for which production through out my time in stagemanagement and props acquisitions all around the UK. Since turning my eye to the business world I have received business cards like never before. What do I do with them all?
I am a great believer in the purposeful expansion of a business network.
I have groups for the events or organisations I wish to network with and share with others. I do not wish to take traffic from anyones web site so I encourage members to use my network as a hub. I will also be introducing members to other web 2 platforms with short tutorials written specifically with the community's needs in mind. I'll also be looking at helping them unify their online presence and promote them selves online building a profile to harness the social media channels they develop as their confidence in the Internet grows.
Feedback to me, Is this going to be useful place?
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