Mobile Productivity Feed

Why being "on the ground" with social media matters.

This might be a tad controversial. Bloggers avert your eyes.

Live blogging while PCM is "on the ground" involes very little typing of more than 140 characters at a time. The transcription and live typing disturbs me slightly and seems to be emerging from congenitally non dyslexic unfortunates. We do not live in a world of text. I'm not saying it doesn't have a place but stenographers are experts in this field and reporters need to at least listen to the speaker before forming a critical opinion. Conference channeling though a blogger, plugged in to a laptop is all kinds of wrong.

I've delivered a talk commisioned by Sylwia Presley of nfpVoice and Oxford Girl Geek Diners twice now called Beyond Text. How blogging can be more than text. Below are the rough notes. The first time this was delivered over Skype so I had the opportunity of a cue sheet. "Beyond Text" will feature in my next set of PCM Master Classes.

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Developing a practice of media making for the social web and making sense of the miltitude of ambient streams is a craft. You can't say for certain how anyone percieves a conversation stream or who is watching a tagged stream. It's not just about volume and clarity as with aural listening but also interperative there is no intonation apart from punctuation, no emotional tones. The only certainty is the sound of your own voice heard by you.

I am not a writer, a journalist or reporter. Text is not my primary social medium. If I'm honest textual content of not my strongest suit. This doesn't hinder me however as I am a curator, an aggregator and connector my strengths come to the fore when media is habitually generated. It's Glimpses, responses, snapshots and moments a remote audience want to see. The ambient content, the buzz delegates conjur, the excitement and inspiration that explodes from the conference hall, from the session rooms, from the break-out spaces. 

To capture the habitual and the ambient you need to prepare the net. Even with a butterfly net you still need to know where the butterflies will be. Its also a good idea to know what spicies you intend to showcase. My stategy outline template is Plan, Prepare, Capture, Review, Report. The set up is invaluable.

Blogging is a reflective medium. Text documents action. Real time action demands snapshots, streams and conversation. The experience 'on the ground' is what you pay for, to BE there. The role of an event blogger or online media curator is to host the digital divide to provide an experience of comparable interest. 

I was asked recently to "come and blog" and "can you blog live on our website". I can't report on an event before it's taken place or even as it's taking place. If it is purely a archival process to kill two birds with one stone it has a role but to engage social media specialists the conversation is key before, during and after an event. 

What this blog post is trying to say is that social media for events, especially with a PCM "on the ground" team should be intergrated in to your over all planning infastructure. I've plotted an interweaving social media support structure and would love to share it in all it's glory. But then you wouldn't need me! I am going to use it a a tool of help event organisers. You'll have to wait just a litttle while.

 


Institute of Fundraising - Resources and Reflection

I often research a topic before meeting a client. Not every seed germinates. But I figure the infomation will come in hand, especially if its a secor or industry I'd like to work within. Primarily I'm a resource provider and project facilitator so I guess fundraising is a niche I'm attracted to. I've never really done any direct campaigning but I've taken part in a fair few sponsored events, supported Red Nose Day, Children in Need and regualarly donate to Green Peace and NSPCC. I do avoid on the street charity subscription teams in the same way I give Big Issue sellers and market researchers a wide birth. When I'm in town I'm more often than not passing through on a work erands.

Ok the point! After a day at the Institute of Fundraising's 2011 National Convention I remembered some research I'd done for a client the year before. At this years convention there was an interest in the potential of social media, it's associated technology, platforms and tools to compliment and support fundraising activity with some great examples. Mobile in particular encouraging what I come to call 'ambient participation' was of interest to many, the most potent and easy to adopt being QR codes. A QR code opens up the opportunity for printed media and digital displays to connect directly to a donation page via a mobile devise. Intergrated with a mobile payment mechanism this 'ambient participation' (catching people at a moment of engagement while out and about) has great value. 

Being 'on the ground' for this event as a blogger was quite liberating as a practitioner. I got to make media. As PCM's organiser I spend much of my time at events serveying the crowd, maintaining a schedule and liasing with the venue or event team. Having a second blogger, a highly capable one (@philcampbell) has made the PCM 'on the ground' events and projects I have been engaged with possible. I had a great time at #IOFNC. 

I loved NFP Voice's use of QR codes. Voice's Head of Client Servcies and Strategy, Sylwia Presley invited Phil and I to cover the event. Here are their t-shirts, postcards and exhibition stand. The stand was inspired. I've never known how to tackle delivering a stand for PCM but now I know. Breathtakingly simple.

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A selection of fundraising-online resources and articles from previous research.

Social Networks (and widgets) for Community Building, Taking Action and/or Fundraising - http://www.wearemedia.org/Tactical+Track+Module+5 

Raise Money on Facebook: Four Fundraising Applications You Need to Know About - http://www.nten.org/blog/2007/09/27/raise-money-on-facebook-four-fundraising-applications-you-need-to-know-about 

Video Tutorial: How To Embed A Social Or Fundraising Widget Into Your Facebook Page http://johnhaydon.com/2009/01/embed-social-fundraising-widget-facebook-page/ 

Online Platforms
Fundraising widgets for webs, blogs and social networking sites.  

  www.justgiving.com - About Just Giving 

When we created the company in 1999, our dream was to enable any charity, however small, to use the web to raise money at very low cost. Almost no one believed it could be done. Nearly ten years later, we are proud to have become the leading online platform for charity giving, helping over 8,000 member charities raise more than £450 million.

BringLight.com

A central hub for charities to post information about themselves and get donations. All listed charities are certified.

http://www.pincgiving.com/

Providing the leading technology platform for Chief Philanthropic Officers to engage and inspire ~ Helping corporations and charities achieve their philanthropic goals  Donate to the charity of your choice in Canada, USA, UK and Australia; put the power of giving on your organization's website; create a peer to peer fundraising campaign or access millions of dollars in grant money.  ALL in the currency of your choice.

http://www.kickstarter.com/

Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers... 

http://www.chipin.com/

ChipIn’s mission is to make it easy to collect money. We enable users to organize group payments and fundraisers (”ChipIns”) in a quick, easy, and secure way. We also make it simple for organizers to publicize their ChipIns, by providing powerful fundraising widgets that can be embedded in social media.

http://www.firstgiving.com/

Start raising money with a fundraising page. You can make your own fundraising page on Firstgiving to raise money for any nonprofit organization. Email your page to friends, family and colleagues, who donate by credit or debit card in an easy, secure online transaction.

 


Social Media in practice

As I adventure and explore the web new tools, services and web 2.0 platforms emerge, evolve and disappear. Some platforms become firm favorites while others get superseded. It may be that new services provide better features, new features or more aesthetically pleasing environments to work within. User experience is as important as an audiences. It may be the discovery of a new medium is easier to update or enhances the reach and distribution of content. Take this blog for example. I love the Typepad platform. It is contained and very stable, it is also well established. Since creating my first post back in 2007 it has had a purpose, to document my practice and journey. I want it to be about my practice, a place to share my findings and a place to evaluate my progress. This also means I intend it to be read by a certain audience, those who are interested in what I am doing or want to know what I'm up to as a practitioner. I've never wanted it to be a news feed or a revenue generator. I do however want it to reflect my activity across the entire landscape of social media. I want to aggregate my highs and lows, my challenges and celebrations. This is my showcase. But currently it is rather neglected. This is my reflection.

This blog should

  • Report my activities
  • Review my progress
  • Regale my milestones
  • Renew my thinking

This blog should aggregate my activity. As my last post was in August it is at present and resounding failure! Failure is not to be reviled but learnt from and resolved through self discovery. I know I need to formally blog more but I enjoy the adventure, I enjoy the exploration, I love to share.

Where is CJ on the web? The side columns collate some of that activity.

I love AudioBoo. Since getting my iPhone 4 this audio blogging service has released me for my terror of typing text. It has an embeddable widget and can be seen in the column on the right. I can also embed individual 'Boos' in to posts. This is my latest at the time of writing this post.

Audioboo produces excellent quality audio recordings with out having to worry about bad hair days! After recording hit the publish button, take a photo to accompany the post, add a title, some contextual tags even a twitter hashtag before finishing with the save & upload button. AudioBoo autoposts to Twitter so I can share my interviews and personal musings immediately with my Twitter followers. Adding an event hashtag pushes the media to the hashtag stream too. Brilliant. I hope you can see why I love this platform.

AudioBoo also autoposts to Posterous.

I love Posterous. Blogging with nothing more than an email address. It also has a neat iPhone app. The email subject line is the post's title, the body text in the email becomes the blog post content and audio, video and image files can be attached just as you would into an email. Hit send and hey presto you are published. I tend to post event audio and photos there. No great insights just a record of the event for friends who were unable to attend to listen to. Its quick and simple. Posterous content does not feed in to this blog.

Gregg Fraley talks to January's Second Wednesday crowd

The link above is my Posterous post of Photos, Audio captured with LiveScribe and an intoductory sentance to the Second Wednesday event I attended. Posterous has autoposting abilities but I select to cross post manually to Twitter preventing AudioBoo and Posterous making identicle posts. Social Media echos are just so annoying!