I’m a big advocate of blogs, social media and the many ways in which digital media have helped inform and improve a writer’s craft, not to mention break down the barriers to writers communicating more effectively with each other and everyone else. And I’ve spent the last three years trying to convince staff at all levels in my organisation to dip into the conversation at least listen, if not participate.
In October 2012, the Financial Times ran a three-day ‘Digital Learning Week‘ for their staff, in a bid to “inform, educate and encourage dialogue around digital and social media topics and trends”. This inspired me to organise our own ‘Digital Learning Series’ covering all manner of social media and blogs, from the very basics to more advanced skills and an overview of what innovative and interesting things people in science, science communication and medical history are doing with these tools. With the help of our HR department, I put together 9 classes and a workshop spanning 4 months basically brain-dumping everything I know. The sessions are run roughly every couple of weeks at lunchtimes as “brown bag” affairs with staff encouraged to bring a sandwich or salad and learn while they munch. They’re mostly me talking through some sort of presentation-demonstration and trying to be somewhat entertaining for people’s free time.
The series kicked off this month and have been reasonably successful so far. Seventy people came for a session on ‘Twitter Basics’ with 40 attending ‘Facebook: a practical guide’. I’m trying to provide a decent ‘crib sheet’ for everyone to take away with them and to share more widely for those who couldn’t attend. In the spirit of sharing, I’m putting them here too.
Session 1: Twitter Basics
Blurb: “This session will teach you the basics of what Twitter is, how you could use it and how to find new contacts and manage the information flow”
Link to crib sheet: http://wellc.me/twbasicscrib
Session 2: Facebook – a practical guide
Blurb: Facebook is the world’s biggest social network with over 1 billion users – 1/7 of the world’s population. Yet keeping up with the constantly changing world of Facebook is a battle in itself. This session offers practical tips on use and privacy settings, as well as features you may not have noticed.
Link to crib sheet (23 pages!): http://wellc.me/FBcrib
The next two sessions include a panel discussion on how different people at the Wellcome Trust are using Twitter and why/how they’ve found it useful for their professional, and personal, lives, followed by a whole session on LinkedIn. I’ll share the notes for these next month (when I’ve written them!).