We had a taste of the true potential of our new social media project at Oxgangs Library this week. Last week’s launch in Wester Hailes was very quiet, but this time we barely had enough computers to pack everyone in to the session this Tuesday.
We also had just enough experienced social media surgeons to pair them up with – although the ratio was a challenging three to one.
Our enthusiastic “patients” included representatives from three different community councils (Firhill, Juniper Green and Farmilehead), a volunteer from Barnados Scotland, and a council worker from Community Learning and Development.
Stephen Archer, one of the library assistants, also came along, keen to find out how Oxgangs Library could get it’s disused Facebook page back up and running. I explained how he should be linking to as many local community groups and Facebook groups in Oxgangs as possible, and how to do it. A representative from The Causey Development Trust was also keen to set up a Facebook Page, and we chatted about some of the basic principles of search engine optimisation – in other words, say what it is, and where it’s based, as clearly, consistently and concisely as possible!
One of our surgeons also set up a new Firhill Community Council Facebook page.
In fact, I got so involved in explaining how useful a Facebook page can be, that we’ve decided we now need one for Edinbuzz – you’ll find it here.
Other hot topics were how to set up a Facebook Group, issues of privacy and security (one gentleman was keen to explain to us how very dangerous it all was!) and how twitter works. In fact, for me, seeing how the event came together was a good example of social media at it’s best.
One of the exciting, and terrifying things about a social media surgery (as I am finding out) is that you are never quite sure who is going to come – either to learn, or to help out as a surgeon. The Oxgangs session was well publicised, online and offline (I was keen to learn from the mistakes we made promoting the launch) and I had a feeling it would be well attended. But would there be enough surgeons? Plenty had put their names down before Christmas, but would they remember?
Luckily I started to get confirmations from people on twitter before the event – in fact, whilst I was on my way there on the bus. @suchprettyeyes, @moptop and @meaduva were all chatting about going to #edinbuzz. Of course, I had never met any of them before! Now, I know their faces, names (Nicola, Jane and Vanessa respectively), and were all going to meet for coffee to review how the sessions went.
(I should also mention the esteemed @alguinness who turned up fashionably late but was the only surgeon who brought his own patients…very cool.)
It’s one of the strange, and wonderful things about social media that you can hold an event like this way – part improvised, part organised, exciting and dynamic, the uncertainty somehow adding to the energy of the night.
Plus tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits. They always help.