Following on from my previous post about “Tweet-Ups, Meet-ups, Barcamps, YamJams, Clubs and Cafes“. Myself and Martin Howitt have thought about why some of the conflict or miscommunications might be occurring around events etc.
Our thinking is that what we need to realise is that as organisations and as people we are all at different stages, quite an obvious view to take but one which is not often presented up front and in your face when it comes to events.
In my view most events seem to pitch at “anyone interested in topic a” instead of saying. If you are interested in topic A and have this level of awareness and understanding and need this kind of knowledge to help you progress then this is your event”. Now i’m not an event organiser but i suspect this might be a costly approach as it will not bring in the large numbers to make the bottom line look sexy.
Lets think about what these levels might be – These are adapted and based on the Kolb Learning Cycle
Level 1 – Eye opener – This is the first step on the “i want to find out more” and “what have people done so i can show others” – This is the level that requires people to share their experiences of how using twitter has improved relationships or how Facebook has connected them to new networks etc. Anything more than this at this stage would essentially be too much and will start to disengage as it will be a step too far.
Level 2 – Baby Steps – This level will cover people who are actually using social media for business purposes, and would start the raise the “why is this important and how does this fit into the wider context of strategy in my organisation”. The event offering here would essentially be providing you with context, strategic alignment, business benefits and most importantly time to think and reflect on where this fits in your organisation.
Level 3 – Preparation – This level is about focusing on how you will plan the implementation of social media in your organisation, you KNOW how it fits and are simply interested in making it happen and want to explore different frameworks, patterns and the sort of issues (cultural, technical and organisational) that you might come across. – The event offering would be a practical small-scale facilitated workshop which gave you the plan to take home. This would include peer review from other participants and support and guidance from experts in the field.
Level 4 – JFDI – This level is essentially about you doing it and you are sharing your learning real-time via a community of practice and feeding back into the previous levels – People here may well be considered the experts in the previous level. There is no real event offering at this level because Social Media can not be simulated, however you can offer a a space for practitioners to share experience and resources.
The key aspect is that learning is a continuous process….
5 thoughts on “Social Media Acceptance Model”
I’m tempted to say that your description of level 4 is actually a method of discussion that can take place at any level.
I’m trying to think through what to add here, but don’t want to rush. I’ll think on it
I agree there to some degree, but it is important to ensure the connections and learning are at the appropriate level.
I’m still thinking in this area.
I badgered Carl to include level 4 because a lot of people learn by doing: but in social media you can’t practice it in a sandbox, you can only do it for real. When I was at college the tutors would make us do practical exercises to help us learn as well as giving us the theory, exercises to plan it, and demonstrations: but I’m struggling to see how people can practice engagement through social media without actually just getting out there and doing it.
The Kolb learning cycle, BTW, argues that to truly learn something you have to do all 4 (There’s no reason why the first 3 can’t all be done in the space of one event either). A more or less “advanced” event can focus to a greater or lesser extent on the earlier stages: whereas a conference full of experienced practitioners would be back to the beginning, sharing “war stories” with each other and looking for the next big killer framework.
I’m sure we can talk this through tomorrow!
I’ve noted that this time, my comment wasn’t given a thumbs down, which is nice.
Whoever did that for my comment on the other post needs a brain transplant. Seriously!
Great post. This is something that has been part of the discussions I have been having at work recently. This bit in particular is where you have nailed it –
“In my view most events seem to pitch at “anyone interested in topic a” instead of saying. If you are interested in topic A and have this level of awareness and understanding and need this kind of knowledge to help you progress then this is your event”. Now i’m not an event organiser but i suspect this might be a costly approach as it will not bring in the large numbers to make the bottom line look sexy.”
Even though you are not an event organiser, you have spotted something that is key to delegates gaining value from an event. Delegates need to be at the correct level of their Learning Cycle to gain maximum value from an event aimed at them. It is almost impossible to cater to all needs.
Having just organised and completed a series of seven Social Media for your Business events, aimed at local businesses in the early stages of social media, I feel I can add some feedback you may find interesting. I really hope this comes across the correct way.
We decided to merge Level 1 and Level 2 into one session. We decided that we would allow business to attend that are either thinking about using social media or that have just started out. The sessions were run by David Thomas (@BlueGrass_IT) and Aren Grimshaw (@arengrimshaw). This approach was successful in my opinion and is backed up by delegate feedback.
The feedback that we’ve received from these series of events has trumped that of any other series of events I have been involved with. The one question that we asked, which I think is the most important question you can ask a delegate, is how valuable they found the session. From almost 300 delegates only 5 fed back that they did not find the session valuable.
I know at first glance it may seem like we would have to cramp a lot into a session that covers both Level 1 and Level 2 but it is definitely achievable. One question that can’t yet be answered is how valuable will the sessions be to the atendees’ social media development? They may have found it valuable at the time but will it really help them moving forward onto the next stage? I believe it will but that remains to be seen and I suppose that is the acid test.
Time and resource makes a massive impact on what can be offered to delegates but in a perfect world getting the right people along to the right events and helping them through the cycle the best we can is what we are striving to achieve. Nothing wrong with striving for perfection, is there? 😉