Network Social Media Invitation

Network Social Media

Greetings Agile Learners!

The new year is coming soon, and hopefully that means new goals and aspirations for ourselves individually and collectively. May the new year bring clarity, sharp focus, and postiive energy for all your projects!

In case you weren’t aware, I have created a “network” social media plan. The goal of creating social media distinct from individual ALCs is to create positive media content that serves multiple purposes in our bigger picture.

I would like to invite anyone involved in ALCs to participate in the formation of this long range plan if they have a desire to do so.

WHAT IT WILL PROVIDE

A source of energy

Facilitators and students alike can frequent the social media pages and gain inspiration and ideas by seeing what is going on in other ALCs. It should encourage inter-ALC communication and all around shareable knowledge within the community

A social media template for ALCs

A number of ALCs will find that their facilitators don’t have the time or don’t have the interest in using social media.

This is understandable and yet we can leverage a network social media

Having a network ALC social media page will allow a busy facilitator to log in 2-4 times a week on a social media platform and head directly to the network page. From there, they can scroll through the content provided and repost what they like best, giving life to their social media page with minimal need for action. With simple responses to any messages, this could be a task that is set up for them and only takes 10 minutes at a time.

Expanded reach for the brand

Each Center may reach people locally, but a network hub can coalesce the most active social media users in our network and create a larger presence in the outside world. We can leverage the hyper-meaningful connections of each individual ALC to create a strong network base with a large social media reach into the uninitiated public mind.

Free social media help

The Network has accounts on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, but the goal is to have content on whatever platform is relevant.

Are you completely uninitiated on all or some of these platforms?

Fear not, as I will provide coaching on how to use these platforms! I am looking to create a simple, 45 minute meetup twice a month for social media help if there is interest. In lieu of no one needing help, we will also have open discussions on the best formation of our social media plan as it unfolds.

This is only the beginning.

As the network grows, a network page allows all of the aforementioned benefits to multiply. There will be increasing amounts of inspiration and shareable knowledge. Facilitators will be operating social media efficiently and with ease. There will be increasing amounts of outsiders peeking in to see all the cools things we are doing.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

Coordinated social media efforts

It would be beneficial to have coordinated social media efforts that span all ALCs. This will be for the most critical of newsworthy social media bits and they will require little to no labor on the part of participating facilitators. However, with organization and a simple plan, we can have our message reach deeper into the public mind.

Access to a mind map tool

Interested ALCers can view and edit a mind map that will be on Metamaps. (Currently the plan is on TheBrain software and being transitioned). Users can create of their own volition any ideas and they can be built upon with collaboration of other users.

-Higher profile people acknowledging ALCs

Part of our unusual approach is to make a concerted effort to identify people who almost certainly would like our philosophy and then approach them candidly about wanting to include them in our play. What will this entail? A visit to an ALC? A mention and invitation to chat on a podcast about ALCs? Guest speaking at an ALC? The possibilities are endless.

I have already made a connection with a well known author and philosopher who will be visiting NYC Agile in 2016. Who else can we bring into the fold?

Join the discussion as to how this all plays out!

Looking to participate in this project?

Cool! You are welcome!

We need a date and time to meetup on google hangout. Come and help co-create the ALC network social media!

I dont’ know what works best for people who are interested…but let’s set a target date for Friday, January 15 at 12:30 pm. Depending on who shows interest, we can adjust according to their schedules. Show your interest in the comment section below

Please note- no plan of mine is set in stone. We didn’t have a network social media plan or a facilitator of a plan until recently. Obviously, it is in the interest of Agile Learning Centers to want to engage in their own network social media. If you don’t like the social media currently, or you have ideas you want to enact, please speak up!

See you soon…

 

Social Media Tools: Hootesuite

The Social Media Time Drain

Social media platforms can be dizzying, dramatic waste of time if you dive into all of them.

Facebook has over a billion people. Most of them are inputing content onto the site. That’s a lot of reading to do! The posts can be long or short, but rest assured, if you hop on Facebook and begin scrolling through your news feed, you are going to see everyone’s activities. If you aren’t careful, you will be bleeding from the eye sockets by 2:00 a.m.

Twitter can be a minefield. There are rapid fire conversations in what seems to be an echo chamber of your favorite indexed (e.g. hashtag) concepts. Sometimes the echo chamber reveberates into the territory of people who don’t share your views, which normally would be a good thing. Apparently on Twitter, it’s a drama starter. Glenn Greenwald and Sam Harris can be intellectually jousting to the death and you are watching it unfold 140 characters at a time. Before you know it, you’ve spent 2 hours looking at the number of interesting conversations Taye Diggs has with his fans and you can’t remember how you got to Taye Diggs in the first place.

Instagram will have you flipping through 100s of photos as the ours pass by. Did you see 50 cent’s beef with Rick Ross in real time? I didn’t. But then again, I didn’t have to, as it exists on Instagram and I can scurry over to check out the awesomeness of millionaires acting like immature children. Or…it’s not that awesome…how did I get here…ugh. Social media.

The same it true for really any social media. As I mentioned in the Brick and Mortar Scenario, social media represents the opportunity to step into a building with millions of people and say hi. Whereas stepping into a normal building of a couple hundred, maybe couple thousand people, you simply didn’t expect much from the limited physical connections you could meaningfully produce.

It’s hard NOT to spend gargantuan amounts of time on these platforms because they are tantalizing you with connections of all kinds; humerous connections, entertaining connections, serious connections, meaningful connections, and hyper-meaningful connections.

If you run a school and the thought of operating multiple media platforms sounds terrifying, don’t worry. You won’t lose all of your time representing yourself on social media. In fact, we can amplify our agency by utilizing some powerful tools at our disposal.

Today I would like to briefly look at Hootesuite as the main tool a person could use managing multiple social media platforms. Be advised that their are numerous options out there, and we encourage you to jump in and play with whatever floats your boat, but Hootesuite will be the only one we are profiling for now.

Hootesuite

Hootesuite is your social media dashboard. It allows you to log into only one place, Hootesuite, and post to numerous social media sites. It posts quite well to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Posting to Instragram is a little clunky but doable.

 

Here is your Hootesuite dashboard…

hootesuite blank

Notice that the first three columns have a litter Twitter bird and the 4th column has an orange flag. That represents Facebook.

What this allows you to do is break down your social media networks into “streams” that you can organize horizontally. Currently, I am creating a stream of “mentions”, “my tweets”, and “scheduled (posts)” on Twitter. With this, I can see what posts are coming in Twitter, who has said anything about us, and what I have recently said, all without logging into Twitter! The application is technically logged into Twitter for you, but for your intents and purposes, you aren’t scrolling into oblivion on that platform.

hootesuite streams

The same is true for Facebook. I only have two streams for Facebook currently- “scheduled posts” and “home”, which is out of the screen but scrollable. The great thing about hootesuite is this all customizable. Change your streams to however you want. Find the “add streams” button in the top left.

Scheduling Posts

Ready to make a post? When you place your cursor over the “compose message” box at the very top, this screen pops up and allows you to write a message…

 

hootesuite blank compose message

…and you will notice that you can choose to what networks your content will go to via hootesuite. Yes, you can send important posts to ALL of your networks!

I am currently using the free version of Hootesuite, which allows 3 networks and their components to be streamed. You have to use your personal Facebook to get started, so that leaves the Network Facebook and the Network Twitter. The pro version does not have this annoyance.

Go ahead and write something…if it’s for Twitter, it will tell you your character count. (Did you know there was a character count for Facebook, too? Hootesuite also monitors that.)

hootesuite compose message filled

All you have to do is click any or all of the platforms on the left and write your message. The buttons on the bottom right allow you to attach media files, schedule the post for a later date, geo tag your post, and target your post.

In this dashboard snapshot above, I have an ALC Network Facebook post involving a yoga photo on the right with the first words being “be agile!”. That is being sent on December 5th currently. (All scheduled posts can be changed at will.) I will send this mock post a few hours before it so you can see it pop into the Facebook “scheduled” stream…

hootesuite compose message scheduled

See how the scheduled “be agile!” posts just gets bumped down? Everything is nice and tight on Hootesuite.

Practice Makes Perfect

 One needs to practice using Hootesuite to get over the first time jitters. Hootesuite is a great tool for one to use multiple networks without feeling like you are getting bogged down by each network.

Feeling creative in one sentence or less for some reason? Go ahead and schedule a handful of crafty twitter posts for that week you won’t be in the country. Your social media account with still have activity and you won’t have to think twice about it!

Learning Curve

I found hootesuite’s dashboard overwhelming at first. The streams concept did not come naturally to me. At times, I wanted to double down on my feeling that this was silly, but I committed to using it. After two to three weeks of consistent use, it did become more second nature.

Problems I Have Encountered

Posting on Hootesuite has led to some problems, but nothing that makes me want to go back to posting on each social media site. I will post here the problems I have run into and hopefully I will make future posts about how I figured them out!

-tagging people

On facebook, you simply write “@” and a person or page, and Facebook will allow you to tag them in your post. That means they are alerted that this post has happened. You can’t do this on Hootesuite, or somehow I am not doing it right. it just sends the text as an @ symbol.

-Posting with multiple images

I once sent a Facebook post to scheduling with 3 images. Curiously, Hootesuite posted 3 times. It used the same text and substituted the images for each post. Ooops. I would imagine you can send more than one photo, but perhaps not?

 

Be Social And Smart 

This is an introduction to Hootesuite. If you are a part of the Agile Learning Network and would like to know more about Hootesuite, message me here or email me at aaron.mahnaz@gmail.com. Or on facebook!

@abbyo @annhansen @ryanshollenberger @nancy @alex @sarataleff @ninablanco

 

(If you’ve been tagged, I believe this information could be more suited to you as a facilitator who may find themselves managing a Center’s social media! I don’t know everyone, however, so feel free to chime in if I am missing someone.

I am available for help on social media at any point. Plus, I am looking for your insight into the network social media as well. Stay tuned on how to get involved!)

 

Where Social Meets Agile

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A DIGITAL AMBASSADOR

The world is a massive place. Can you imagine 7 billion humans? I can’t imagine it. All the names, all the personality quirks. I know it’s possible, but I can’t possibly imagine all the variations on the human being.

Let’s start smaller.

If you walk into a building with 7,000 people in it, and somehow you are able to afford the time to hang out and get to know each one, chances are there will be hundreds with which you strike some kind of a chord with them on one topic or another. Let’s call them moderately interesting.

There will be dozens that you strike multiple chords of resonance with and each chord strike amplifies your interest in them. These are the kind of people you would want to persue after being in the room with them and make a friendship beyond this chance occurrence. Let’s call them mildly interesting.

It’s likely you will find a handful or more with whom you really hit it off. These people turn you on (and not in the physical sex sense). Your creative aspects are running on full cylinders when they speak or engage you. These people are rare and have the connection to possibly forge a long lasting, functional and productive relationship. Let’s call them very interesting people.

Just maybe…you will find someone, just one, so incredible that they inspire you to do anything. The sky is the limit!

RECAP: In a building of 7,000 people…

Hundreds would be mildly interesting

Dozens would be very interesting

1 (maybe?) will be extremely interesting

Quite obviously, the tantalizing notion of meeting an awesome person is what we are after. Meeting interesting people is cool but that isn’t what gives you fuel for your passion.

This possibility of an extremely interesting person isn’t that likely. Just how often do you meet incredibly special people?

This is how many of us meander our way through old school, “Brick and Mortar” socializing. Perhaps my ratios are a bit off, but the concept still applies. Just maybe, one day, you will find that extremely interesting person. You can only meet so many people, after all, so you never really look for it. You just hope.

This is unfortunate because the further you move up the spectrum of interesting people, the more likely you can collaborate to create something with passion and of value to others. We should be striving and yearning for connections with extremely interesting people. And everyone has extremely interesting people floating around out there, waiting for the connection to happen. 

While we can theoretically realize that those rare connections would be great, we just don’t experience them that often in our lives.

Digital socializing is different.

MAGNIFYING THE SCALE FLIPS IT ENTIRELY

Now imagine 70 million people, about 1% of the population today. You can be pretty sure that more than this amount have access to the internet almost at will.

That’s a lot of combing through to find meaning. But more people means that much more likelihood that you can find a passionate, perfect match for collaboration.

By estimated scale created above…our numbers would be 10,000 times what we guessimated before.

-We could find millions of mildly interesting people. (10,000 x 100s)

-We could find hundreds of thousands of very interesting people. (10,000 x “dozens”)

-We should be able to hundreds of extremely interesting people. (10,000 x >1)

First and foremost, Digital Ambassadors find the friends, but the true hunt is for hyper-meaningful relationships. 

What would you do with 200 extremely interesting people ready to collaborate with your project?

By aiming for this goal, I can give my organization more positive creative energy available to them at their fingertips.

SOCIAL MEDIA

In many ways a digital ambassador is like a social media manager.

The ambassador provides organization, a game plan, posts content, and interacts with the public on social media for an organization. Businesses and non-profits alike have found extreme value in interfacing with people digitally, but few are able to add social media as just another hat they wear at the office. It’s important enough that organizations are hiring full time positions for their social media management.

On a deeper level, however, a digital ambassador is much more than merely a manager. In fact, “manage” is not at all what a digital ambassador does, although they do post on social media platforms for their respective organizations. 

The word “ambassador” means an authorized messenger. We typically use ambassador for people who represent countries in international relations, but the word accurately depicts what I am doing with Agile Learning Centers.

In case you weren’t aware, Agile Learning Centers aren’t interested in management, or rather unique forms of management. The name “agile” lends itself to the principles that guided the Agile software revolution, which completely upended traditional forms of managing large coding related projects. Those projects largely produced meaningful results by eschewing traditional management forms and facilitating a collaborative Do-acracy. ALCs utilize some of the tools and practices from Agile and therefore a social media manager is word not well suited in the ALC lexicon. 

It is also a physical metaphor, i.e. that one’s learning is extremely flexible to the needs and desires of each learner. ALCs would have little need for “managers” in the traditional sense of the word. I am expanding upon the meaning of social media management beyond the managing diving right into the essence of social media.

THREE CORE PRINCIPLES

Here are 3 core principles of a digital ambassador (DA):

1) They embody the system they represent. This embodiment then presents itself on various forms of digital media as both an emitter of factual information from the organization out, and as a conduit for relevant outside information moving inwards.

Unless one wants to be communicating to an actor who pretends to like what they represent, a DA actually believes and holds the same coherence of the organization they speak for. They embody the principles and come to know the system as something worth spreading.

DAs will utilize social media tools as necessary without losing the vision of being an embodiment of the organization first and foremost.

2) They find meaningful and hyper-meaningful connections

Hyper-meaningful relationships are those rare points of human contact where each human involved feels the highest forms of collaborative, creative energy they know. What was rarely possible in old school forms of socializing now become likely. Digital Ambassadors search these out nonstop.

3) They know the rules of the game and bend them when necessary

Social media is merely a game with rules. It helps to remember that a lot of the rules we make are arbitrary. With the internet providing access to hundreds of millions of people, I can SEE the extremely interesting connections before they can happen. If one of those connections happens to not use social media, should I just forget about it?

OF COURSE NOT!

Write them an email! It’s these kinds of rules that we will bend.

WHERE SOCIAL MEETS AGILE

These three principles fit perfectly for Agile Learning Centers. 

This space here will provide self reflecting feedback as to how we are putting these principles into action.  In accordance with embodying the ALC vision, I will use this blog as way to provide shareable value for the next digital ambassador/s and/or social media spokesperson as the network grows. 

Until next time!

Aaron

Find us at

@ALC Network on Twitter

ALC Network on Facebook

ALC Network on Google +

More coming soon!