Toolkit and resources

We are using "toolkit" loosely at present to include a range of resources that will be available to organisations and others. We will be building on:

The toolkit may also involve packaging this with other products and services. We'll decide in the light of discussions and testing with potential users.

See also links to blog items below

A guide to the stealthy introduction of Social Media to Government and other large organisations.


The Secret Underground to Social Media in Large Organizations

Another guide to social media, to add to our earlier recommendation, and this time it's about the really tough stuff of how to get acceptance in large organisations. It's written by a Canadian government employee Colin McKay.

Colin writes on the SoSaidThe.Organisation site:

I think the advice in this 23 page guide to secretly implementing social media in organizations could be equally useful for any government employee looking to try out new technologies - I’m pretty certain on that point, since I’m a government employee in real life. You can find the guide at this link, and please feel free to share it with your friends, colleagues and bosses.

Colin offers this excerpt, from the introduction:

How do you do it? How do you bring a spirit of innovation and experimentation to the communications shop of a large organization?

I’ve worked in a large organization – the government – for the last ten years. You can find bright, creative and resourceful people around every corner, in every department.

During the course of their careers, many of these people have thought of a move that could improve their work or their environment.

From experience, we all know that small changes in process or presentation are easily won. After all, it’s just another line on an approval sheet, or a tweak on the website.

Large organizations can also be convinced to launch a large-scale overhaul of their systems – whether it’s a supply chain, assembly process or online order system.

But it’s a real pain to get them to rethink their relationship with humans outside the security fence. After all, our customer service reps seem to be doing a good job, right? That sales force really does have a handle on the needs of the community, doesn’t it?

In speaking to hundreds of workers and managers for large organizations (government and private sector), I’ve been asked the same questions, over and over:

• How do you convince your boss to even experiment with social media?

• Doesn’t it mean a lot of extra work?

• Isn’t this sort of stuff blocked by our organizational policies?

It's a great read, blessedly short. In summary, Colin says:

• use social media on your own • adapt social media tools to your work environment • convince your supervisors to support social media work The key? Don’t let your imagination and enthusiasm be dampened by organizational politics or institutional caution.

There a useful list of blogs at the end, covering organisations and the introduction of social media, some which I didn't know about. Oooh, I get a mention for my other blog, so does Dave Briggs and Jeremy Gould.


Developing an open toolkit

Something which I am sure will be of interest to folk here is the toolkit David Wilcox and I (as well as others, hopefully!) are developing online.

We have a development wiki at though 'etoolkit' is very much a working title.

The toolkit can be used by any organisation to determine their approach to web 2.0 and social media tools. This is to be developed in the open, and made freely available afterward.

The aim is to mix low and high tech methods to ensure the best results are achieved - which may involve advising people not to use the web at all!

It is envisaged that the toolkit will be made up of 3 elements:

  1. The toolkit itself, a prepared pack of information
  2. A facilitated workshop
  3. A dedicated network space for post event support and discussion
It would be great if anyone present here would like to get involved in the development, or just keep an eye on things to see how it could be applied in the membership organisation context.


Free social media guide, from the charabanc

Social Media GuidePaul Caplan could be termed a digital coach, but prefers to be a digital charabanc:

"The Charabanc was the way of getting to the seaside. It promised a new world. It was a change from the Mills. Its space was taken over by ordinary people on a special day out.

"The Chara’ was simple and did the job. There were no frills and seat-mounted TVs. There was no bar, just a crate or two. It got you there and heh the journey was fun."

Paul is a strong advocate for individuals finding their voice online, and using social media for conversations and story telling. He wrote back in 2006:

"We’re used to talking to each other with a genuine voice, a passion and a personality. When we meet people in the real world we engage eye-to-eye; talk with real authority and voice, listen and understand. But sit us down in front of a keyboard and suddenly we become a robot, a PR machine or a lawyer. We feel we should be writing in a particular sort of way. We no longer see people reading our words, we see ‘market niches’ or demographics ‘consuming our message’. We write at audiences not for people. We deliver content; we don’t tell stories.

"The Live Web is about conversations. It is about people networking via Blogs et al. It is about relating and talking with a real voice. That is what we have to rediscover when we write or take photos."

Paul goes on to provide a set of tips for rediscovering the lost art of conversation, the first of which is

Find the I. Organisations cannot and should not Blog. People blog. Don’t be frightened of sentences that start “I”. Let your personality and passion and vision shine through.

You'll find more of Paul's most popular posts here. He has now produced a new version of his social media guide, which you can download free from his blog. It was developed for the Media Trust.

We need to interest bloggers, coaches and charabancs like Paul in the Membership Project, and the nicest way to do that, I think, is to celebrate what they are doing. Expect more from the list I produce over here, and please suggest anyone else we should contact and blog about.