Back from Day One of Podcamp Boston 2, and feeling very Mission Accomplished about it all. I had exactly three people I wanted to touch base with, and did so with them all.
1. Len Edgerly, with whom I hit it off so well at Technology in the Arts, to see how he is holding up with his relentless travel schedule. Of course, it appears to be entirely self-inflicted, so I would say he’s bearing up pretty well. He’s quite a jet-setter in his so-called retirement, and is even working up some fascinating plans to make Technology-in-the-Arts-type presentations to folks in Montana, which I am shamlessly trying to insinuate myself into. He’s also keeping me to my stated intention of experimenting with podcasts, which I absolutely will follow through on, especially since I also met with
2. David Galiel, who is working up some top-secret plans for some website awesomeness for me that will involve podcasts, artists, cultural organizations, and all manner of phenomenal web 2.0 goodness that makes me all goosefleshy. More on that anon. Strictly a need-to-know basis. However, I did get some terrific ideas for planning some of this implementation — and planning some of the justification for said web 2.0 awesomeness that my board will doubtless want to see (and rightly so) — from the session I went to by
3. Beth Kanter, who shared with us some of her nascent thoughts on measuring the success of social media projects for nonprofits. I was one of the very few nonprofit folks in the room, but her remarks were applicable to enterprise and business as well, I thought. Basically it seems like she proposes applying a logic model to planning, justifying, and evaluating social media ventures. I’m pretty comfortable with this idea, since logic models of the sort she is talking about are how I now structure my annual plans for all my programs — I’m not really sure why I didn’t think the same model would apply to social media, in fact!
My main stumbling block in thinking about the ROI of social media has been simply brainstorming what specific results one would be looking for by which one would measure success. More specifically, what are my organization’s goals? Are how are social media going to help me get there?
I basically asked this question (that is, what are some of the common goals that social media might address successfully?) during the Q&A of Beth’s talk, and she directed me to her recent publication, How to Cost and Fund ICT. Of course I was too embarrassed to admit that I had already downloaded this report, but had failed to find the time to read it yet. So I’ve reprinted it out for a little bedtime reading tonight. Moral: do your homework before class.
Obviously, it boils down to obtaining the same kinds of results/benefits you’ve always been looking for: donations, memberships, attendance at events; but ALSO engaging your audience along a variety of vectors, turning them into evangelists for your cause, and opening up their networks to your networks (and your mission) in a consistent, engaging, and rewarding way.
Once again, it was great to be surrounded by people who share my passion for this sort of thing — even though the main thrust of the session topics was specific to podcasting, the zeitgeist is the same: making the new tools of the web work for you and your mission by opening up the conversation to the people; ending the old patterns of message delivery, command and control, and top-down mission definition.
One of the best things I heard today, in fact, was when David very subtly asked me if the things I wanted to do with the web were things that artists on Cape Cod have expressed a desire for, or was it just me thinking I knew what was best for them?
An excellent reminder that I am not necessarily driving the bus here: I’m just filling up the tank and opening the door.
Oh, and maps. I’m also bringing lots of maps. God, do I love maps.