Social media

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with the comms and fundraising teams at work to develop our plan for the next 12 months. Obviously I can’t go into the details too much (nor would you probably be interested), but one of the things that I’ve been focussed on is how social media (aka “participant media”, “social networking”, “web two point oh”) might play a role. Or, to flip that around, how WWF can become part of that community.

I’ve presented twice now on the various types of social media out there, and by and large the response has been positive. When we’ve explored how we might be able to engage with sites, and their attendant communities, like flickr, YouTube, myspace and del.icio.us the response has been on the whole positive and enthusiastic.

However, when the topic of weblogs comes up, the response has been missed. Although most of the people I’ve had dialogue with have seen the tremendous opportunity, many can also see the “dark side” of blogs – specifically how a seemingly innocent post could cause a storm (political or otherwise), how trolls might become a time sink etc…

The process, and the pushback, has been invaluable in learning how to present weblogs to an audience that is risk-aware, and more specifically how reputation can be so easily tarred.

However, I think, in the end, the opportunities outweigh the risk, and the more I work with the team at work, the more I’m learning about how to manage the risks, and cover off the valid concerns that are raised.

And hopefully this means good things in the year to come 🙂

Update: I was actually just thinking how cool it is that the ideas that have been brewing since as far back as 2003 (and probably before) are starting to come to fruition. Very exciting!