In looking at what is most important to us, it would seem most appropriate to focus our efforts on the four areas of our core mission:
- Expand Media Literacy
- Share Lessons Learned Among Practitioners
- Encourage Adoption of Industry Standards
- Promote Ethical Practices through Discussion and Actions
From here, it is important to note that anyone in the advisory group (and any member of the community) may propose projects for the club to support. Over the next few weeks we will need to formalize the governance on how we choose which projects get our formal support, but for now we are going to keep it simple and ask for your help in making these first 4 projects, that support our 4 missions a success. You can stay up to date on them here on the blog or over on the Social Media Club Special Projects page on the wiki.
Michael Brito is leading an effort to find and organize all the best Introduction to Social Media presentations, classes, discussions, cartoons, videos, blog posts etc… There are a lot of ‘here is what you need to know about social media‘ lists out there as well – where are they, which ones are the best. If you have some materials to submit, or if you run across some good material, can you please join this project by submitting your introduction to Social Media materials on the Social Media Club wiki.
Sharing Lessons Learned
This one is a bit self serving as well, but important, and open. As part of The Social Media Playbook, we are building a section on Social Media Champions – the people inside of organizations who fought for engaging customers, employees and the broader market through Social Media. We are looking for champions to fill out an online interview form and will be publishing the findings on the Social Media Club blog and some of them in the book. In short, we want to discover how you overcame the objections of management, what worked for you and what didn’t. Or more simply, how did you go from weird outsider to welcomed champion? Go to the Champions project page on the wiki for more information.
Encourage Adoption of Industry Standards
John Gatrell is leading our efforts to leverage our collective expertise to further promote key industry standards such as Creative Commons, Open ID, Data Portability, the Open Web Foundation and others. He will be posting more on this project in the weeks ahead. In principle it would be great if we could do work along the lines of what Chris Messina et al did with Spread Firefox – find ways to expand awareness and explain these key standards to more everyday folks, business decision makers and others.
The first project will be in support of Creative Commons. We would like to propose a Creative Commons Awareness Day, where everyone participating writes a quick blog post about what CC means to them, how to explain it to others, what are some examples of things they have been able to do more easily because of having access to creative commons content and the challenges they have faced by people not honoring their requests for attribution etc… (there is some bad with the good, lets be honest). We have also put together a fundraising widget to help raise money for their efforts from Social Media Club Members – if you want to help us spread the campaign and start other efforts, please go to the wiki page for this project to stay up to date and contribute.
Promote Ethical Behavior
This is tougher to get a project going in this area since it is more of a matter of discussion, but from that principle, comes the idea for our first project. We are starting a discussion about how membership in Social Media Club can serve as a ‘trusted mark’ for people to know that someone is ethical, understands social media and is committed to the advancement of the industry. There are more and more people claiming to be ’social media experts’ while more and more of us are shunning such titles, realizing we are merely practitioners who are learning more each day.
Everyone I know is concerned with what we do about the schemers and con-artists who are getting into social media with a ‘get rich quick’ mentality. How do we help people avoid those who are selling the snake oil and find those businesses, service providers and people who are really doing good work? Go to the Project Page on our Wiki and join the discussion. You should also check out this recent blog post by Kristie Wells aggregating some of the biggest ethical issues in Social Media today.
We are open to supporting other projects, collaborating with other groups and taking ideas for new projects related to our mission. If you are a member, we especially want to hear from you. What can we do to better serve your needs. But even if you are only an occasional reader of this blog, we want to hear from you too so we can address your needs and serve the community of social media professionals and enthusiasts.
New Media Release
This is our first project within the realm of standards. We are striving to bring together journalists, communications professionals and media creators to establish a Microformat standard for replacing the traditional press release. Join the New Media Release Google Group we have established to discuss this with others. Read some of the initial thoughts on the idea via the New PR Wiki.
BrainJams is actually our parent organization, but we list here, as it is an important project we are working on. BrainJams was established for the purpose of expanding the unconference movement and experimenting with different formats for group conversations and social learning. In addition to promoting what is now known as “12 Five Minute Meetings” (speed dating styled networking), we are working on “Rent an Expert” and other forms of unconferences such as the one we did with the National Coalition for Deliberation and Dialogue in August of 2006.
Short for Digital Scribes, the idea for dScribes came through Chris Heuer’s participation in the Art of Hosting conference. It was here that Chris realized there was no need to obtain 100% participation and contribution to Social Media tools like Wiki’s. Instead, there was a need for a small number of people to fulfill key roles at conferences and other events – in short, a need for scribes to capture the essence of the conversations and the knowledge that was being shared. dScribes will be manifested as an educational program that trains people to become better note takers, photographers, videographers, bloggers, journalists, podcasters and other publishing and production related roles.
Social Tagging Project
Some semblance of this project is already being pursued by a few dedicated and passionate folks as an idea referenced as “Tagvocates“. The idea for Social Tagging Project was first hatched during a meeting between Chris Heuer and the then founding NetSquared team. Essentially, if a team of people who care about specific causes and/or topics were able to organize like paramedia in a focused effort to tag all relevant online resources, a few days efforts would benefit everyone in the community and propagate a common understanding of which tags referenced which sorts of materials. There are many important possibilities for this work which could in a sense be similar to the sort of effort put forth for Project Guttenberg.
Adopt A Blogger
Well, you can guess what this program will do. The idea came from our discussions with BrainJams in New Orleans – to formalize some practices in which many bloggers are already engaged – to help people who don’t know about blogging to learn how and make the most of the tools. More will be written on this over the coming months.
Besides visiting the special projects pages on the wiki to get more involved, please help us get more people involved by sharing your perspective on these first projects on your own blog and helping get others involved. What it is, is up to us…