Saturday, June 28, 2008

20 things you need to know about social media

Providing definitive information about channels for communication, keeping it up to date and extending it as media evolves is as important for communication and good governance as the periodic tables are for good chemistry, engineering and pharmacy.

Suitable investment among the universities using the rigour of academic research into the requirements of communicators practising across the many channels for communication is long overdue and synthesising the range of knowledge needed, from a variety of practice perspectives has implications for social and economic policy well beyond the attention it received at present.

Here is my list of the 20 things we need to know to before using specific channels for communication:

The media

1.Title
what is the generic name e.g. email, wiki's etc)

2.Definition
a description

3.Brief history
wikipedia or another resource)

4.Fast Facts
how would the practitioner explain this channel for communication really quickly

5.Communication platforms
PC, laptop, cell phone, print, TV etc

Interactive elements

6.How do people (the public/s) contribute to this channel
To what extent is this common (past/now/future)

7.How does the public share knowledge of content in this channel using this channel and across other channels?
To what extent is this common (past/now/future)?

8.Risk analysis (nature of the risk, likelihood of occurrence, extent of potential damage, mitigation procedure/s extent of amelioration achievable)


Application

9.What services are available to help the practitioner set up/deploy this channel (software, suppliers and/or contractors; are there expert people that the practitioner could employ on behalf of a client)?


10.How to implement the technology (what are the steps involved?)


Policy and optimisation requirements

11.Internal/external policies (examples of such policies will be needed if the practitioner is going to use this channel)


12.How does the practitioner optimise this channel to help people find/use it (e.g. Search Engine Optimisation)?


Monitoring and evaluation

13.Monitor (what is there out there that can help monitor the effect of work using this channel
e.g. can the practitioner set up and RSS feed or a search engine monitor. Can the practitioner monitor how this channel is affecting its audience and how? Does the practitioner need to use a monitoring company and if so who has the expertise
and how much will it cost?)
14.Metrics: What numbers are available in the public domain? What numbers are available in the private domain? Is this best measured as page views or is it by the number of references it generates in www.digg.com. Or by a combination of measurements? Or are the metrics completely different?


15.Evaluate (How does the practitioner set realistic targets and outcomes; how can the practitioner measure how good she is at using this channel for communication; how can the practitioner evaluate the effectiveness of using this channel for communication as part of a relationship building campaign?)


Buy-in

16.Overcoming objections to implementation (what are the practitioner arguments; how are they supported with real and verifiable evidence; can the practitioner call on quantifiable evidence and case study supported reasoning?)


17.Case studies of good and bad practice. Can the practitioner find case studies and look at the best examples and the worst and then identify the risk mitigation or opportunity optimisation policies when using this channel for communication?


18.Relevance to organisations and practice


Planning and implementation

19.Training (training resources, training examples, etiquette)


20.Timescale for implementation (a Gantt chart to identify processes and time taken to implement)