So I went to an event on Tuesday: Enhancing Online Services: Optimising Digital Engagement and Accessibility
Very much outside of my normal network, so much so that there wasn’t a single person I knew, but all relevant and about half, at least in theory, part of the localgovcamp network. Thank you to Carolyne Mitchell who tweeted about it and who I stupidly missed on the day because I left just before she arrived. Mum duties…
It was a bog standard conference with networking only during breaks but I managed to meet a few good people. One conversation sticks in my head because it was a person who asked a very good question about open source. He was very knowledgeable, and during our convo he said he wasn’t convinced of the value of twitter. As a result, in order to put him in touch with Jayne who runs housingcamp – which is very relevant to his work – I had to give him a card, ask him to add me on linkedin so I could put him in touch. He hasn’t yet.
During the presentations, I tweeted furiously. (By which I mean, pretty much normal event tweet volume for me, but for some reason I tweeted more than everyone else using the hashtag, so everyone following it got to know me quite quickly.) And yes you can say well, it’s only twitter, but 1. where else would people follow an event hashtag, and 2. where else would you connect with the speakers and the audience?
Finally I talked to Cassie and Mark, the team from Dorsetforyou.com who presented a very nice showcase of their website development. I had asked a question earlier and outed myself as social media person so we talked about that and there still was the same defensive attitude – if anyone could prove ROI to us, we’d put more resources onto it. Really?
So all in all, amazingly, still the same attitudes about social media like 4 years ago. Hardly any of the speakers were accessible. The private sector has huge chunks of the marketing budgets invested in social media, yet here we still aren’t convinced – both as organisations and individuals. It did surprise me – and it may have marked another step in my road back to teaching and inspiring people to ‘get it’.