Teaching social media: Engage Her

Would you like to be better at using social media? Have a sense of how Twitter, Facebook, flickr, YouTube and other tools could help you promote or organize events for a business, project or caouse? Understand how search engine technologies have made you visible on the Net, whether you’ve crafted your identity or not, and whether you should do anything about that.?

Those were the topics we discussed when Stefanie Pomponia Butler, Trishs Okubo and Sherrie Wu joined me to co-lead a series of workshops on using social meda at the first EngageHer conference at UC Berkeley (there is going to be another one in the fall in NYC).

We had wonderful participants–very diverse in age, ethnicity and experience level–but united in their interest and engagement with social media tools and their desire to be expert users. Much of what we covered was similar to what Deanna Zandt and I taught at WAM, and what we taught with the Public Media Collaborative at #jexpo, and it was a pleasure to share knowledge and pass it on.

(side note: when the economy tanked and I worried that maybe we were going into a deep recession, I imagined myself making marmalade and bread and trading them for services with others if it came to that; I now think what I’d be trading are social media skills, since the number of people who actually seem to be able and interested in teaching others to use social media in a focused and measurable way seems alot smaller than I assumed (though I know there are lots of consultants working with big companies in  this area.)

(side note 2: I started my working life as a writer, teaching writing to people around NYC, and working in many diverse communities, including the South Bronx, Chinatown, Flatbush and Harlem. I learned some very important lessons doing this work; the most valuable that if your workshop leaders or team  don’t reflect the community you want to serve, you’re not truly respecting the people you hope to work with   I so valued the change to work with such a range of women at EngageHer; it was an energizing group) and appreciated how we reflected our participants..