Notes - 1st IT Café on September 25, 2008

How to Make Online Social Networking Work for Our Organizations?

Questions for reflection and discussion

Are social networking sites the best online place to create community and a sense of affinity with our organizations?

How do we get the message out through machines that we are people-centered and relationship-driven? Is this a contradiction?

Are online social networks the right tools to facilitate interactive discussions online that are fruitful and not just messages bouncing around with little real value in terms of dialogue?

How do we add interesting, pertinent, constantly changing content when most of us are already pretty busy with other tasks?

How much follow up/control/monitoring is required? How much should be left to evolve organically?

How can we combine social networks with other online tools?

Points made by participants

Some tools that were discussed

Constant contact: an efficient way to stay connected with constituency despite distance. "One-way" communication tool that still can translate into feedback from recipients. Allows users to send email and segmenting address list based on geography, provides information on opening rates for each email, stats on number of recipients that forward your messages, etc.

TakingITGlobal: a site for collaboration on social change issues. Online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities. Offers free online profile, project page, etc. Their team can develop customized applications for a cost.

Altogether Ottawa: a tool for online collaboration - allows file sharing, provides online calendar, etc.

Webtrain: web conferencing software.