A week on Twitter in August 2014 – why the VCS should use it more

 

KeepCalmAndTweetI’m constantly encouraging VCS CEOs, Trustees and others working in the sector to use social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, and here are 10 interesting things I tweeted about in the week just gone,which I hope helps to show why I think they should:

  • Aug 27: I passed on info about a project focused on researching the impact of openness in education to an academic colleague  in Ireland (someone I met on Twitter and now see in real life)
  • Aug 27: I mentioned that I had become one of 121 Net Squared local organisers around the world, along with my pal Paul Webster
  • Aug 27: I mentioned I’m running a social media workshop at a Disability & Mental Health Jobs Fair Sept 11
  • Aug 28: I asked if email spam is getting worse for everyone working everywhere as spammers take advantage of fewer and busier staff? Is it a security risk?
  • Aug 28: I asked a travel blogger friend who works in a foodbank what she thought about a story saying 10.5% of working parents in England skip meals to pay rent
  • Aug 28: I mentioned an upcoming conference call for women in the not for profit tech Sept 25 to a new CVS contact in Cumbria
  • Aug 28: I passed on a link on a beginners guide on how to make infographics
  • Aug 29: I said that The Digital Roadmap which helps libraries identify new technologies to implement could help the VCS too
  • Aug 30: I recommended a Model funders site to the regional funders network
  • Aug 30: I passed on a link about how to articulate a CRM Strategy

I also tweeted some greetings to friends so I did do some of the more ‘social’ side of social media but in the main, I tweeted about things which I think might improve our experiences of working in the VCS.

Maybe VCS colleagues pick up this sort of info elsewhere, maybe they think it’s not relevant to their work, maybe they’re already overloaded with information – I’d love to hear from some of you in response to this post and start a dialogue about it.

 

 

 

 

State of my blog: You’ve done too much…

MultitaskI have so much to say about the various areas of work I’m doing that I don’t know where to start sometimes!

My friend Lorna Prescott (@dosticen on Twitter) says to start with the most enjoyable thing, the thing that you’re enjoying right now but I’m still stuck – sometimes this multi-tasking that women do means it’s hard to concentrate and get one thing done well i.e.to my own satisfaction.

The blog posts in my Drafts are:

  • FutureShift Festival reflections
  • When the public sector says “We haven’t got any money”
  • Building a West Midlands Open Datastore

And another one that could develop into a series so I don’t even want to say what it is yet

I know I’m not the only person with a busy life, working in many different fields – it’s called a portfolio career after all – but if anyone has a solution to this dilemma that works for them, please share it with the rest of us!

Good things come…

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Photo from NG Events Ltd

Ever since I was the CEO of The Digbeth Trust, meeting with the then-head of Digital Birmingham to discuss the ICT needs of voluntary organisations in Birmingham, I’ve been clear that many voluntary organisations, especially the smaller ones, really need financial and other support to get the ICT equipment to help them do their work better, and thus be able to help their beneficiaries in more efficient and effective ways.

So I am pleased to see that there is an event in Birmingham on April 10 2014 to launch a Connectivity vouchers scheme to help fund a new faster broadband connection for small and medium-sized businesses, charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations. It’s funded by the Government’s Urban Broadband Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Digital Birmingham.

Digital Birmingham will cover up to £3,000 of the connection costs for eligible organisations (that’s usually enough to pay for all the work) and it’s a grant not a loan, so you don’t have to pay it back.

The voucher scheme is also available in Coventry, although there doesn’t seem to be an event, just a page where eligible organisations (SME (small or medium-sized enterprise) or are a third-sector (voluntary) organisation within the Coventry City Council area) can register their interest

So as vouchers are available on a first come, first served basis, I’ll be encouraging all the charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations that I know in Birmingham and Coventry to be registering their interest asap – and if you work with those organisations, can I ask you to do the same? Being better connected helps us all.

The power of using your LinkedIn contacts – how to search them

 

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I was asked today if I knew anyone who had connections with a hospice – at first I thought I didn’t, but then I decided to leverage (see  my 2013 blog about this) my LinkedIn contacts.

Anyone on LinkedIn can do it – here’s the route: your profile -> Network -> Contacts ->  Advanced (on right of search box at top of page) – you use this page to filter your search e.g. you might just want a list of your ‘1st connections’ who know about hospices.

By doing this (using the filters on the left hand side of the page), I discovered I knew 6 people amongst my ‘1st connections’ who had a connection to a hospice – if I included my ‘2nd connections’, I found out that I know 931! I could then narrow the list further by using the ‘Location’, ‘Current Company’ and/or ‘Industry’ filters.

For me, it was enough to be able to choose from amongst my ‘1st connections’ but I was glad to know that I had further options, should I not have had any choice amongst them.

I was an early adopter of LinkedIn and I’m delighted that it’s standing the test of time – if you have any other questions about leveraging  it to help your business or community group and think I could help, please get in touch.