Thanks to the lovely people at the RSA I am about to embark on a Social Media Surgeries tour, mainly of the North of England, but a couple that fall outside that definition.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know what a Social Media Surgery is. If you haven’t then go away for a bit and read what the amazing Nick Booth, who really invented the Social Media Surgery, has to say about them. In essence, a Social Media Surgery is an informal session when nice people who understand how to use social media get together with people from voluntary & community and arts organisations to help them start out or improve their usage of free internet tools to communicate their messages and reach out to people they want to work with.
I’ve agreed with the RSA a list of places where we want to establish new Social Media Surgeries. This list is based on places where myself or RSA staff (or both) have contacts who we are fairly confident will take the Surgeries on, develop them, and make them a regular feature of the local infrastructure. There are nine venues on the list at the moment, and we are still looking for a tenth, so feel free to volunteer your area, if you think you can make it work. We are also open to persuasion to change the list if someone can make a compelling case for their area, but, this is where we are starting, and, if an area wants to join the list, somewhere else will have to drop out.
- Manchester (for community groups & RSA members)
- Peterborough (not in the north of England)
The plans for nearly all the areas are not very well advanced as yet, so if you’ve got ideas for where and how we should do it in your area, please pitch in. In any case, we really need as many volunteer “surgeons” (advisers) as possible. Don’t worry if you’ve never done anything like this before, a key feature of Social Media Surgeries is that surgeons and “patients” often learn together, and we very often manage to ensure that two surgeons can work together so a more experience surgeon can help a new-comer out.
The important part about all this, is that these Surgeries need to be sustainable. I’ll probably only be able to help with setting up the first (and perhaps a second) event. Experience with the Surgeries that Nick has set up in Birmingham, and that I have worked on in Yorkshire, suggest that it needs at least one enthusiastic lead surgeon (and preferably a group) to take on the organising of the surgeries and coordinating surgeons diaries, venue etc in each area. I don’t want to raise expectations in areas and dash them by not being able to sustain an on-going regular event, so please bear that in mind when volunteering to pile in.
Well, if all that has not put you off, please comment below if you want to be involved in a Surgery in your area.