Communicating differently – the value of social media #kidsorg13

This week I am running a social media workshop for Camden Special Parents Forum part of KIDS London which provides a wide range of direct support services for disabled children, young people and their families. KIDS’ vision is a world in which all disabled children and young people realise their aspirations and their right to an inclusive community which supports them and their families. @SpfCamden 

It is always interesting developing a presentation for an unknown audience some of whom may be very confident using social media and others yet to be convinced that it has any value in their day to day lives. There is just so much to share and a post can only provide a snapshot of all the resources available.

“Young people don’t see the risk of social media but older people don’t see the power” @nickkeane speaking at the European Conference on Social Media and Policing Lisbon. It is important that we keep people safe online but not make it so scary that the opportunities for engaging, sharing and learning are lost.

Twitter has been described by  Om Malik  as “the pulse of our planet, one that gives the internet a sense of humanity”

Digital technology and social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing. Over 30 million people in the UK are now using social media, Twitter is used by over 230 million people every month and 24 milllion Britons use Facebook every day.

The impact of digital technology on how we communicate, access services and find information has radically transformed how we conduct our everyday lives and our relationships with others. We can learn so much from each other. A request on Twitter for thoughts about the value of social media for carers produced this lovely response:

You may not guess this but I’m a big fan of social media. The ability to connect with people across the world, the diverse articles posted that one may not otherwise see and instant access to breaking news before any other medium make Twitter an incredibly valuable resource. Importantly social media enables individuals and small organisations to have a much bigger voice and be involved in the many online discussions which are informing and shaping the development of care services.

I am just one person running a small digital engagement consultancy with a few trusted associates and this is my digital footprint! It is worth exploring Twitter tools such as @RebelMouse and @vizify to enhance your social media presence.

Twitter @shirleyayres

LinkedIn: uk.linkein.com/in/shirleyayres

Blog: Connecting Social Care and Social Media

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/disruptivesocialcare

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisruptiveSocialCare

RebelMouse my social front page: https://www.rebelmouse.com/shirleyayres

VizifyTwitter video : https://www.vizify.com/shirley-ayres/twitter-video

But connection isn’t about platforms or tools. It’s about people.

On Twitter you can connect with Norman Lamb Minister of State for Care and Support @normanlamb , Jon Rouse Director General for Social Care @RouseJonDGDH,  Andrea Sutcliffe Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care @Crouchendtiger7 and the Chief Executives of most charities working in the field of disability.

Information is freely shared through social media. For example Netbuddy encourages the swapping practical tips and information on all aspects of supporting people with learning disabilities @netbuddytoptips

 Enabled by Design is a community of people who are passionate about well-designed, everyday products that challenge the one-size-fits-all approach to assistive equipment. Enabled by Design encourages people to share their views and experiences of assistive equipment, share wish lists about improving products and services, and post information, reviews and comments. @enabledby

One of the simplest needs for people is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends who may be widely dispersed. There are a range of online tools available to maintain and strengthen connections and address the practical tasks of co-ordinating the care  of an individual. Personal support networks provide a safe, moderated online space which can connect family, friends and professionals providing formal and informal care. Examples include:  Tyze, Yecco, Rally-Round and My People and Places

Getting started on Twitter

I hope workshop participants will be excited by the potential offered by social media and I am looking forward to welcoming more people to the wonderful world of social media!

The Twitter Help centre provides useful guidance and Mashable have produced the Twitter Guide Book.

Useful tips to guide you in developing your own personal social media policy have been produced by Paul Taylor @paulbromford.  Thanks for sharing Paul!

I will be taking note of the questions and issues raised at #kidsorg13 and will add further resources after the workshop.

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