Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to the HR Forum of the Information Technology Association of Canada. I was given the task of talking about social networking, how business uses social networks, and how they may be used in human resources. Since members of ITAC are in the technology industry, I also talked about online spaces and communities that IT staff may be involved in. My slides are below.
Also speaking were Dan Michaluk of the law firm Hicks Morley and Sheldon Silverman, Counsel at AMD. Dan spoke to the question of managing employee use of social media applications, especially how to manage risk. He has shared his slides on his blog All About Information. Sheldon rounded out the discussion by providing an interesting case study of internal social media policy.
‘Tis the season, and in our quest to get those cards posted and presents bought, we can often lose sight of what is important at this time of year. It seems that the more we connect in online social networks, the more many of us become aware of and sensitive to the needs of others. Perhaps not all of us, but I do see it happening. I certainly have been opened to more perspectives than before.
In this light, someone in the Toronto Twitter community (specifically my law blogger friend and mesh conference founder Rob Hyndman; or maybe it was Paul Marshall?) posted a message (a “tweet“) wondering about a seasonal meet-up for the Toronto “geek” community. A few ideas were bandied about, and a charity (The Daily Bread Food Bank) was chosen that we might sponsor. A number of people got together informally and laid the groundwork for the event. A fast website, hohoTO.ca, was created. Links to the registration site were sent out via Facebook and Twitter.
Aimed at the Toronto social media, tech and small business community, they invited companies to make this their seasonal party and donate what they would have spent otherwise. Those who took up the call turned into the long list of event sponsors. Most of the resources and work behind the event were to be donated, so that most of the contributions would be directly given to the charity in question. A tag was decided on “#hohoTO” so that all photos, tweets on Twitter, and blog posts could be found on the web.
Two short weeks later, we had a fantastic party of over 600 people on Monday night at The Mod Club! Best of all, the event raised an astounding $25,000 for the Food Bank in addition to boxes and boxes full of food donations. This video does a great job in explaining just how this “crowdsourced” event worked:
Thanks go out to all the amazing organizers, sponsors, the Mod Club, and my fellow participants!
I especially like the post Rob Hyndman wrote about how this is also a lesson in creativity (Dec. 12/08), how businesses need to open themselves up to saying “yes”. So much can be done by saying “yes” and harnessing the creativity of employees instead of finding reasons to say “no”!
Overall, this was an event that the social media/social networking community in Toronto can be proud of. Well done!
I am sharing some of the key content here. We started the day off with a short updated version of a presentation I gave last May to the CPA with the formidable presentation duo Dara Renton and Rob Reid called Social Networking and Call Centres. This is the updated presentation:
setting up Pages on Facebook
privacy concerns related to sending Facebook invitations to contacts previously collected outside Facebook
whether contacts can be gathered in Facebook and added to a contacts database
ways to keep existing employees happy and turn them into evangelists for your company
deciding which demographics of potential employees are most likely to respond to Facebook and other types of social networking tools
During the day participants worked through the content of the workbook I created for the course. It was my first time creating a full workbook, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. We have made that workbook available under a Creative Commons licence (30 pages, PDF):
The second episode of the podcast Community Divas that I do with Eden Spodek is now live!
In this episode we continue our interview with Jay Moonah, Connie gives an update on recent problems with Twitter, and Eden asks how many social networking spaces is optimal for a community. The interview with Jay is very interesting because he talks about research by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in the recent book Groundswell, how you can look at demographics to determine which social networking space to use to speak to a certain group of people. He also talks about personal branding, how it is difficult to get out more than one message about yourself if you are known for one thing in particular (for him it has been music).