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Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Broadcaster, musician, song writer, tea drinker and curry lover.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Way of Thinking

A classical music society that I have known for many years (and was indeed a member of in my late teens/early 20s) is discovering that to progress in this modern world, they need to engage much more with social media. Of course, the problem with longstanding groups and societies such as this is that not so many of its members are social media savvy. In fact, even email is a challenge for some.

This is reflected in the organization for which I work. Although a majority of those who interact with us are aware of and users of social media, there remains a small group of people who steadfastly refuse to even own a computer, let alone become literate in its use.

Needless to say this is a generational thing, and within a few years the problem will iron itself out naturally, but in this period of time where the technology straddles the generations, it means we have to think about how to approach the challenge of taking well-established organizations consisting largely of older members into the future whilst not atrophying and failing to attract younger, more technologically sound members, without whom the future of such organizations would be very bleak.

Far too many societies and organizations have websites that are static and uninteresting to interact with. It is important nowadays not just to HAVE a website, but to ensure that it is updated at least every couple of years so that it can remain abreast of the latest design features. Too many groups fall into the trap of getting a website etc. and then just leaving it to do nothing, failing to realize that just like a plant, it needs nurturing if it is not to die.

Social media is a vital tool in publicizing what societies and organizations do. We cannot rely any more on increasingly poor local media outlets such as newspapers, a good number of whom charge to read their online editions whilst the actual content grows increasingly sparse. Thankfully we can now do a lot ourselves to bypass this increasingly redundant outlet, but we need people who understand the systems before we can put them into place.

Nowadays all groups, societies etc. need at the very least a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a photo sharing medium such as Instagram. They may also decide they want video, requiring sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Once again these need to be established and cultivated by people who know what they are doing and what the medium requires, since a dead Facebook page is of little use.

This really is, in my opinion, the only way to take groups and societies successfully into the modern age, and to do so may well require some swallowing of pride, and a new way of thinking.

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