Social Reporting and Rich Records

I&DeA Rural Excellence ConferenceDavid Wilcox writes about the role of Social Reporter.

“Online forums need hosts and moderators, workshops need facilitators, networks require some weaving to develop links. But how, for example, do you do that fast around an event, capture content, and follow through afterwards? I’m pondering the possible role of the social reporter. “

My experience is that it’s a big job, and we haven’t quite worked out whether, or how it’s worth the effort yet. Luckily there are people like us who don’t mind having a go without a stong prior proof that it will work and deliver benefit :-)

I’m taking a softly, softly, catchee monkey approach. I think (and my order book shows) that we have agreement that it’s a “good thing” or at least a “nice thing” to have a richer record of a days proceedings and that blogs and wikis are a good way of producing that. What I agree we haven’t done yet is get to the point where we’re able to weave everything together to make it useful enough to participants that they want to do more than view the record.

But maybe that’s not our responsibility…yet. I see a risk that we’re pushing people too fast along a learning curve that we’ve taken a while to go along ourselves. I found last week that It is enough novelty for the average conference participant to deal with the fact that we’ve taken pictures, done some vox-pops with people and live blogged a keynote and they are up on the internet at the end of day 1! Maybe we should just let this aspect sink in for a little bit – if they want to interact as well, then that’s fantastic and we should be ready for it when it happens, but in the meantime, perhaps we could be honing our reporting skills in this new environment.

Especially if we are also introducing more social aspects to the event, breaking down the distinction between presenter and audience – novelty fatigue might set in – I have to remember that not everyone gets bored as easily as I do!

[Bonus Link: Tara Hunt opens up an interesting conversation about measuring the health of communities – graphic equalizers are a little cybernetic for me, but rtwt]