Access to social media

Published on 9 Mar 2009
This article originally appeared in Care Appointments magazine in their Webwatch section.

Social media - the collective term for services such as Facebook, Flickr and Delicious - allow us to gather, store and share knowledge, information and experience. Previously we reported on Steph Gray's social media test suite which he set up to measure the extent to which social media websites were being routinely blocked.

Fifty five people from 35 public sector bodies completed the survey and the results highlight online video as one problem area. Comment from respondents indicate that employers do not regard social media as useful for serious business purposes, which is a pity because video and photo sharing sites are increasingly being used to communicate new and sometimes complex ideas. Indeed, multimedia has long been used for educational purposes.

Six ways to make Web 2.0 work (The McKinsey Quarterly) reports on a two year survey of how of 50 early adopter businesses have been using social media (or 'Web 2.0'). Around half were not satisfied with the results, sometimes because managers were suspicious or uncomfortable with perceived changes or risks and sometimes because managers didn't know how to encourage the type of participation required. Nonetheless, the report concludes that acceptance of social media in businesses is growing, but participation calls for new approaches that break with the methods used to deploy IT in the past.

At Iriss we think video is a highly effective way of capturing and sharing thoughts and opinions. For example last year we captured, through a series of 'vox pop' style interviews the thoughts of service users at the Forgotten Citizens Conference and used Vimeo to publish the results. Other clips include key stakeholders talking about two important initiatives: the Knowledge Management Strategy for the Social Services and the Continuing Learning Framework. Please take a look at Iriss on Vimeo and tell us what you think.

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