At the Digital Engagement Event, back on 6th October, David Wilcox and I helped the Community Voices team facilitate two sessions that focused on the three things more important to digital engagement than the technology. You can check out the Community Voices group on the Social by Social community for videos, notes and other reflections from the event.

We split participants up by topic areas for discussions and Community Voices team members lead the small group conversations, while others used various tools to capture what was said (audio, video, tweets and blogging). After the small group discussions, we had volunteers from each group provide a short report back to the full room of some of the highlights or lingering questions that came out of the conversation. During these report backs I captured a word cloud on a flip chart of key words. Here’s what came out of each session:

Session #1 Word Cloud:

What’s of interest?
Existing Communities
Individual Level
Creative Approach
Visible Benefits

Session #2 Word Cloud:

Relevant Content
Community of Interest
No Jargon
What’s Success?
User Generated
Access to People
Offline vs Online

The words in all caps represent the words that were repeated in each report out. If you look at the two sessions, you’ll see very similar key words and phrases. Even more important to the topic of the sessions and, I think, in Community Voices’ work in general, the words that every group used that appear in all caps are pretty much the same in both. The biggest focus: trust and communities.

Digital inclusion is not about cool social media tools, or even fancy hardware. It starts with people and stays with people.

What do you think?

Were you there, and have ideas to add to this reflection? If you weren’t there, what ideas do you have about the things most important to digital inclusion other than technology? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Remember to visit the Community Voices group to connect with the rest of the conversations going on there.

Community Voices at Digital Engagement Event: Reflections on the Conversation