Earlier this month, the Connected Generation conference brought lots of folks from organizations and direct services groups, as well as practitioners, educators, and researchers together in Bristol, UK, to talk about the use of social media in youth work.  It was an excellent program, organized by Tim Davies and Katie Bacon, and featured excellent speakers with stories and experience to share from their diverse backgrounds.  I was so pleased to get to be there, and even more honored to get to open the day with a keynote.  My presentation attempted to frame the day for participants, asking more questions than providing answers about how to start thinking about and creating strategies for social media and their work with young people.

Here are the slides (Hint: visit the slideshare site by clicking on the link below to see the speaking notes as well!)


You can find notes from a couple participants here and here; and use #cgen10 to find tweets and other content tagged from the event.

One thing that struck me from doing an introduction to social media webinar the night before, and the next morning presenting the keynote here, was the difference in content strategy between the two communities and the way that our goals around content and conversations effect so much of how we operate.  There’s a real difference between creating content that you then urge people to share in any online spaces they prefer vs creating safe online spaces for conversations (often in private).  Perhaps it is the nuance between social change movements that manifest in outward or crowd-driven change vs those that focus on social work or individual-based change.

I also wrote down a few great conversation starters from other presenters, including:

  • Digital inclusion is all about relevancy – what are you doing to make digital media relevant for your community?
  • Digital storytelling means everyone has the power to capture and share stories – how are you empowering your community to write their own history?
  • Our “soundbite society” may mean that we don’t provide enough time for real storytelling or real listening – how are you helping your community share and listen in meaningful ways?

Join In!

If you’re interested in connecting with, or following up on this topic and with those who attended, check out the Youth Work Online network.

Connected Generation: Youth Workers and Social Media
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