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  • shinyupai 2:57 am on June 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Social Media Plan for Center for Wooden Boats 

    WordPress doesn’t seem to have an insert/upload PDF or Word document, so I am pasting the text of the Social Media Plan that Kelly and I have been working on for the CWB in the post below…


    Institutional Mission and Goals

      The mission of the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) is “to serve the people in our [the Seattle] community by providing a gathering place where maritime history comes alive through direct experience and our small craft heritage is enjoyed, preserved, and passed along to future generations.” The CWB’s programs focus on preserving and sharing both the artifacts and the time-tested maritime skills of sailing, paddling, boatbuilding and boat maintenance.

      Target Audience for Social Media Plan

    The CWB is seeking to cultivate a deeper relationship with its members and core constituency with an emphasis on its non-youth members. The CWB is interested in using social media to communicate with members and supporters (volunteers, alumni) in a quick and effective way, i.e. to broadcast calls for volunteers or new programs, which could then be further circulated or distributed to individual user networks thereby extending the CWB network. The older generation of CWB members has expressed reluctance to using social technology, though most users are on email and have internet access. The social media plan will seek to cultivate a higher comfort level and familiarity with social technologies, taking into account that most of CWB’s users will be consumers and spectators, versus creators.

    Resources & Restrictions

      Given staffing constraints at CWB, the recommended platform and plan must take an average of no more than four hours a week to maintain; CWB requires a platform that can easily self-maintain itself. Currently, the individuals who manage the organization’s Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook accounts are volunteers who will ending their terms at CWB in June and August 2009. The social media plan must be simple enough to accommodate high staff turnover and varying levels of experience and expertise with social technology.

      Startup Need: Blog

    Step 1.) Select a blog platform
    There are both no-cost and with-cost options for blog hosting. WordPress, Blogger are free; TypePad is a fee-based service with options to allow you to host the blog on your own website or use their hosting service. Below we have summarized these top options and provided resources so that staff can choose which platform would be most appropriate for CWB.

    Resources on weighing blog platforms

    Step 2.) Develop Identity and Content
    Meet to define identity and voice of blog, as well as staff protocols for use, and to brainstorm possible staff contributors. Determine guidelines and ground rules for user-generated stories and content submitted to forums – i.e. word count, content parameters, style, etc. Size and formatting, tagging guidelines to spec for video/photos.

    Step 3.) Integrating existing social media
    The CWB already uses YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter which can all be pulled into the blog (YouTube videos can be incorporated into posts, you can blog directly from Flickr and twitter feeds can be incorporated into the blogspace or comment space, buttons leading to Facebook and Twitter pages).

    Step 4.) Maintenance and evaluation
    Site meter or Google Analytics can analyze visitors, most visited pages, and other information. Comments streams and online conversations could be qualitatively analyzed for concordance with CWB mission and goals. Blog maintenance needs include:

    • Comments monitoring
    • Once a week entry on the blog w/ rotating authors
    • Reading/visiting other boating enthusiast blogs/forums and contributing to these online communities by making comments
    • Guest bloggers of interest (would need to develop protocols for posting)
    • Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – watching these sites for content that could be cross-posted to the blog
    • Cross-posting content to associated FB account

    Start-up Needs: Forum

    This would be a means for CWB visitors to have open discussion on museum programs and opportunities, as well as the common maritime interests that bring them together.

    Example of successful forums for these purposes
    Port Townsend Wooden Boat Foundation Forum: http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/

    Step 1.) Create Platform
    We suggest the open source software site http://www.phpbb.com/ as an easy way to set up a public forum. According to the PHPBB site, the cost of a forum is free, but some monthly costs ($6.95) may be incurred for tech support or for a domain host.

    Step 2.) Decide on Content
    Possible discussion board areas could be devoted to

    • The CWB’s historic boats
    • Finding sailing/boating partners
    • Sail Now graduates
    • Visitor oral histories
    • Discussion of CWB historic oral histories
    • Volunteer discussion/recruitment
    • Buying/Selling/Trading/Bartering of materials, resources and skills

    Step 3.) Maintenance and evaluation
    In terms of management, the forum would need to be monitored weekly for spam, abusive comments, and site-appropriate content, which would require a greater time commitment for maintenance.

    We recommend the following steps to minimize the amount of spam or objectionable material

    • All users must be registered members, the CWB would have the ability to approve or reject any individual before their account is activated.
    • Use of simple verification systems like Captcha http://www.captcha.net/ to avert automated spamming accounts
    • Regular staff participation in forum discussion, so that as administrators they will each be able to remove any problem content and moderate any issues.

    Forum participation and membership are easily kept track of in PHPBB forums. A more qualitative analysis could be undertaken after a period of time, likely no sooner than 6 months to a year. At this point you could evaluate your membership to see if you are getting increased site visitation, rich conversation/comments to evaluate if CWB is moving in the direction in which it wishes to go.

    Simple forum polls could be used throughout the development process to gage success in terms of CWB goals for forum interaction and to get easy feedback about new features/topics. For instance forum members could be solicited for feedback on whether their participation in these social technologies has influenced or increased their real time spent at CWB, engaged in CWB programs or activities. (i.e. finding a sailing partner)

    Promotion Plan

      The technology/blog can be promoted from a link on the CWB website, as well as the http://www.atlakeunionpark.org websites, existing Facebook site, e-newsletter. We recommend adding the address to the signature lines of staff emails, and to future print marketing pieces.

      We also recommend outreach to existing non-CWB boating and museum forums where the CWB forum could be promoted. Staff members would need to spend some time participating on non-CWB forums, posting comments. This would also be useful for other CWB staff people to begin to engage with to become better “social media citizens.”

      Recommendations for Possible Internships to Further Social Media Plan
      • Internship editing oral history video for YouTube/blog content
      • Social Media Intern/Museology Practicum for monitoring content and forums
      (10 hrs a week)

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  • shinyupai 6:56 pm on May 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: publics,   

    I’m wrapping up my RAship at the Simpson… 

    I’m wrapping up my RAship at the Simpson Center and have been going over my files for teacher development seminars that the Center sponsored this past year. One session in particular had an interesting syllabus and reading material that ties well with the social media aspect of our class.

    Crispin Thurlow is a professor in the Communications School who conducts research on youth and social technology. Check out his article “Fabricating youth: New-media discourse and the technologization of young people” in Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (MIT Press, 2008) as supplemental reading for our social tech coursebooks. Crispin applies a scholarly analysis to constructions of youth (and therefore adulthood) through perceptions of social technology. Another good article by Thurlow is “Wired whizzes or techno slaves? Young people and their emergent communication technologies” which covers the range of social technologies discussed in Born Digital and talks about notions of risk.

    There is also a good article by Susan Herring called “Questioning the General Divide: Technological Exoticism and Adult Constructions of Online Youth Identity” that examines the contextual factors and social motivations shaping human behaviors, continuities, and technological trends. Like Thurlow, Herring also addresses the exoticizing of the internet generation through constructions of youth.
    Finally, my favorite reading from Thurlow’s syllabus is Danah Boyd’s article “Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life” – also from the MIT volume Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. Boyd’s article has a great theoretical discussion on the different meanings of public, types of publics (social networking sites), and some discussion on the implications of being socialized into a culture rooted in network publics.

  • shinyupai 5:32 pm on May 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Social Media Plan 

    Kelly and I met with the staff of CWB yesterday to talk about their social media plan. There are 2 groups that the museum is interested in engaging with social technologies – tweens and non-youth visitors – but it looks like we will be working on a plan that targets the non-youth visitors/users. The rationale is that tweens who are “born digital” seem more likely to participate in a forum or to be more proactive in exploring social media opportunities, whereas, non-youth users may be somewhat more hesitant. Once engaged, this group seems more likely to be consumers/users, vs. creators. Currently, CWB has tried a few outreach attempts through platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Flickr, which keeps the Americorp volunteer who administers these sites busy checking multiple sites and accounts. So Kelly and I are looking at a way to centralize their social media, most likely through a blog. We are also thinking that although our projects are separate, it makes sense to both us and the CWB to combine our efforts into one integrated media plan that could address aspects of both projects’ goals.

  • shinyupai 12:32 am on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Another book review 

    Here Comes Everybody
    Here Comes Everybody is a terrific primer on social media that encompasses a variety of case studies including Wikipedia, Digg, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Meetup, Myspace, Youtube, Blogger, and other technologies that have developed to help users organize, connect, and expand their communities through interacting in new ways around social objects. The author, Clay Shirky, uses a few examples that look at how users of social media have used those tools to challenge the establishment (digital campaign that led to policy changes in airline industry) and to disseminate information – i.e. cell phone photos of the London subway bombing in the aftermath of the event.

    Reading Shirky’s book made me realize a couple of things. People use social technology in the way that makes sense to their own needs – mostly from what I can tell to typically network and expand their spheres of connection. I don’t think that there is any “wrong” (or right) way to use social technology, but I realize that I do not use these tools (nor do I have a true interest in using certain tools) to their fullest social capacity. I am a lazy lazy tagger, and have only recently gotten into the habit of labeling flickr photos and blog posts, now that I have an understanding of how user-generated content gets aggregated and organized on the world wide web.

    The readings for our social tech class have helped me get a stronger grasp of the whole web 2.0 thing, but I am also really interested in finding ways to be simultaneously less connected (in terms of time spent in the virtual world) and more effectively connected – this is perhaps informed by a desire to be more of the body, than the mind. At the Tricycle Magazine site, I recently came across a book called Wisdom 2.0 by Soren Gordhamer. Gordhamer consults on living with less stress and more effectiveness in technology-rich lives. Read an excerpt here.

    • emilbeck 4:05 pm on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It might not be that you’re a lazy tagger. Remember that 80/20 rule. You probably haven’t found something that you’re so passionate about that you would be pat of the one or two percent that creates most of the content/participates on the highest level.
      I really liked the emphasis on making something big with love. I thought that was so applicable to museums, way more so than anything in groundswell. We can now take our small institutions that we care so deeply about and reach more people more efficiently with our mission/message.

    • Pete 6:57 pm on May 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Clay Shirky talks a lot of sense. Amidst the panic of print meltdown he said what (some) dared not to say and what all should be saying. Let them die. Think the unthinkable. Create new modes of communication instead of resuscitating the old.


  • shinyupai 11:48 pm on April 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Taking on the System 


    I had hoped to be much more excited about Markos Zuniga’s Taking on the System, but it only reminded me of Kalle Lasn’s culture-jamming manifesto.

    Like the authors of Born Digital, Zuniga is also a lawyer, though he has distinguished himself by his political blogging at Daily Kos. The gist of Zuniga’s book is how savvy users of social technologies can bypass cultural and political gatekeepers by becoming involved cybercitizens who perform a smart revolt or act of civil disobedience thru the reclamation of media, which function today as little more than conservative ideological apparatuses of conventional wisdom. The book is not a how-to manual and draws the majority of its examples from political campaigns and events. The events that most engaged my own reading were an analysis of Cindy Sheehan’s rise and fall to fame as the face of the anti-war movement, a brief discussion of the Jena 6 racial incidents in the South, and some coverage of Bill O’Reilly and the Fox news channel.

    Some useful terms from the book are the idea of “manufacture outrage” (Bill O’Reilly) and “riding the backlash” (transparency, PR, and riding the groundswell). Zuniga himself comes under fire for a statement that he makes on the Daily Kos blog that is manipulated and attacked by the conservative right, though he is able to withstand the attack through transparency, accountability, and trust in his readers. His epilogue is the clarion call of all educators – personal responsibility and organic leadership.

  • shinyupai 6:12 pm on April 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: course reading   

    Born Digital 

    Born Digital

    Finished reading Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. The book is written by lawyers John Palfrey and Urs Gasser and targeted towards parents and teachers (and to a degree librarians) on the issues related to technology and today’s Digital Natives. The book opens with a discussion on the world of Digital Natives and the dangers that these youth face in terms of having to navigate complex social technologies that disclose personal information and expose youth to safety threats and threatened privacy. Palfrey and Gasser also talk about the identities of the new Digital Natives – that there is a blurring between private and public selves and a continual reinvention and fluidity of the identity.

    The authors spend a good amount of their time talking about their ideas for policy and practice, as well as discussing ethics, copyright law. I think the main take-away from the book for me, as it applies to museums and virtual exhibitions is that parents are concerned about good technological design, controls and privacy (collection and sharing of personal info), and that these concerns should be addressed through the architecture and design of any online project. The other take-away is the importance of finding ways to channel the creative energy or groundswell that is part of the uprising in creators, a specifically pro-active category of social technology users. I.e. finding ways to involve or capitalize on youth/user innovation and expertise – tapping their ability as collaborators and innovators to help take a project to the next level.

    • mishy79 4:44 am on April 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Did you enjoy this book? Digital natives is a fascinating topic as it presents a shift in culture due to technology.

    • shinyupai 3:48 pm on April 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      There were aspects of the book that were certainly useful, but I find Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” and Charlene Li’s “Groundswell” more readable/enjoyable and/or pertinent in to my own interests. However, I think for people who were not born into the digital generation, Palfrey and Gasser provide a useful primer.

  • shinyupai 2:29 pm on April 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kylie, Nicole, Shin Yu,   

    Talking to Strangers at the Woodland Park Zoo 

    Kylie, Nicole and I teamed up as a group with Nicole’s stuffed cheetah/leopard and a small stuffed snow leopard. We headed to the back of the zoo with the strategy that we’d end up in the PNW regional area and be able to ask kids and their families for help in finding where our exotic animals belonged in the zoo.

    Nicole’s stuffed cat got a lot of attention and comments – it’s size was eye-catching and Kylie used the animal as a prop to wave to children and facilitate connection, including making animal noises.

    We completed part 1 of the exercise by asking a stranger if we were on the right path to the North Trail; he pointed us further down the path.

    Parts 2 and 3 proved to be much more difficult, but got a little bit easier when we bumped into Museology student Karin Hoffman in the park, who gave us sheets of animal stickers which we were able to use as incentives or rewards with strangers. With the stickers, Nicole was able to get a child to give away her sticker to another child that she didn’t know, with the incentive that she would receive a sticker after giving the first one away.

    We also attempted to set up a puppet theatre with the stuffed animals and a small rubber hand puppet in the shape of an alligator. We had more success getting strangers to approach the set-up and play with the animals when we left the area alone and watched from a distance. It was inevitably the children that led the way to engagement, vs. the families or parents. We did not have any problems with the objects walking away with zoo visitors.


    • time of day/tired children and families
    • children too young (pre-verbal) to respond to our strategy
    • children too mature to respond to our strategy
    • reluctant parents
    • visitors who had already encountered other student researchers
    • museologiste 9:10 pm on April 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It’s so interesting that you guys had more luck just leaving the stuffed animal alone. We observed that, while leaving our stuffed gorilla conspicuously perched on a statue was certainly an attention-getter, any interaction was cut short by suspicion or concern: Who does this belong to? What kind of creepy person would just leave it sitting there for kids to pick up? Where has this been? Maybe our approach was just too open-ended (we did talk about specificity and instructions in class).

      • kyliepine 10:27 pm on April 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Very interesting! I wonder if our sign helped a bit? We’re all so programmed to look for instructions, maybe seeing “Puppet Theatre” written helped to legitimize the experience. Although, I’m not sure I’m comforted by the fact that a handmade sign was all it took to legitimize an activity…

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