Last Wednesday saw the inaugural Exeter Social Media Cafe, a free event helping local organisations to make better use of social media. The Cafe takes the form of an informal drop-in session; with a team of volunteer social media experts on hand to answer questions.
— Exeter Social Media (@ExeterSoMe) October 12, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised when, after offering to help out in any way, Rob suggested I join the team. Although worried I might find myself out of my depth, I decided to take the plunge anyway.
And so on Wednesday I found myself sat down at a table, MacBook in front of me, ready for some tricky questions.
The evening took place at St Sidwell’s Community Centre. It was an ideal venue for the event, being situated right in the heart of the city. St Sidwell’s also provided us with free Tea, Coffee, and Swiss Rolls. Thanks guys!
Steve from Devon Hour. was there. He and Curtis had an in-depth discussion about the many possibilities of Google+. Being a Google certified photographer, Curtis knows an awful lot about the big G’s products. He was certainly the right man for the job.
I was designated the ‘Content Sharing’ specialist, which allowed me to help out Rupa. She was looking for a way to store articles and other media and then, along with a small team, share the links to social media when required. She was currently doing this through Evernote, but finding it wasn’t quite the right tool for the job.
My suggestion was to set up an account in Pocket. Pocket is a bookmarking website that allows you to save articles, images and anything else on the internet in one place. By tagging the articles with the names of the different team members, Rupa and the rest of her team would be able to organise their bookmarks easily. Pocket also syncs with IFTTT, allowing Rupa to automatically email team members, and send articles to Hootsuite or her blog when certain tags are used.
I thought that the Exeter Social Media Cafe was a great evening. The experts were all friendly open people, and the event had a lovely atmosphere. There was a real feeling of friendliness and sharing among all the attendees.
My favourite story from the evening had to be Sally. I met Sally at the door, and she wasn’t really sure what she was there for, other than to find out more about social media. After a short chat she admitted her sister was on Facebook and she wanted to know a bit more about it before setting up an account.
Nick was the evening’s Facebook expert, so I introduced Sally to him and left them to it. I later discovered that Sally not only had no Facebook account, she also had no computer or internet access at home. By the time Sally left she was going to contact her phone company about a broadband account and head to John Lewis to try out a Chromebook.
If you’re reading this Sally, I think you were really brave to walk in off the street like that; and I hope you’re enjoying being online.
And I got my very own name tag:
The Exeter Social Media Cafe is intended to be a regular event, and will need people to both give and receive advice to make it a success. If you want to come along to the next one follow Exeter Social Media on Twitter, and keep an eye out for the #ESMCafe hashtag.