March 30, 2011

Website Wednesdays - Social Networking

Each Wednesday (or as close thereto as our schedule allows) we will highlight a particular feature of NAFCM's website worthy of your review.  By highlighting specific components of our website, we're hopeful you'll become better equipped to take full advantage of all the resources we've packed into our mighty site. Once you've checked out this week's feature, we invite you to continue clicking and discover even more!

This week's "Website Wednesday" feature: Social Networking

NAFCM's gone social!  Over the past seven months, NAFCM has been taking the hopeful message of community mediation to the masses using a number of popular social networking outlets.  From Facebook posts to bite-sized Twitter updates, videos and podcasts, and even this very blog, we're spreading the news that community mediation is here to help.

On the left panel of every webpage, you can visit each of our current social accounts by clicking on their respective logos.  We've also created easy-to-remember short links directly connecting you to these services:


However you access our social activity, you'll quickly see there's a lot more happening than hits the listserve or makes our homepage.  For example, our Facebook Wall allows fans to ask questions and promote helpful resources.  Our Twitter account features a convenient list of community mediation programs using the service.  Our YouTube Channel features hours of community mediation videos viewed by thousands of visitors and subscribers.  On LinkedIn, we've created an open discussion group for all to join and contribute.  And on ADRhub, the social networking service designed specifically for conflict professionals, we're keeping community mediation squarely on the ADR field's broader radar.  

Each of these outlets allows us to spread the news about community mediation to different and increasingly wider audiences.  It also allows us to customize our message to these diverse audiences.  We keep it buttoned up for our business-minded LinkedIn discussions, and then to kick up our feet for Twitter updates like how community mediation can help cool red faces after too much green beer.

Wendy E. Hollingshead Corbett actually started us moving in this direction in November 2009 when - as our then Jr. Co-Chair - she created and administered NAFCM's Facebook page.  That first entree into social networking taught us a lot.  We learned connecting online is an increasingly meaningful, educational, and powerful experience, not entirely dissimilar to the personal connections we daily encourage in our work as conflict professionals.  We also learned that online social networking is becoming a key source of information for those in need of local offline services.

With this new appreciation in hand, we want to encourage more community mediation programs explore their own online social activities.  Getting set up with many of the most popular services is incredibly easy, and regular account maintenance can be as simple as a couple minutes every few days...though your investment obviously influences your returns.  If you're looking for inspiration, take a look at NAFCM Board Member-Elect Joe Brummer's activity for Community Mediation, Inc.  You can also check out the regularly informative "Tip of the Day" videos uploaded onto the Virginia Conflict Resolution Center's YouTube Channel.  

Once you've taken the plunge (or if you're already posting and tweeting away), NAFCM wants to amplify your online voice.  We've created a simple online form for you to tell us which social networking or other online promotional services/activities you utilize.  As you tell us what you're up to, we'll use our own networks to encourage folks to fan, follow, friend, and support your online activities.  This is yet another way we're supporting your important work and spreading the community mediation message.      

Be heard, be seen, be social with NAFCM!

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM

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