Making Social Media Meaningful

Today’s post is a bit of a departure, as I offer a window into Professional Amanda.

Of course, one of my primary goals this year is to merge Professional Amanda with the rest of Amanda – to begin making money from my writing, performing and possibly through teaching yoga. That said, something I really do love that I already do is public speaking — crafting and giving presentations, and/or facilitating discussions, that help and inspire people. So while social media itself isn’t a topic that lights my fire, the idea of speaking with PBS and NPR stations about how to use social media in meaningful ways — something I was scheduled to do today, at a conference in Nashville — is actually something that resonates deeply.

Let me back up. The conference in question is the National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) annual conference, where I was slated as a panelist at a session called “Don’t Tweet Your Lunch: Making Social Media Meaningful.” The session producer, Laura Hunter, wanted to help public media stations go beyond just having a Twitter feed or Facebook page that promotes their program schedule, to really using these and other social tools for meaningful community engagement. She invited me to speak after seeing me facilitate the weekly public media Twitter chat – I’m one of several co-hosts.

Then a major snowstorm hit the southeast, throwing air travel in the region into a tizzy; Tennessee declared a state of emergency. On top of that, the forecast was calling for 8-12 inches of snow here in New York on the night I was scheduled to fly home. Visions of cancelled flights danced in my head. So, after consulting with Laura, I arranged for a colleague, Amy Baroch, to take my place on the panel; Amy works for PBS HQ, and was already going to be at the conference — plus, she’s a rock star and I knew she’d do a kick-ass job.

So, what to do with my presentation? Throw it on the trash heap? No, my friends – this is the Internet. I posted my preso to Slideshare, and am sharing it here for your viewing pleasure. 

Here are some of the websites I consulted in crafting this presentation, all of which I highly recommend to any non-profit looking for guidance on social media strategy:

Featured in this post:

Another social media book I recommend:

 And if you’re curious about social media happenings in the public media universe, one great resource is Andy Carvin, NPR’s senior strategist for social media, who you can follow on Twitter at @acarvin. To get a sense of his skillz, check out how he used a new social media tool, Storify, to capture the story of the Giffords shooting last Saturday as it unfolded (including NPR’s mistaken report that Giffords had passed away, and its subsequent correction).

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