Gavin Wray

Sixth social media surgery for voluntary and community groups in Birmingham

Yesterday I spent a wonderful hour meeting Attiye Faraji at the sixth social media surgery in Birmingham.

Attiye Faraji and Gavin Wray

Attiye is a health and wellbeing lead for young people at Health Exchange, which aims to “make health services available and accessible to all members of our community”. It’s a partnership development between the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust and Birmingham City Libraries.

What’s a social media surgery?

Social media surgeries are informal meetups where voluntary and community groups can get free advice on how to make use of things like blogs, Twitter and YouTube. Chris Ivens summarises it better than I can:

With an abundance of buzz-words at every tick and turn and an almost daily mention of Twitter in the news we try to look at what technologies could really help your organisation and we’re here to explain in plain English what they are. It’s not a sales pitch nor are you obliged to do anything after the meet. I guess it’s the old cliché, ‘Giving Something Back’. If you come and find the session useful, please pass on the word so more people can benefit.

What we did

Attiye had already set up a test blog at a previous surgery. This time, she wanted to learn more about writing on her blog. We covered how to:

  • write a page
  • publish a blog post
  • review, approve and delete comments
  • change the look of her WordPress blog

We also played with a Flip video camcorder and both got baffled.

It’s wonderful to see Attiye get started at blogging and I hope she grows more confident with each new post. Hopefully, we’ve demystified the technology so she can concentrate on getting her message out and getting some discussion going through the blog.

How do these surgeries happen?

Nick Booth brings it all together. The ‘surgeons’ are volunteers and change from month to month. This time it was the super Jon Bounds, Nicky Getgood, Chris Ivens, Pete Ashton, Neil Houston, Kasper Sorenson and Andy Mabbett (apologies if I’ve missed anyone). Diane from Fazeley Studios also gives her time to keep the meeting venue open.

Keep an eye on for future surgery dates.

Hat tip to Nick for the photo.

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