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Thanks very much for this post. I'm planning to share it with my colleagues. As a PR pro who once managed a pediatrics department in a public hospital, I'm often amazed at how social media more closely resembles my old job than my current one. It's simple, really - be wherever the people you need to reach are, and communicate in their terms. That obviously requires a good deal of flexibility, but I've found that when it comes to delivering information public health pro's are much more willing to listen and learn.

Joy Sanderson

You make an excellent point - I definitely think that a great deal of the time, attempts at incorporating social media comprises largely of attempting to "put old wine into new wine bottles". Many people don't understand that it really takes a mindset shift in order to properly function in using social media. The whole web culture that has been developing requires a new way of thinking. The fact that it is now common to have web conferencing - with companies (http://www.vestanetworks.com/index.php) offering rates low enough for even non-profits to use, one can't help but realize that it is impossible to go about business as one did in the past. This requires a change in thinking as well as actions.


Sounds like you have cracked the nut. The issue with REALLY working with social media, and not just being a social media toolmaker, is that we need to change ourselves and the organizations we work in. That is what scares people.
Thanks for adding that perspective, and the DNA mutations that need to be replicated by others.


Well said!

The challenge is in the design of such systems and opportunities. If we look at traditional models of delivering benefits to our audiences with a new media spin, we aren't really progressing the value bar in a competitive, differentiable way. Sometimes social media tactics can seem great in theory, but is the gun too scattered? Are there too many options for the audience, that it becomes another thing to notice and forget, with minimal engagement?

In the work that I'm currently doing, we have a very close and tight knit community that we're aiming to serve and help extremely well, because it's our mission to enable our members, our family, to change the world. We're just the intermediaries. Any activities that keep us from that goal are only waste, and a drain on financial and human resources. So we must be mindful of opportunity costs. All of this ties into rebuilding our architecture for that future we envision. It's reflected in our DNA, our site, social media activities, community service, and holistic design (business model, technical, cognitive).

Thanks again for stirring my mind today :)

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