Social Media and Support Communities
Social Media is a hot phrase currently. It’s an extension of the idea implicit in that Times Magazine selection of YOU (that’s all of us) as Person Of The Year in 2006.
The World Wide Web (www) or the Internet is a superior way for individuals to connect with, to communicate with and to interact with other individuals. Some of course are using it to create other cyber-worlds where they can have a Second Life or even merely Twitter with their buddies. Others see the immense power it gives to support their activities in their First Life. For example it gives communities a way to strengthen their identity and provide a welcoming portal to encourage others to participate.
That was the theme of the Community 2.0 Conference held in Las Vegas last week by the Community Management & Marketing Council. This was billed as the inaugural event for forward-thinking organizations that recognize the need to harness the network effect of community to make smarter, faster, and better business decisions. Although it had a business focus, the same principles can apply to any organization including NGOs and indeed any social communities. Those interested can find a flood of interesting blog posts about the goings-on at this event.
Here in Montreal, the Gazette this morning points to a most welcome Community activity.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 24 English-language community organizations across Quebec for the purposes of supporting and assisting the development and enhancing the vitality of the English-language minority communities, as well as to promote and support the use of the English language in Quebec. This is undertaken principally through cooperation in the prioritization and development of projects and through the promotion of an effective coordinated approach.
On March 13th, the QCGN launched the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI). Recently volunteers from the community have been hard at work consulting greater Montreal area residents on the issues that affect us the most by way of a series of community forums. The next major event is a public forum at the Hotel Hilton in downtown Montreal from 6:30 to 9:30 on the evening of Wednesday, April 11. You can keep up to date on what the Community is doing by subscribing to their Quarterly Newsletter.
Any business that is serious about Internet Marketing should be making sure that its Social Media Marketing (SMM) is developed with a constant attention to the communities it serves. It will turn out to be a win-win arrangement for both the business and the communities.