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Social media in community service -

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Social media in community service


Note: E-Democracy.Org will not be submitting a proposal at this time to the Federal government, but is interested in pursuing this idea with interested partners.

Answer our quick survey on whether you'd like to participate in this proposed e-conference, present, or partner with this proposal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service has a call out to grant "approximately $8 million in funds to support national providers of training and technical assistance for community service programs that use service and volunteering to meet community needs." In training Category Two there is $3.5 million available to support multiple winning proposals.

E-Democracy.Org, with our direct experience in providing volunteer opportunities that deliver community service online through local/neighborhood Issues Forums (including current efforts in low income/high immigrant areas), promotion of the use of social media in local public life including citizen media webinars, yearly trainings provided to the Twin Cities-based Americorps Community Technology Empowerment Project, our "rural voices" online community of practice convening and recent unconference leadership, is in a position to craft a modest and innovative proposal.

Per the call, this proposal will likely be a Category Two type leveraging the significant infrastructure funded in Category One. While we would likely advise those building/deploying Category One technology, we will bring outreach, content, and facilitation which melds the power of in-person training with the untapped potential of "anywhere, anytime" e-participation to community service training.

In a nutshell, the developing idea includes:

  • Social Media and Public Life E-Conference/Webinars
    • A one week online conference with real-time and asynchronous sessions and keynotes using a hands-on mix of social media reaching at least X,000 registered participants. There will be a modest fee to register ($20?) which helps solidify commitment and participation. However, scholarships will be available.
    • Reusable post-conference output will include at least 30 on-demand webinars, fact sheets, etc. created by social media experts
    • The e-conference tracks will be designed to attract a diverse range of institutions and organizations hoping to use social media in public life in order to strategically introduce opportunities for supporting community service and voluntarism with social media across public life.
    • Additional funding to support complementary tracks (e.g. Government 2.0) may be sought and would work to increase the exposure of community service use of social media across public and community institutions as well as allow those in community service to learn from related sectors.
  • Regional Community Service Unconferences - In-person tech infused "barcamps" or "unconferences" with real-time webcam connections that leverage momentum and interest from the e-conference. The e-conference will include "Meetup-style" tools to foster peer to peer regional connections.
  • Direct Community Service through Social Media - In-depth in-person training with a focus on using social media to "do" next generation community service. Our unique field experience creating and facilitating neighborhood online Issues Forums will encourage new opportunities for direct volunteerism and service to communities especially to needy communities. This training will go far beyond the use of social media to build awareness of non-profits. It will attract donations and/or volunteers, since we utilize social media in pioneering, unique ways to directly reach people and to meet public challenges.

Opportunity for Social Media Experts

E-Democracy.Org being an "open source" style organization seeks to develop a draft list of interested sub-contracting individuals (who would work under federal day rate requirements) who would like to be considered candidates for e-conference session trainers/hosts.

Tentatively we envision at least 30 session hosts producing:

  • 2-3 Minute Video Summary (placed on YouTube, etc. to outline promote their session)
  • 500-750 words of text with two images for a one to two page handout (will be designed for printing in PDF as a series)
  • 30 minute recorded, high quality "screencast" with downloadable slides
  • "Live" or time-based Q and A/panelist interaction throughout the week - Each session should have at least two live webstreamed sessions (we will probably use LiveStream or UStream)
  • Facilitation of at least two small group "home rooms" with an intentionally diverse mix of registrants for pre-conference getting to know you mixing (approximating meeting someone in the lobby or the first reception)

The day rate for sub-contractors will be a modest $340 a day "base rate" with 10 days - ~5 for content development and ~5 for full-time conference participation. Those consultant sessions attracting 50 and then 100 registered participants will receive an additional $100 per day for each 50 additional participants. The range for consult compensation is therefore $3400 to $5400.

Under federally funded agreements broad sharing of these products is required. E-Democracy.Org will take this a step further and release all produced content at no more than six months after the e-conference under the Creative Commons for all to access. Consultants who restrict access to their slides and/or recordings of their presentations should not consider this opportunity.

Next Steps

Steven Clift, E-Democracy.Org's Executive Director will circulate an online survey across a number of community service-oriented online communities to determine interest in the ideas outlined above. The survey will ask people to identify people in their organization or outside consultants they would like recommend as session leaders (consultants). A list of potential Social media in public life presenters will be opened up on our wiki with those interested asked to describe their proposed sessions, etc. (There will of course be a full vetting process and agreeing to be listed as a potential consultant in a possible proposal is not a guarantee that anyone will be sub-contracted.)


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