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Research, projects and events on topics related to social work and social care. 

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Jan 15, 2010

Part of the Iriss Masterclass series, Euan Semple - talks about embedding social media in the workplace.
Euan Semple

Euan was Head of Knowledge Management at the BBC from 2001-2005 and is acknowledged as one of the leading social media experts in the UK. Since leaving the BBC three years ago he has worked with major organisations such as Nokia, the World Bank, and NATO.

The following is a transcript of Euan's presentation on the theme of social media, and specifically how it can be used to create a learning organisation that can connect to, and empower, its service users.

Taking these ideas forward All the resources and applications displayed below are free of charge and all outlined words are links to other websites.

Guides and handbooks to social media
For a general overview one of the best guides of how social media might be relevant for you and your organisation, and the different types of platforms you can use and how to use them is Social by Social – you can download a PDF online for free or buy the book.

If you are concerned about what you should and should not share on the internet before you get started reading Social by Social and signing up for any websites – here is a great little video on Protecting Reputations Online that recommends the approach you should take.

Iriss has many resources on social media.

Euan Semple also recommends the book the Clue Train Manifesto to read more about the concept of Web 2.0 – a term associated with web applications that open, collaborative and about sharing information.

Following, reading and writing blogs

If you want to set up a blog try one of these blogging platforms Blogger is the easiest to use or alternatively the more sophisticated Tumblr or WordPress can be completely personalised to change the layout and add imagery. If you are just starting you may want to start with a Blogger site and then later you could set up a WordPress blog and migrate across the older blog posts.

Some blogs and websites have a RSS feed – which is a way of keeping regularly up to date.

Joining and using social networks

LinkedIn and Facebook are two social networking sites with different purposes – and you will often find that people are registered with both. LinkedIn is largely used for professional networking – it holds details about your jobs and connects you with people who have worked for the same organisation. You can choose for it to link into other programmes you may be using including Twitter, SlideShare and WordPress. Facebook tends to be used for keeping in touch with personal contacts – people can share photos, message one another, organise events amongst lots of other features.

Social networks can be used to simply connect with people who you are friends or per.haps work with – but can also be used very positively to find people who have similar interests (in and out of work) and as a recruitment tool.


Twitter is halfway between a mini blog and a social network – as you connect with other people through it and use to write thoughts, comments and messages.

You can sign up for an account with Twitter on their website and if you want to understand more about this service watch this video. Once you have signed up for a Twitter account, we would recommend that you use a tool such as Tweetdeck to manage people and lists that you are following, and also for searching specific topics. If you can't download soft.ware to your computer just login to Twitter to manage your account. If you are wanting a step by step guide here is a nice little introduction.

If you want to have a feel for what people are talking about on Twitter you don't have to register or logon – just go to the website and type a topic of interest – eg social care – in the search bar.

Using social media to manage knowledge and find information

SlideShare is a great resource of presentations from around the world – which you can search by topic, theme, person name, etc. People upload their presentations which other people are free to browse. Here is a presentation on how to use SlideShare.

Wikipedia is a well-known online encyclopaedia that many people around the world have contributed to. If you are interested in adding to a Wikipedia page here are some good instructions. If you are interested in how Wikipedia used the knowledge of many people around the world to build this encyclopaedia from launching in 2001 to containing over 15 million articles in 2010 these two books are fascinating and accessible reading : Wikinomics and also the Wisdom of Crowds.

Recorded Composing the Future, Innovation by Design, Glasgow.

Transcript of episode

Music Credit: Increase the Dosage by Revolution void