Whilst the national media have been busy telling us that Twitter may not be the platform to use to reach young people (although government departments are making it onto Twitter in increasing numbers), and Neilsen have been debunking modern myths about young peoples media use, we know three things:
- The vast majority of young people’s information discovery (about positive activities, and many other everyday issues) is social. It takes place via people they know: friends, peers and relations. This is often described as ‘word of mouth’, even if face-to-face conversation in fact played no part in it.
- Technology remains a key part of young people’s lives – and social technologies, from the mobile phone through to Facebook, are often the means through which “word-of-mouth” travels. Social technologies can change who is part of the conversation, where people seek information, and how that information flows between people.
- Young people are not a homogeneous group. Young people of different ages, from different areas of the country, and from different backgrounds behave differently. Including when it comes to how they use online media.
Which all means one thing:
- If you’re thinking about how to use social media to promote positive activities to young people in your local area – you need to involve local young people in developing your plans.
The Social Media Game is one practical tool you can use to engage young people in your planning. And we’ve got five copies of a Plings Remix of the Social Media Game to give away.
The original game, and remixes like ours, are avaialble under a Creative Commons license, which means you could just print your own cards and get started using it to explore your strategies for using social media to promote positive activities right away.
However, as we’ve got 5 sets of glossy printed game cards hanging around the Substance Office, we thought we would drop them in the post to the organisations who can leave the best comments below telling us about the most creative idea they have (online or offline) for promoting positive activities to young people. So – leave us a comment before the end of August and we could be dropping a set of Social Media Game cards in the post to you.
Using the Social Media Game
Our version of the Social Media Game is a remix of an original idea by David Wilcox and consists of a set of 20 cards with details of different online tools you might use in promoting positive activities to young people. Each card also includes a ‘budget score’ showing an estimate of how much money and time using that tool might involve.
To play the game with a group, you first need to come up with a scenario for who you are trying to reach. Invite the group to create (writing and drawing) imagined profiles of young people who might be in need of information about positive activities. Then introduce the cards and get the group to explore the different tools available to them, or to suggest some of their own.
You then give the group a set time within which to put together their own strategy for using the social media tools on the cards to promote positive activities to the people in their imagined profiles. You can set a maximum budget so that the group can only use cards with budget scores adding up to a maximum of 8 or 10 points (for example).
Invite the group to feedback their proposed strategy – and think about how their ideas might influence your own plans for using social media.
A conversational game
The Social Media Game is really about creating conversations and opportunities for exploring ways of using social media – rather than being a competitive game (although we’re sure inventive workers out there could add a competitive edge).
1) To be in with a change of winning a professional printed set of the Social Media Game cards you need to leave a comment below this blog post sharing a creative idea for promoting positive activities to young people.
2) We will judge comments as they come in, and send out packs of Social Media Game cards for the best comments;
3) Telling us about how you might use the cards to consult with young people about their ideal social media strategies for positive activity information sharing in your comment will boost your chances of winning as well;
4) We will keep this offer open until the cards run out, or the end of August 2009;