Saturday, October 18, 2008

Which Social Media Waves To Surf? A Latino’s Dilemma

Peter Kim’s poster: 234 social media marketing examples
reminds me of a question that keeps gnawing at me. I just saw this poster as I was following Bryan Person's note on missing the Social Media Breakfast in Boston. This phenomenon is new to me but one in which I will probably be participating some time soon because Bryan now lives nearby in Austin. It appears most users are seeing social media as a business development resource. Some are clearly using these tools for community development and social change but most of what I pick up from TWITTER and the blogs of key developers is that it is a business. It seems that these tools are ultimately being developed, explored and refined for paying the rent. That's good and I wish them all financial solvency. (If I’m wrong, the blog responses will give me rich resources to tap, especially if they give me very specific examples that differ and hyperlinks to follow)

But, how can these tools benefit the causes that I’m most concerned about?
Responses to my blog remind me that within the Latino community there are many families that have neither the access nor dexterity to connect effectively online. I agree that in creating community, furthering social change and catalyzing collective action, there is neither replacement nor stand-in, no Avatar, for direct, real face-to-face human contact. (Though I’m concerned about the Chicano/Latino/Hispano community I grew up in, these issues apply to all poor and struggling communities.)

Yet I also know that most young Latinos have access to, and use, phone and online connections that go way beyond what their parents and grandparents have and use. I’ve written before about specific experiences in which the young (pre-teen through young adult) show dexterity in tech use and great generosity and propensity to bring the adults along into the internet world.

My challenge is two-fold: 1) how to give the youth from the disadvantaged communities greater access to more tools and figuring out which tools are the most effective in furthering community development goals, and 2) How to continue exposing, teaching, spreading technology to adults in those communities where it is least present and hardly being used.

So, to return to the poster and the question that I opened with: which of these should be used? Where will the synergy happen fastest? What will enable the critical mass of connections so that the face-to-face organizing is accelerated, enhanced and extended through these tools?
I guess I need something beyond the excellent graphic by Brian Solis which I highlighted last month.

Or, it already is happening, but I’m not privy to that information.?!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comment:

Jeff said...

If the younger generation is comfortable with mobile technology, Twitter (via text) is a great community building tool. It's great to organize impromptu, spontaneous events, to share what's on your mind, and know what's on others' minds. The key is to build an intentional network with intentional goals.

Twitter has recently been described as answering the question, what has your attention. This is ideal for connecting a community.