Social Networking (Week 8)
I'm at the International Master Gardener Coordinators Conference this week talking to the Consumer Horticulture CoP about eXtension and using social networking to engage users, members, and promote our materials. (Which is why I've been inactive the past several weeks - I've been preparing materials to present social media ideas!!) Some of the ideas I suggested included developing county and state MG pages, using Flickr photo, and YouTube, just to name a few ways MGs could use social networking.
One of the concerns brought up at the conference by some of the county and state Master Gardener coordinators about using Facebook for Master Gardeners is some of the safety and privacy issues, then also, some MG coordinators have the concerns that people may use Facebook in a way that might not be considered constructive. However, rather than throw these options out, we have discovered we need to use something different than the all too dreaded out-of-date listserve. We are going to dinner tonight to think about this. .....what would be a good tool for Master Gardeners - something that would be a bit more secure than facebook, but still allow community engagement? Wetpaint? Drupal? We really need just a secure forum, I think, but we will definitely need to go out to dinner tonight and brainstorm. Look for some kind of pilot Minnesota MG program on a social network near you soon.