Having been to a few real world CSR events recently and not able to duck the subject of a certain
“real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations”
cropping up, I’m increasingly feeling like a salesman for Twitter. (where’s my commission @dickc ?)
I’m also noticing and uncomfortable with how often get mistaken for a social media expert. I’m not and I don’t pretend to be. I’m having a great ride on Twitter, I’ve definitely learnt more than a few social media tricks on the way but there are numerous eminently more knowledgeable people a Google search away.
At every event the process is the same. I say hello, social media enters the conversation, Twitter is discussed and then I feel uncomfortable and that I have to justify so many followers, before realising where they came from, and why I should be proud of this achievement. At the recent Sport and Social Responsibility Summit whilst sitting on a Q&A panel, Daniel Cade (@Responsiball) was playful (?) enough to compare me to the “Justin Bieber of CSR”… but without the followers. I still smilingly cringe at the memory, and for reference you really don’t want to hear try me sing.
Aman Singh over at Vault CSR last week wrote a great post on ‘In Defense of Twitter: 5 Reasons Why I’m A Mad Tweeter’ which I completely connected to and wholeheartedly agree with. Why do we feel we have to defend Twitter at all? Maybe its many of us are a generation that have had to adapt to social media rather than to have grown up with it. I love the simplicity of the platform and I’m constantly impressed by the tangible sense of community amongst the CSR / sustainability online fraternity.
At the core of my Twitter story it is that people absolutely fascinate me. I’m the type of person who can sit for hours on end on a park bench, in a coffee shop, at an airport, or on Tweetdeck, and just watch and listen as people pass by and try to imagine their stories, their motivations, history’s and futures. Businesses are people machines. Strip away the buildings and the highly polished brands and you’re left with sets of individuals acting with hopefully common goals. Beyond the physical boundaries of each organisation, businesses are groups of people interacting with other groups of people (stakeholders in consultant speak) – and usually forgetting about / oblivious to authentic self-fulfilment because they are blinkered by profit and paying bills.
Watching, engaging and learning from like-minded professionals and enthusiasts and educational events with #ridiculouslylonghashtagsthatseemtothriveintheCSRworld are Twitter’s forte. Combine this with the emotive context of many CSR themes and the global issues concerned and you are equipped, at only the cost of your time, with a fantastic tool for news, research and collaboration. One day I’ll write about some of the specific successes Twitter has given to me but I’m hoping this particular ride hasn’t peaked yet.
Back to the start…
For all those people I’ve actually been fortunate enough to meet of late and I’ve promised a couple of tips to begin watching and engaging the online CSR family, here’s some good places to start looking:
- Chris Jarvis – @RealizedWorth – 51 sites for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
- Susan McPherson – @susanmcp1 – Comprehensive List of CSR Experts on Twitter
- Lucy Marcus – @LucyMarcus – CSR Thought Leaders on Peerindex.net
Pick the ones you want to follow and let the rollercoaster take you where it will.
Enjoy the ride and share the learning 🙂