The Inclusive Economy
DC Social Media Summit Redux
By Sean Luechtefeld on 06/21/2012 @ 05:00 PM
At the end of last month (how is it June already?), I presented as part of a session on blogging at the DC Social Media Summit, an event hosted by the Center for Nonprofit Success designed to help nonprofit leaders expand their communications reach and make sure their voices are heard. [For those of you who read my posts regularly and are wondering why they asked me of all people to present, keep your comments at bay.] Also presenting on this session were Julia Rocchi of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Brad Weikel of EarthRights International and Mickey Panayiotakis of Infamia. I wanted to share my reactions to the session.
First and foremost, I had a blast.
I recognize that makes me sound like a nerd, but allow me to explain. First of all, the other presenters were great. Julia, for example, blogs exclusively about old stuff, and yet, by the end of her presentation, I wanted to visit her blog immediately. Mickey, on the other hand, gave a presentation about Search Engine Optimization. Did you know that when figuring out which part of a webpage gets the most attention from a user, they actually conduct retinal scans to see where your eyes focus the most? Retinal scans. My mind: officially blown.
Second, and more importantly, I guarantee I learned more from other participants in the session (presenters and attendees) than any of them learned from me. My top takeaways? Thanks for asking:
1. Good visuals are as important as good writing. This is something that people say a lot, but the extent to which people consume images is increasing way faster than the rate that people consume copy, and more and more web users receive the majority of their content visually. Need proof? Visit www.pinterest.com.
2. Partnerships are to content development as farmers are to vegetables. You can’t have quality content without having quality partnerships. Even if you don’t have formal content-sharing agreements, partners can provide information, expand your audience and provide guidance on how to frame key issues that might fall slightly out of your wheelhouse.
3. Not all audiences are conditioned to read your content. In other words, what you understand with ease as an assets practitioner may not be easily understood by a transportation specialist. But, there’s not a landing page for your blog that says “transportation specialists keep out,” so make sure your writing is inclusive of their level understanding. (Sidebar: One of Brad’s recommendations is to run your content through a readability meter before posting. My last post, for example, is written at the level of a first-year graduate student, which I consider a success, since I’ve been in graduate school for just shy of an eternity.)
Above all, I enjoyed this session because I think communicating the message – no matter what it is – is something we could all do better, and sharing insights with one another is one of many steps to achieving that higher level of impact.