Rough notes from yesterday’s meetup with @andrew_davis, creator of Social Media Fundamentals course

Here are some rough notes with minimal editing from our meetup yesterday. If you’re near London, please join our group to keep up with this series of meetings.

Andrew Davis talking to the group

Andrew Davis started by outlining his career path. After graduating from Roehampton University in 2000 and failing to make a proper living from DJing for a year, Andrew, got a job doing chat moderation, working on sites like the BBC’s h2g2, first Pop Idol series, Friends Reunited. From this he got an understanding of child safety online.

From there he got job at Radio 1Xtra from 2002-2006. While in San Francisco, he was approached by MySpace (post Murdoch buyout), to lead the UK localisation of the site. He worked there for 2.5 years. In those days 90% of Youtube views were via MySpace, which brought home to him the importance of a widget, and embedding content a la Youtube. Then Andrew got RSI and had to change to new work principles.

As someone who’d met Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lily Allen, he got lots of invitations to speak at school about career. From that contact, he hit on the idea of developing a course. Took a bunch of 13 students who were borderline C grades and, within four lessons, all but one got at least a C grade. Media coverage for this and exposure at the BectaX conference led to Andrew being approached by Exexcel They were developing Digital Communications GCSE. Andrew got involved in teaching the teachers, to address the question of ‘What happens when you [Andrew] leave? How do we sustain the momentum you create’

He’s now done two courses:

  • Main GCSE one: assessing creative writing, presentation/persuasive writing, listening skills. How to express yourself in 140 characters (imagine you only had 10p credit on your phone)
  • Social Media Fundamentals (not accredited)

As a trainer, Andrew puts emphasis on personality. Don’t aim to be the most knowledgeable about social media, but to be the most entertaining.

Whether you’re a person or a brand, you want control. You can’t have control, but you can influence what people see first.

People think social media just means Facebook, but social media extends to many other kinds of online activity, including the following elements:

  • networks (Facebook)
  • content community (Youtube, slideshare, flickr)
  • blogs
  • microblogs
  • wikis
  • social bookmarking
  • location based (Foursqare)

If we did a video of this meetup, we could hit four or five of these without touching Facebook. It’s not about pushing your ‘assets’ out on all these platforms at once. The trick is to target effectively.

Four Cs of social media:

  • creating content
  • context for that content
  • conversations
  • conversion (or, in schools, conclusion)

Discussion session

Paul: one of the things about social media is the collapse of difference between pretend exercise or simulation and actually doing something.

Andrew: in Las Vegas there’s no ‘practice’ betting; you’re either betting or your not.

What happens if Facebook is successful in creating their own currency, accepted by Tesco, Amazon etc: they could then print their own money.

Is this a case of something that’s OK when a small transition town does it, but not when a large corporation does the same thing. The Brixton pound is a mutualised exchange not a centralised exchange.

Fred: the book The Facebook Effect suggests that Google is chasing the advertising for the 20% of cases where you know what you’re looking for; FB is after the conversations of the other 80%.

Bronya: social media are trafficking in our identities

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