Stay in Touch

8 Sep

I was working on my laptop between sessions at the recent WA-ACTE conference near Seattle when I overheard a nearby conversation:

– Did you hear the keynote speech?
– Yes, it was excellent. I wish I could get a copy of that presentation.

My ears perked up because we had just the solution.

Tim Knue, the Executive Director of Washington Association for Career and Technical Education (WA-ACTE) had the foresight to create an AssociCom community web site for the members attending their summer conference. Attendees could see who else was attending, could message one another, discuss and comment on the conference, ask questions and see conference information.

The solution to the wish I overheard was the community’s web based document sharing library which allows any member to upload documents and web sites.

James Pullman is WA-ACTE’s Social Media Consultant. He had the keynote PowerPoint. We quickly put a “2011 Conf. PowerPoints” folder in the library on the Community site and uploaded the file. Result:

  • Immediately every conference attendee could download the keynote.
  • No sign up sheets with incomplete and illegible emails.
  • No one had to email out an 8.3 MB presentation.
  • The presenter did not have to type emails from a pocket full of business cards in a plane on the way home.

James gave the file a short description and tagged it “presentation”. Later other members could add other tags they preferred to search on. They could also:

  • comment on it
  • engage in a discussion about it
  • ask questions about it
  • create a poll pertaining to it
  • flag it if they thought it was inappropriate or incorrect
  • add it to their personal web based community library

A web site provides information to members, but a community site with discussion capabilities and a web based library becomes a focus for member interaction and engagement.

It is farsighted to realize that the conversations in the hallway after a presentation can go on 24/7/365 with the aid of a well-designed online community. In fact, they could lead right up to the next WA-ACTE conference.

As I left the conference, I said to Tim, James and others I had met. “Stay in touch.”

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