#SHIFT SoCal Technology & Digital Media Convening
Initally mentioned as a lighthearted quip on the nature of our gathering, this hashtag eventually came to embody the spirit of ZeroDivide’s kick-off #SHIFT convening and even popped up on Twitter, where it eats up a 20 precious characters (not a best-practice, by the way).
Held earlier this month in Long Beach, #SHIFT SoCal was the convening of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) southern California network. BHC is The California Endowment’s 10-year initiative that invests in 14 diverse communities across the state to improve their physical, social and economic environments.
Since 2010, ZeroDivide has been working with the Hubs —the central coordinating in each community—to identify ways to integrate technology into their efforts, and to help identify and address common information and communication technology needs across the project areas.
The #SHIFT SoCal convening was an opportunity for the representatives from the southern Hubs and their community partners to gather and learn through a community of practice. Together they worked to leverage the latest CRM and social media tools and explore how to improve relationship intelligence and program outcomes. The northern California BHC network will be gathering for #SHIFT NorCal at the end of May.
We asked a couple of participants of the first convening to share their observations on the three-day event. Here, in their own words, are how they #SHIFTed from the experience:
Director of Communications, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
(Mariam was a featured content expert and presenter at the convening)
“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love #SHIFT”
I had no idea what the aforementioned phrase meant before I attended ZeroDivide’s #SHIFT SoCal conference in Long Beach, but by the end of the three-day convening, I was dropping that phrase like my life depended on it.
As a speaker at #SHIFT SoCal, I was asked to present social media in a way that enables participants to engage with their communities while addressing the realities of organizational challenges to bandwidth and resources. A successful campaign requires a shift in behavior—not just externally, but internally too.
That’s intimidating stuff, right? Thankfully, the good folks at ZeroDivide and The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities campaign approached the conference with a great sense of humor.
I, for one, finally got to incorporate a doge meme into my presentation. But it wasn’t just fun and games. Our meeting room was an open door to any and all questions on how to improve relationship intelligence, cultivate stories, and leverage communications technology. Participants and presenters alike live-tweeted the event and #SHIFTSoCal soon gave way to #SHIFThappens and #teamworkmakesthedreamwork.
And it’s true. Teamwork really does make the dream work. No viral infographic or successful Twitter campaign or high-profile media coverage is possible without all hands on deck and this common thread was reflected in each and every session at #SHIFTSoCal.
Social media and technology infrastructure are not one-offs. In order to truly be effective, we need a long-term relationship with these tools. New media has throttled messaging to expand at a speed and scale previously unfathomable, which means that how and when we respond is impacted, too. That’s where #SHIFT comes in.
As the conference came to a close, we all walked away with a renewed sense of commitment to building stronger and healthier communities—and campaigns.
As it turns out, #SHIFT really does happen.
Social Media Coordinator, City Heights Town Council
(Maurice works as a partner organization to the San Diego Hub, Mid-City CAN)
My name is Maurice Federle and I am the social-media representative for my group. However, I consider myself far from being completely tech savvy, so when I heard about the #SHIFTSoCal convening I jumped at the chance.
My group, the City Heights Town Council works in collaboration with Mid-City CAN in the San Diego Hub.
I thought the conference would be a great opportunity to bolster my knowledge and get answers to some of my basic questions regarding tweeting ( I have a bit of tweeting shame) and other basic questions.
One Step Back
The introduction by the #SHIFTSoCal team was very positive. All the #SHIFT team members were positive and upbeat (#teamworkmakesthedreamwork!) and I was confident that this conference would be a good one. My initial enthusiasm started to falter though when words were brought up that I had never heard before. Tools such as: Grovo, Evernote, Hojoki and Hootsuite, were foreign to me.
What the hashtag is a media dashboard? What is a "Relationship Funnel"??
I knew that I was a relative newcomer to the social media game, but I really didn’t think that I was such a neophyte that I wouldn’t even recognize words!
Two Steps Forward
My initial enthusiasm picked back up when I embraced my lack of knowledge and let my desire to learn take over. The conference sped by over the three days.
The sessions were all given in manageable bits and the team made it easy to not get overwhelmed. We had our choice of sessions and it was all very interactive. I had all of my basic questions answered and more.
The Zero Divide #SHIFT convening opened my eyes to all sorts of possibilities that I hadn’t even thought of before I went.
I got over my tweeting shame and I actively tweeted during the conference. I learned things that I can now take back to my community to share. Media Dashboard—perfect for the City Heights Parent Leaders Group. Relationship Funnels—I am going to use for our neighborhood groups. Grovo—I am taking the on-line tutorials. All in all it was a very useful conference and I also came away with getting to know a great group of people.