Learning via the Social Media Game

Tomorrow I am working with an esteemed group of coral reef scientists here in Hawaii to illustrate various ways to use social media. I will be using a version of The Social Media Game, an interactive learning process originally developed by my darling colleague Beth Kantor a few years ago. I’ve updated it and added 12 more “tools” – and am still missing a lot of those available to us today. It just shows you how much app and platform development continues in the sphere of online social networks and mobile options.

The confusing part is also very good news: it is very arbitrary whether we call something a “social network” or an “online broadcast” etc – most of these tools listed below easily fall into many of these categories! I’ve stayed as true as I can to Beth’s original designations though have added 50% more options! And my savvy readers will recognize right away many more that I have not (yet!) included on this list. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments so the net iteration will be even more thorough…if also more overwhelming for those who have not yet entered the social media space.

Note: I am rushing to get this live and will be updating it. Leave a comment so you can be automatically updated when changes occur! Second Note: In the PDFs below, I added even a few more tools!

Question from the workshop: How to find Twitter users in Hawaii? Check out WeFollow.com.

Here are the files I used to create the game cards and the situation cards. Please download, print, and use when creating your next Social Media Strategy. Mahalo nui to Tara Coomans for dropping in and assisting us in the game strategy session today.
social-media-tools-2011-07 (PDF)
situation-cards-2011-07 (PDF)
overview-time-commitment (PDF)


Google Analytics
Set up automated reminders for any mention of your org name or your product/service keywords.
How often should you get reports? Who will review & act?

Yelp/Trip Advisor
Customer-generated reviews of products and services. You can interact with them directly.
Have you claimed your business? How will you deal with negative reviews?

Google Alerts
Set up automated reminders for any mention of your org name or your product/service keywords.
How often should you get reports? Who will review & act?

Social Network

Customized content management systems (CMS) where your staff can access and edit the website and users can create their own blogs within your main site.
Is there a dev & support budget?

Set up an organization page on an existing popular social network to connect with others.
What will you name your page and what will you feature there?

Create your own niche online social network with ready to use blogs, RSS feeds, forums and more.
Do you have a community on the ground to support an online community? Or would you be better served to set up a community inside another social network?

Use for recruiting, research on potential contractors, ask/answer questions, create org profile.
When will you set up your profile? How can you ask for referrals? What about your staff?


Email List
Talk to your key supporters often.
How often will you use this and what data or content would you like to include?

Web and mobile updates. Hash tag conversations. Share links.
Is your target audience familiar with using this tool? How’s your understanding of social media etiquette?

Mobile Texting
Instantly text message your audience about urgent updates to their cellphones.
How will you collect and manage cellphone numbers?

Free or low cost calls over the internet with ability to record and conference.
Will you create audio or video interviews using Skype? Will you connect with others at low cost?


Commercial online project and content management system for internal use. Helps organize your team, save assets, plan events, archive files and processes.
Can you make time to learn a new system to save time?
www.basecamphq.com (Our Bare Feet Affiliate link)

Just now opened to the public, you can chat in private circles, video chat on the fly, and coming soon you can live stream video from within Google+.
Can you make time to learn a new system to save time and extend your communication abilities?

Allow your staff to explore and learn more about the social web.
Where will you start? What do you want to know to move forward?
Training Programs (Sign up for ours! www.knowhowcafe.com)

A wiki provides groups with collaborative publishing and work- space. Great for group editing documents or projects.
Confident about collaborating? Who will be the wrangler?

Social Bookmarks
Help organize your own presence on the web by tagging your own pages or pages related to your mission.
Willing to make an effort to tag and share so others can find you?

Private Groups
Facebook & LinkedIn allow you to create private groups. Manage invitees; they discuss and share.
Where do you and your staff spend more time?

Create custom tags for your org & events or concepts. Prepend with a # sign, aka a “hash” mark.
Have you created your main tag? Are you checking for duplicates?

Host an event organized on Twitter. Raise money, share info, meet face-to-face (IRL).
Does your venue tell the story? Are you more influential in person?

Media Content

Create audio-video stories of your projects and campaigns. Let users subscribe in iTunes.
Do you have a small budget for gear? Can your staff produce this content regularly?
www.blubrry.com – Podpress wp plugin

Create or archive photos online to share with others. You can also share find photos of other’s you can use under a creative commons license.
Will you create your own or use others? Create a group too!

Create or archive videos online to share with others. You can also share other’s videos.
What can you post? How will you share your channel with others?

Create a live (and recorded!) video stream of key events.
What stories make sense in real time? Who can monitor the chat?

Use QR Codes
Embed the custom graphic into your flyers or printed material. Lets users w smart phones jump directly to a webpage or get SMS.
Do you have a specific info page?

Share powerpoints and PDFs that can be embedded on other sites.
Do you have compelling presentations and/or data to share?

Online Broadcast

Other People’s Blogs
Find other bloggers passionate about your cause. Ask them to write about you.
Are you willing to do the research and pitch these bloggers?

News & RSS Feeds
Capture other people’s content using their RSS Feeds and aggregate (display) them on your website.
How will you choose your feeds? Do you have a feed?

Project Blog
Organization uses blog to support projects and events. Can have many authors
How will people know about blog? Will you add share links?

Personal Blog
Individual in organization writes personal perspective on a topic related to your org’s mission.
How will people know about the blog? What links will it include? How often will you post?
Or a custom WordPress blog via standalone hosting:
www.greengeeks.com (our Bare Feet affiliate link)
www.hostgator.com (our Bare Feet affiliate link)

Mobile Apps

A photo-sharing social network built around mobile apps plus artsy filters.
Do you have a smart phone? What photos are worth 1000 words?

Geo-location app, users check-in at your place, share with friends.
How can you support your regular fans/customers? Who will monitor this social network?

15-second videos straight from your phone to Facebook, Twitter, Email.
Do you have basic video skills to make yours engaging?

Facebook Places
Facebook creates geographical places that allow people to “check in” when they are there.
Do you already have a place? Are your fans checking in? Are you responding?

Event Tools

Sell tickets, email attendees, print name badges, free for free events, social sharing tools included.
Why just sell tickets when your attendees can share on FB & Twitter in one-click?