My UKYouthOnline session?

Tim is inviting people to put forward ideas for sessions at the upcoming UKYouthOnline conference on the event’s social network.

I have put forward mine: a social web surgery:

My idea for a session at the unconference is to run a surgery on how youth web projects might work. If people have ideas but aren’t quite sure how they could be put online then I can help out.

This could be an all day session, taking place wherever there is space, or maybe as a more formal designated slot on the programme.

I’m hoping that people are going to be walking around, buzzing with ideas for new ways of using the social web to engage young people. I’ll be on hand to do some digital enabling and help them decide which will be the best tools to use, and how they might go about getting things up and running.

I have already has some positive feedback on the idea. Any more thoughts or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below or on the thread at UKYouthOnline.

Digital Enabler

Since announcing that I am venturing into the world of self-employment, quite a few people have asked me the perfectly reasonable question of what it is that I am actually going to do. After much umming and ahing, I think I might be getting close to actually defining what it is that I can bring to a party.

It’s funny, that because this space is so new, and developing all the time, people are identifying new roles and niches all the time: we have buzz directors, social reporters, digital generalists… and plenty more besides, I am sure.

I’m plumping for ‘Digital Enabler’. The role as I see it is helping people figure out what it is that they want to do with the web, then equipping them with the skills and the tools they need to make a success of it.

Here’s an example: a policy team are planning a new project, and would like to get some public involvement in an innovative way. Rather than just jumping in at the deep end and starting a blog, or creating a Facebook page, they get Dave in to help. I guide them through what they want to do, using fun stuff like the social media game, so that the right platforms can be identified, as well as what resources might be required to do it. I then help set up any systems, whether blogs or wikis or whatever, and coach the people who will be using them on how it works, and what the best ways to interact with people are.

So it’s about making sure the right tools are picked for the right tasks, and that everyone knows what they are doing.

I’d be interested to know how useful people think this is as a role to be played, and whether ‘digital enabler’ is the best description of it!