I just got back from doing a plenary session at the Arts Summit organized by the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations. It's gathering of arts leader from throughout New York State. I spoke about social media and future leadership in the arts - and also did a workshop. I had the pleasure of sharing the podium with Susan Chun who spoke about the Steve project. (Since we shared my laptop, she kindly gave me permission to upload her slides)
I have a long history with the arts community in New York. For 12 years, I worked on arts and technology projects with the New York Foundation for the Arts, beginning with its Arts Wire program in 1992. I've worked with Judith Weiner at the Alliance in many different capacities since 1994 - I built their first web site. I was a circuit rider for their Rurals Program where I drove all over New York state working with Rural Arts administrators - teaching them anything and everything from how to set up an excel spreadsheet to using email to powerpoint - to plugging in modems. (I don't crawl under desks anymore, I'm too old). As Phil Morris noted in his blog, it feels like home to be with this crowd.)
It was great to see many familiar faces - many folks who I haven't seen in at least five years, including Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, an artist and the director of the Arts Council in Queens, Andrew Salgado who runs Reader's Theatre Workshop, Phil Morris (the visionary behind Proctor's Theatre where the conference took place), Martha Strodel, Rural Arts Director, Robert Zuckerman from NYSCA, Elaine Giguere, Anne Ackerson, Caroline Thompson, Kay Stamer, Judith Levine, and many others. Some of my creative work in technology training was done during my decade plus two years working with the New York Arts community. Many, many memories ..
The plenary and workshop took place in the black box theatre with a huge projection screen. See the photos here. I took a few minutes to check out the gorgeous mainstage theatre, a historic theater renovated to perfect.
There was some excellent questions during the plenary from this very smart crowd. One that stuck with me was:
"I'm an older babyboomer. I'm comfortable with computers and the Internet. But, I just haven't paid much attention to the Web 2.0 stuff. I realize that I should get my hands on it to understand it better - so I can manage my staff better. My head is spinning (in a good way) but where and how should I get started. "
I have to caution people that when I share the results of my experiments and learnings - that it is a culmination of 6 plus years of daily exploration of Web 2.0. That's not where I began my learning journey. I tell folks that my recent experiences are like playing a Paganini Violin piece. But, I started with Twinkle, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Suziki lessons 5-6 years ago.
When my son, Harry, was three years old. He used to watch the Mark Morris and Yo Yo Ma Failing Down Stairs dance video. He really wanted to play the cello. So, we rented a 1/10 size cello and started on some lessons. He sawed, sawed away at all. But after a week, he said, "I don't want to play the cello anymore!" I asked him why. "Because it doesn't sound like Yo Yo Ma!" I had to explain to him that Yo Yo Ma didn't sound that way after he had played for week either - and that it takes practice.
So back to the question ... I offered some places to start and told her to live in that one thing for a couple of months. Once you master it, take on the next thing. I suggested a sequence of steps.
I had planned to do the social media game workshop, but after using a spectragraph to see if we had newcomers to social media and hear their burning questions, I decided to do some q/a and show them some basic getting started steps. (Similar to what I've done here - except adding a live Twitter demo)
One of the most important things you need to do as a trainer - is to listen and adjust on the spot. You have to be willing to toss out the lesson plan too -- ramp up or ramp down - and watch out if you're speaking in jargon. I've been keeping an inner ear for that and when I spew jargon - I mock myself in front of the group and translate. It gets a good laugh.
You can find the slides and resources at my Arts and Social Media wiki.