Saturday, March 19, 2011

Building a Social Media Team

Today I write from Coloocan, a barrio on the edge of Manila.  I am out here because I am very excited about a group of youths.

Here in this urban community, Muslims and Christians live together in harmony in their humble yet warm and welcoming homes.  I am staying with Eric and Emily who are the elder leaders for the interfaith youth group that is based here.  I am very grateful for their kind and generous hospitality and the group they are helping to cultivate. These youth, who range in age from 10 to 18 are exceptionally motivated.  Over the last few years the have been trained by Peacemaker's circle-- a Manila NGO that through the United Religions Initiative helps set up "cooperation circles".  This youth group is one such circle.

They do some awesome stuff.

It was with them that we deep the Lights for Peace project which President Aquino, generals, and civic leaders partook-- literally hand in hand with the youth.  In my stay last month in their community I noticed their voracious passion for Facebook.  They are all on. They all spend hours each day chatting and sharing and poking and gaming and messaging.

However, the discrepancy between their peace passion and their facebook passion was palpable.

So, after some discussions and an invitation by Edmark the president, I made the long trip here to do a little social media workshop for the youth.  They were a little skeptical at first-- thinking they already knew all about how to use Facebook...

About 30 of them partook in two sessions today.  We went over really basic fundamentals of Facebook systems and most importantly-- organizing as a group.  The idea being, that with a little more understanding of the social media systems they are already using, they can co-creatively dramatically  empower their social actions.  Social media is where it is at these days.  This is where the potential lies to spark movements and manifestations.

We all got excited.  Now they too see the potential and our day ended in a internet cafe with a two hour flurry of connection coordination.  What a great experience and what a great community!

I can't wait to see what they will do!  More on our ideas tomorrow...

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