Call for Comments: How Can SAA More Effectively Use Communication Technology?

In conjunction with the Social Media Forum to be held Thursday, August 25, 2011, CTWG invites individuals to contribute feedback regarding SAA's use of communication technology. Please review the following talking points copied from the slideshow presentation (see attachment below). Add your comments at the bottom of the screen.

Why are we here?

We want your input!

  • How can communications technology help SAA communicate better with its members?
  • Which communication technologies should SAA use?
  • How well is SAA currently using communications technologies?
    • Our goal is to conduct an informal SWOT analysis (see below).

Who is CTWG?

  • Rebecca Goldman, Digital Archives Technician at Drexel University; author of the web comic Derangement & Description
  • Brad Houston, University Records Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, home of the SAA Archives
  • Elizabeth Skene, Curator and Archivist at the Arab American National Museum
  • Eliot Wilczek, University Records Manager in the Digital Collections and Archives Department at Tufts University
  • Elizabeth Yakel, Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan
  • Brian Doyle (Chair), SAA Director of Member & Technical Services

"What is your quest?"

CTWG's official charge is:

"To investigate, evaluate, and recommend strategies for the effective management of online content created and/or maintained by the Society."

Why do we care about communications technology?

SAA’s Strategic Plan includes the following desired outcome:

"SAA will make increasingly effective use of current and emerging technology in order to enhance communication with internal and external audiences and stimulate collaboration among its constituents."

What is CTWG doing about it?

The SAA Council asked CTWG to conduct an environmental scan of communication technologies currently in use by the Society
and assess their effectiveness:

  • Create an index of existing technologies, projects, and procedures in use by SAA, by official component groups, and by ad hoc member groups;
  • Convene a public forum to present preliminary findings and solicit input to identify what resources and capabilities members need.
  • Compile and disseminate online the information received.

What is CTWG going to do about it?

This coming fall, CTWG will use your input to:

  • Analyze functional gaps;
  • Identify priority areas; and
  • Submit recommendations to the Council for consideration at its Winter 2012 meeting.

Which technologies is SAA already using?

Here’s a partial list:

  • Drupal content management system
    • Component group microsites (like this one)
  • SAA list server
    • Archives & Archivists List
    • Student Discussion List
    • Component group discussion lists
  • SAA Facebook page
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

What’s a SWOT analysis?

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a venture. It involves:

  • Specifying objectives
  • Identifying internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve those objectives.

From quest to questions

Restatement of objectives:

  1. Enhance communication with internal and external audiences.
  2. Stimulate collaboration among SAA constituents.

Discussion questions:

  • What STRENGTHS in SAA’s communications technologies help foster a sense of community among constituents?
  • What WEAKNESSES impede fostering of community?
  • What OPPORTUNITIES can the Society leverage:
    • To enhance communication between internal and external audiences?
    • To stimulate collaboration among constituents?
  • What THREATS may undermine or decrease the effective use of communication technology now and in the future?

Open discussion

We invite you to contribute your thoughts and ideas about these questions below. Also, please invite your friends and colleagues to participate. CTWG members will analyze feedback, identify priorities, and draft recommendations for the SAA Council’s Winter 2012 meeting.

Update: Review notes from the August 2011 Social Media Forum.

** The call for comments is now closed. Thanks to all who participated. **

SocialMediaForum-Aug2011.ppt1.33 MB
jgreen says:
Communication technology

Please use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with members during the Annual Conference and allow members and attendees to communicate with each other by providing internet access in all meeting rooms. 

Johan22568 says:
Yes and on-site meeting communication ...

I heartily agree with all of the above comments. Also, if there were a were a way to foster, speed (insert more accurate verb here) on-site communication between attendees and attendees and SAA staff at the annual meeting, that would be terrific. Perhaps better use of Twitter or Facebook could help solve this. (Emails usually bounce back.) This is a once-a-year chance to get together and meet in person. It would be great to make it easier to do so.

elawrimo says:
I would love to see SAA

I would love to see SAA provide informal venues for professional conversations. Essentially places where conversations started at conferences or on Twitter (or wherever) can be conducted in public - so that others can join in. For instance, I was involved in a conversation at the annual meeting about online outreach to K-12 populations. Surely others at the meeting and others who were unable to attend the meeting would also love to join in on this conversation. And I would personally love to see the conversation continue. But, right now, there's not a good forum (that I know of) for this type of conversation.

Jsevern says:
hosting and serving digital files (AV and image) for SAA groups

We in the Congressional Papers Roundtable are interested in developing the range of digital content available on our SAA Web pages.  Specifically, we have begun a video oral history project to document the history, perspectives, and events that comprise CPR.  We would like SAA manage these these born-digital files.  Currently, we are planning to hos and serve these files at a member's institutional server and through that institution's I Tunes U account.  We would like SAA to develop capacity and guidelines for serving up a full range of digital content especially inc;uding video for SAA groups like CPR.

Jill Severn

Chair, CPR 2010/11

grifsa01 says:
Other Organizations' Social Media

A question that was brought up by the working group was, "What other organizations are doing it right?"  Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) had a very successful social media campaign this past April.  They had assigned multiple staff members live tweeting and live blogging the concurrent sessions and meetings.  By having more than one person tweeting and blogging, it also helped add see other people's perspectives and what topics and points jumped out to them.  As a person said in the forum, it was also great to see the feeds from sessions that participants couldn't attend, as you can only be in one place at a time.  The tweeting and blogging was also helpful after the conference, as it jogged my memory while I wrote my travel reports and blogged about my own experience.

One other point about live tweeting and blogging: it gives an additional access point for people to join a conversation that otherwise wouldn't.  I was a new member and a first time attendee to MAC and by following tweets and having "conversations" with people through Twitter, I was able to make connections and share in the moment with other people in a less-intimidating way (versus face-to-face conversation with strangers).  Having something similar during future SAA meetings is a great way to reach out to those who may be too shy (or overwhelmed!) to join in the conversation and be involved in the SAA community.

CassieKilroyThompson says:

My day job is working with students with disabilities (SWD) at a university.  This is just a gentle reminder that whatever communication tools we use should be accessible to those with sensory impairments and/or other disabilities.