Social Media Manifesto…part infinity…

I’m on a mission. And I’ve been on this mission for about two years now (since early 2016).

The mission? (See the below tweet)

Trying to convince the @ACSDivCHED (that’s the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education for the uninitiated) chair succession and ExComm (the Executive Committee for the same Division) as well as other committees (including the committee for which I’m social media chair – the Biennial Conference Committee (BCC)) of the truth of this tweet/mission has been a bit of a struggle because so many of the members don’t use social media professionally (or possibly personally). Therefore, these members don’t really don’t realize social media’s power. To their immense credit, the members and current chair of the BCC (the ever-awesome Dan Sykes) have allowed me to dream big when thinking about social media and we have already implemented some of my ideas (as well as ideas developed by others (i.e. Suazette Mooring and Reneé Cole) in the Social Media Subgroup). The chair succession (the again ever-awesome quartet of Cathy Middlecamp, MaryKay Orgill, Cheryl Frech, and newly elected Irv Levy) recognized the importance in the mission and immediately worked to form a team to work on all public relations for the Division. Since then, that PR team has stalled a bit because we’ve already reached the point where ExComm needs to make some decisions for us to proceed…but we’re still moving forward.

Long story short – much progress has been made and progress continues to be made.

The most progress (IMHO) has been made in the BCC. As a committee, we realized that part of our function is to not only help promote individual BCCEs but also to tell the BCCE story between the individual BCCE events. To fulfill these goals, we have started a Facebook account (ACS BCC) and a Twitter account (@acsbcc). We are also revamping our webpage and are generating a blog to curate the symposia and workshops that we (or others at each conference) capture (via live-tweeting, Facebook, etc.). The blog will also feature stories from those who have attended or volunteered for a BCCE. We may add a YouTube or Instagram account to post video if we are able to record video during the BCCE (it’s possible but still up in the air right now).

To really implement this vision, we will need help capturing BCCE 2018 as much as possible. We will be monitoring the #BCCE2018 hashtag and trying to capture as much as we can there. I also welcome anyone to contact me via Twitter or through the contact page if you’re interested in serving a larger role in terms of capturing what happens at BCCE 2018. OR if you’re interested in writing a blog.

But the social media revolution is still moving slower than I anticipated.

My dream for the Division, though, is so much larger than this.

And what we are currently doing in the BCC could be the model for every committee.

In my opinion, each committee (and publication) within the Division can (and should) have its own social media chair. Each committee should be actively using the social media platforms its members feel enabled and empowered to use. And a public relations committee should serve to bring at least one member from each committee involved in the social media (or really PR of any type) together to make sure the branding is consistent across the Division. The chair of the public relations committee should serve on ExComm to make sure the PR branding is consistent with what ExComm envisions (as ExComm is ultimately the governing body for the Division).

And this is only the beginning of my vision. What happens when we all begin to dream big? Virtual components of F2F conferences? Weekly professional development chats? Webinars? Virtual conferences? The RSC’s recent poster session on Twitter is only one example of the possibilities.

Can you begin to imagine the difference actually implementing this vision could make?

The overall communication and transparency for the Division would increase dramatically. Members who cannot attend a National Meeting or a BCCE due to monetary, disability, childcare, etc. issues could still actively participate online. Committees would have a better idea of what other committees are doing. Replication of tasks would decrease. Everyone would have a better idea of what goes on in the Division. And maybe, just maybe, folks who hadn’t considered being a part of the Division of Chemical Education would consider joining the Division.

Again – this is only the beginning.

But I do know one thing – it’s REALLY time for change like this to happen. Will you join me in trying to make it a reality?

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