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Getting Old Pharts on Social Media!
Old 12-10-2015, 10:41 AM   #1
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Getting Old Pharts on Social Media!

I've asked this indirectly on other threads, but thought I'd go direct.

The tech savvy quotient here is higher than our generation (most here) at large. And I know it's an age old phenomena, older generations resisting technology.

How do we get my/our generation to at least give Facebook, email and other communication channels a try?

Instead of leading with a long winded description of our situation, thought I'd lead with the question posed by this thread. If you want more info, here's more background:

I am responsible for communications for an organization. Most of our members are my generation or older, and if we don't attract the next generations, the club literally dies off over time.

I'm not a tech wizard, but I enjoy change, and try to embrace "the new." Active on Twitter for years, and more recently on Facebook.

To my dismay, most of my club peers want to remain in a world where communications consist of phone calls, face-to-face communication, postal mail, hard copy documents (vs electronic) - and maybe email, maybe!

We simply can't rely on communicating everything one person at a time, too many members. And we can't reach new members without branching out using websites, social media, bulletin boards/flyers and other channels. Maybe we should be willing to use postal mail, but it's so much harder and more costly than email or websites - so I have not done anything via postal mail.

We've had website for quite a while, and I know it's used, but it's not at all interactive and our particular platform (free Wordpress) is poor for pictures - an essential draw IME. We had an active yahoogroup for a while, but it's not very user friendly, and it's pretty much gone dead. We also use email blasts occasionally, but that only reaches existing contacts, no one new.

So I've started up a Facebook page, and activity has been building. We have some new 'friends' that we were not reaching before - and many are those next generations we must connect with. I realize we have to keep the content interesting and frequent. And I've already noticed that pictures, videos & short verbal posts always reach more FB members. But how do we get old pharts to give a look in the first place? Can't be done? Take each one by the hand and show them online? Hope that a few will catch on, and peer word-of-mouth will do the rest?

I've set up our FB page to be all public, so they don't have to join Facebook to view. I would really like to avoid having to duplicate communications across web, yahoo, postal mail, Facebook, Twitter, bulletin boards/flyers, postal mail, phone call/trees, one-on-one conversations, pony express, smoke signals, etc. If I could condense it all to webpage, Facebook and email - it would be so much more productive. And using so many duplicate channels runs the risk of burying tech savvy members in the same message across all channels.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
To my dismay, most of my club peers want to remain in a world where communications consist of phone calls, face-to-face communication, postal mail, hard copy documents (vs electronic) - and maybe email, maybe!
Oh goodness, whatever will become of these poor folks?
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:07 AM   #3
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I think it's an interesting question. For the ones who won't even use email, hmmmm, that's a tough one. Going one-on-one to get them set up would be a lot of work, and then they might not do it anyhow. Maybe, and I mean maybe, getting one of their kids involved might help? Like have one of their kids (or younger club member) set up an email address for them, and the kids can inform and/or print out the info for the older member?

Quote:
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I've set up our FB page to be all public, so they don't have to join Facebook to view. ...
That's a good step. For reasons I won't go into here, I just prefer not to have a FB account at this time, but that's no reason I should be kept out of viewing a public sort of FB page.

Quote:
I would really like to avoid having to duplicate communications across web, yahoo, postal mail, Facebook, Twitter, bulletin boards/flyers, postal mail, phone call/trees, one-on-one conversations, pony express, smoke signals, etc. If I could condense it all to webpage, Facebook and email - it would be so much more productive. And using so many duplicate channels runs the risk of burying tech savvy members in the same message across all channels.
Valid concerns. It generally works out to have an announcement email cover the issues, and a link to the website if there is info there that is just too much for email.

I've got almost the opposite problem. We have a lot of younger peopl in my beer-brew club, and some want to go nuts with info spread all over the place (like you describe) - twitter, facebook, etc. We have a web site, it has a discussion forum - keep everything centralized is best, IMO. At most, maybe a FB presence that just points back to the web site. I don't want to have to look at multiple places to get updates, and that is generally what happens when you have multiple sources.

Good luck!


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Old 12-10-2015, 11:24 AM   #4
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I don't care for the lack of anonymity on FB. Its horrible UI is another factor, very early '80s. Yahoogroups was OK until they hosed it with their Neo UI.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:30 AM   #5
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I think that Instagram would be a good platform for your group to use, both to attract younger members and also showcase photos.

Don't know what to tel you about the oldsters, my parents can't text, won't check email, and mom is just barely on Facebook after an intensive set of lessons I gave her.

You can set up Wordpress (iirc) to push posts out to other platforms when you publish a blog. That might make it a bit easier to keep up with the different environments. But for those stuck on email only, that's a tough one--though they could subscribe to updates of the blog section of the site, and therefore get an email letting them know there is new content.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #6
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This is a very good question. One organization that I am a member of is having this problem with a young person, whereas the older members are completely comfortable with most social media. The old phart stereotype does not always apply!

I think it's key to show how using the social media can provide value. For example, if your organization uses forms, make them available via the website, but consider charging for the costs of printing them. If there are procedures that people need to follow, consider making a video that can be posted on YouTube and posted on the website. Make sure that there is an email link on the website and that questions receive a response in a timely manner. A user friendly website design is also helpful, and it must be kept current. Post events and reminder there. Make it easy to use the medium you want to promote as the default. Once you get the early majority on board, momentum will spread.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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Many times it's just a matter of getting people to understand there will be someone available to help them. I have a friend that's a few years older than me. He lives in a farm by himself and I had asked a few times why he never bought a computer. He was afraid he wouldn't be able to use one. I finally convinced him I would be available to help him with any problems. That was about 3 years ago; now you would have to fight him before he would give up his computer. he now has both a Facebook and instagram accounts.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:28 PM   #8
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I think a much better question is how do we keep young pharts off of social media.

While do agree about getting people onto email (vs. snail mail) for certain activities (HOA, clubs, etc.), the social media sites are such incredible time wasters I wouldn't with them on anyone who prefers real life to cute animals and stupid human tricks. Heck, I waste too much time on this site, and it's at least got some redeeming value to it (sometimes). I have accounts on most social media platforms (I had to for work, testing security concerns), but I very rarely look at them. Leave the poor old pharts alone. They'll do what they want to when they want to. They've earned it.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:31 PM   #9
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Is it the kind of organization where you might demonstrate the process of looking at the page without joining FB on a big screen during a meeting? Also if finances and/or time are a concern and the membership cares about that, draw up a comparison about the cost of creating/printing/mailing a newsletter vs. putting items on FB (which is also more timely and frequent).
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:38 PM   #10
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I really don't know what you can do about it. I'd say you have your best chance with e-mail. But if they don't do e-mail, then I think you have your work cut out for you. You may have to pay for snail mail.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:07 PM   #11
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Good stuff. I was thinking about offering support and demos, and it should help. But beyond those in my gen who just won't try, there are others that are embarrased to reveal what they don't know - so I have to be careful (with their egos). Thanks!

Just this afternoon I was talking to a reasonably open minded & knowledgeable Board member (an Engineer by trade) who needed to send out an email to 40 people we met with last night. He said 'I don't know if I have all their email addresses?' I told him they were all on an email we both got with the meeting agenda in advance 2 days ago, and to just reply all to that email, delete the original message, add his new message and change the title. He was amazed/surprised...told me 'that's clever.'
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:33 PM   #12
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I was thinking about offering support and demos, and it should help.
That seems like the best way to go, give them a demo and show them how it could help them communicate with across the organization and with their family members and other groups/subjects that they may be interested in.

It seems that a while back, there was thread about whether folks were using Facebook, and it was surprising to me that many wanted no part of it. I use it to communicate and share with family, friends and special interest groups and its great from my perspective.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:47 PM   #13
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Many of my friends are like Midpack describes. I know how much they are missing out...since at one time I was that way. I have tried and tried to convince them about all the things they are missing out on. And showed them. But it just goes in one ear and out the other. Many people do not want change and will not take the chance on learning and trying something new. I have given up on those people.

What is frustrating about the whole deal, when a situation comes up using these new forms of communication, everyone is in the loop and everyone learns and the problem gets solved by the group. The ones that are not in the loop and will not learn these new things stay in the dark. They are very often the ones to have or create the very same problem or situation the others in the loop have solved earlier and start asking others how to solve their problem.

It is counter productive and I have learned to not get involved since they will not meet the others half way. I do not have an answer on why many people want to stay closed minded other than fear. And they will not ask for help.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:58 PM   #14
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Another comical example. At last nights meeting, we were finalizing an online event schedule, and Ted (made up name) said 'it sure is hard to find where online to enter each event' (true as events are run by different clubs, so varying entry methods).

Joe (made up), says it would be easier to hyperlink each event with the respective entry website, 'so the view we can just click on the event and be taken straight to the entry website.' A good idea for sure.

Ted replies, 'that's fine, but can you also type out a list ("www.xyz.com") of each website at the bottom of the schedule?'

Everyone just let it pass. Presumably the next schedule will have hyperlinks, and Ted will catch on...
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:02 PM   #15
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No surprise to anyone here, but many of our generation who have social media savvy, have only done so to keep in touch with their kids/grandkids. Whatever it takes...

A friend who's online all day/every day today confessed to me she fought it tooth and nail for a long time, now she couldn't do without.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:13 PM   #16
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I do some volunteer work for our association, and the office lady said that emailing our committee would be a lot easier if she didn't have to enter all of email addresses of our committee members when she had stuff to send to us. I set up an email group for her. She had no clue that was possible.


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Old 12-10-2015, 06:20 PM   #17
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I think there are various groups. The most difficult would be someone like my mother. She does not have internet access and literally doesn't know how to use a mouse or computer (I cut her some slack -- she is 92). From her standpoint, computers and having internet at home really didn't become common until she retired. She saw it as something like cable TV (which she has never had). Something that costs money that doesn't add any value. She gets increasingly upset when she calls some place of business to do something and then gets told to go do something on their website.

For the people in your group who don't even do email, I think you can still snail mail them. If someone gives an email address then you email them stuff. Others get the snail mail (the more radical solution is to simply require email and just let people like my mom go).

I think the public FB is a good idea as even those who don't do Facebook can see the information if they have internet access.

Send emails with links to the places you want people to go. You might also consider text messages for those who would prefer that.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:59 PM   #18
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This is a great discussion. Thank's for bringing it up.

I'm one of those tech savvy folks who is fighting the pressure to fully embrace the new social media. Even when I was employed climbing the professional ladder, I resisted SM such as LinkIn, FB, etc. I always thought it was too invasive of my privacy and I don't like hearing about others personal business. SM has big tentacles and can be very noxious.

Also, from having a household with more devices than I can keep track off, I can say I'm finally fed up with the upgrade cycles and "new and improved" ways of accomplishing the same thing. This is a major problem for the more senior among us. Everything is constantly changing and it's almost a full-time job to continually learn the new changes.

I venture to say that even the generations that are being raised on this stuff will eventually pull back once they move into their 50's, 60's and beyond.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:21 PM   #19
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In my professional life before retirement, I was required to be plugged in and use all of the latest and most cutting edge SM. Use of the latest technology was just expected. Now retired, I cease using all SM. I use technology often, but only as a tool. SM has become the new television from a value add proposition: some good, some bad.

Frankly, other than for job use, LI never did a thing for me professionally (I think it's overblown for many job hunters--and part of my work involved recruitment). I never thought much of FB, particularly given the privacy and metadata concerns. I do have a fake FB account for when I Google people. I am not interested in your selfie with your burger, or pics of your cat (BTW, the other name for Facebook is TimeSuck. Think about it). Not much a pic taker so snapchat and the like are of no value to me. Used versions of Kik and Skype for work. I'm not chatty on the phone so I'm not interested in them for personal use. I have to admit to not having really investigated Pinterest.

I do feel the concepts of (certain) blogs, forums and speech-to-text were invented just for me. Regarding STT, who needs email or VM when you can just talk into the phone and the person gets it instantly? Setting up a get together? Simple, I talk into the phone. They text back and it's all set. Love it.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:25 PM   #20
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Bah.

I have FaceBook and Twitter accounts. They were requirements for various professional activities, so I opened them. Then I locked them down tight. No friends, no 'public' content, no nothing.

I've have people ask for my Twitter so they could follow me. Sure, kids. It's kind of quiet, though...
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