Social Networking

Currently trying to develop a policy for using Social networking as a youth work tool, thinking about issues of the balance between meeting young people where they are and endorsing the use of particular networks, how much time? Can you measure the impact? I tend to work to a personal policy of I don’t add young people, I let them know I am there and will accept friendship invites from them but I don’t invite them myself. Do you have a policy? If so can I see a copy please, if you don’t but are working on similar things can we share ideas? If you weren’t even thinking about it but you’ve suddenly thought “if I were to produce some sort of policy I would include this” please share your ideas.
Many thanks
Simo

4 thoughts on “Social Networking

  • July 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm
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    Hey Simo

    Looks like Ricky has got there before me in pointing you to http://ukyouthonline.ning.com… If you get any other leads about policies from other sources – please do head over the the UK Youth Online network site and share the learning.

    It doesn’t offer a policy yet I’m afraid – but the research I’ve been doing at http://blogs.nya.org.uk/ywsn/ may prove useful….

    The emerging rule of thumb seems to be: start from a detached youth work policy/guidance and adapt for the web…

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  • July 5, 2008 at 12:54 am
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    Our policy is that where we use Social Networking as a ministry tool we do this under a ‘professional’ profile rather than a ‘personal’ profile, in much the same way as we’d use a work/ministry/professional email address with young people rather than an address we consider personal, or a work phone number rather than our personal mobile number (I know quite a few youth workers who have 2 mobiles for this very purpose). This helps to maintain the professional boundary between youth work and personal friends.
    We don’t admit young people (under 18’s) as friends on our own Facebook profiles. Although this seems a little harsh we felt it was at least a clear and understandable boundary and leaves open the possibility of using social networking in a positive yet professional way.
    This is a very current issue and the ukyouthonline links already suggested seem to be a good focal point for the debate.

    Jon Jolly has posted about this at http://www.jonjolly.com/2008/06/20/youth-work-and-social-media-boundaries-and-guidelines/
    and I’ve had a go at contributing to the conversation here: http://timabbott.typepad.com/timabbott/2008/06/youth-work-and-social-media-boundaries.html

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  • July 9, 2008 at 9:51 pm
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    We’re just starting to develop our strategy and also working out how to use social media. When we have something to look at I can let you know but would recommend the UK Youth Online Ning site as a good place to talk.

    We (West Sussex Youth Service) also have a number of mobiles and cover a large rural area so would love to chat around those issues too. I’ll also let our ‘Purple Bus’ youth worker know what you’re up to as he has also started looking at using social networking sites.

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