unConference reaps fresh ideas

Ragan’s ‘unconference’ yielded a consensus and a few good ideas on using social media in organizational communication.

The format took a little getting used to. Attendees at Ragan’s all-day unconference on social media Sept. 26 kept forgetting that the idea was to tap into the “wisdom of the crowd.” During the first hour, they kept tying into the “wisdom of Steve Crescenzo,” the Ragan moderator.

The hundred or so participants peppered Crescenzo with questions: How do you ease an executive into blogging? What if the boss starts a blog and no one comes? How do you fit blogging, podcasts, wikis and other social media into the overall communication mix?

And Crescenzo, very much used to his role as communication Answer Man, kept answering their questions, based on his experience with various companies and his well-developed philosophy around social media.

Then he would interrupt himself—at one point bellowing, “I don’t want to keep talking!”—to ask the audience to respond.

Luckily, this crowd did have some wisdom to share, and along with the conference moderators who had chosen the four topics by identifying the most popular subjects of a wiki started before the conference.

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