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Friday, May 14, 2010

Making your Media Matter Conference 2010: What Makers Quest can teach us about impact assessment



Jessica Clark Center for Social Media – project manager for future of public media.net – spoke on new models for impact assessment. Talked about a recent action research project that she had overseen. She initially described the process – 1. Conduct 7 summits,in various cities. 2. Invite RFPs from producers for demonstration project where they were asked to use social media for impact: Result 8 multiplatform projects were funded at around $48K —one that really took off was mapping main st – Jessica and her staff were able to use this project to map the ripple of the impact. Read about projects at: www.MQ2.org

3. Best practice – tease out best practice from the demonstration projects.

What is really altering traditional ideas of impact is the notion of networks / what she describes as ‘publics’… rather than through festivals, networks are the new way that information is moving …networks also changing with the way you engage with your potential audience/disseminators during project construction/production.

Jessica was the first of the presenters to pose the question: Why assess impact?:
Came up with some familiar answers:
- to make sure you are serving your mission
- -benchmarks for strategic planning
- to be engaged with your users

She also described the elements of impact: reach…relevance…inclusion….engagement….influence

Jessica argued that what is now needed for us to assess impact is new tools

- unified social media dashboard
- social issue buzz tracker
- models for impact reporting
- a model for tracking network growth


Lessons learned:

- be solution orientated
- know what you don’t know
- seek partners
- self promote

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