The trials of being social media savvy

Rick Frost

Two years ago I started to write this monthly blog and I now have an archive covering 25 topics. Most relate to the Foundation in one way or another but every once in a while I vent about some bothersome issue like city parking tickets. This month is more like a confession.

My satisfaction with simply writing a blog was disrupted last February. I was on vacation in Florida and decided to spend a couple of days at a social media seminar for community foundations which was sponsored by the Knight Foundation. The venue was packed with perhaps 250 American colleagues and I’m sure The Winnipeg Foundation was the entire international contingent. We attended workshops and heard panel discussions. We were also challenged by plenary speakers, all of whom were on a mission to wake up the audience to new communication realities. Facebook isn’t just for kids. Half the users are older than 35 and if they aren’t our donors today, they will be soon.

So, we started a Foundation Facebook page. In the first month, 350 visitors used this route to find our web site. Clearly, we needed to put more resources in this area and I needed to get more up to speed.

I started accepting invitations to join LinkedIn networks, but — in my experience at least — after someone invites you to get connected, nothing much happens. I asked our staff to examine creating a group and perhaps that will soon emerge. In the meantime, I turned my attention to Twitter.

It’s pretty easy to open a Twitter account. I first thought my name would be RickatTWF and that was acceptable—no duplicates. Before pushing the confirm button, I thought of my colleague Rick Lussier and how people might get my Twitter identity mixed with his. I thought I’d better add an “F” after the Rick to keep everyone straight. I also decided to “follow” a couple of my staff so I could get to know how the system works.

I proceeded to tweet. First, I commented on the controversy about the new CUBE in Old Market Square. Then I noted three Manitoba students won Loran awards this year. That’s great news that should be shared!

The next day I felt very uneasy. First, I’m not sure I like the idea of “following” my staff. Then I noticed that my identity was RickFatTWF. Yikes! In my job it is plenty hard enough to keep your weight down without ridiculing yourself. I needed to delete this account.

But I’m giving it a second try. If you want to follow my short commentaries on Good Causes, look me up on Twitter at RichardLFrost. 

*This post originally appeared in Rick’s blog, you can check it out here. To learn more about The Winnipeg Foundation click here.