attracting a younger audience

Just a really quick post before leaving - no time for a pic to liven things up.

 But I just came across a post by Ewan McIntosh about BECTA research  showing that young people aren't all proficiently using or have equal access to web2.0 technology, as it is sometimes assumed.

I would think the same applies to any audience you could mention. Just thought it was worth the point that while web2.0 technology has an awful lot to offer membership organisations they shouldn't assume that using them to recruit / retain necessarily speaks to as diverse an audience as they would hope.

oops - forgot my other point in the rush to leave the office

...which is that we shouldn't assume that web2.0 opens up membership organisations to a younger audience as a whole.  It's something we are working on at the RSA, but we need to think about more 'on the ground' methods of communications as not all young people are web2.0 happy.

 Sorry if this post is rather incomprehensible. Hope the main point makes it through anyway.

re: attracting a younger audience

Laura - I think you have hit on a really important point ... that social media isn't some magic ingredient that will attract young people, women or any other group that may display higher than general usual.

I suspect that those members who are social media users they may expect their organisation to offer that as part of the mix .... but offering social media won't attract "sm users". They'll probably find what's offered by any organisation less attractive than social media "in the wild" because of inevitable constraints.

What introducing social media will do, I believe, is push the organisation and its members to consider with greater sophistication just what the organisation is for, and consequently what the offer is to members. Is it mainly for member benefit, campaigning, project development? Each purpose, and associated activities, requires a different sort of media mix. I think that RSA Networks has already raised these issues, and no doubt more will emerge as the programme is integrated with the new site.

I hope RSA can continue to take a lead in discussing these challenges openly and encouraging others to join in. It's a foreign country, and we need all the guidance we can find!

I also wholly agree about a mix of methods.  Ed Mitchell has a good item and podcast on the need for blending online-offline and much more.