Research Thoughts

A Rant. I apologize.

While this has nothing to do with genealogy, this is weighing heavily on my mind. For the past nine plus years, I have been the webmaster and social media “person” for a local organization. I was asked to do this volunteer work by a member of the former administration. I was happy to do this work for an organization I believed strongly in, and as this is a vibrant, active community, I took it as my mission to update weekly the website with the schedule of activities. When social media became a strong player in how to market and reach your target audience, I was asked to add this to my list of duties. I was part of a study group as to HOW to use Facebook and other social media to most effectively reach our audience, and I worked hard at creating new content, sprinkled in with some shares from other like organizations, that I felt was relevant to what was happening in our world at that moment.

A short time into the start of my work with this organization, there was a change in administration. With this change came a dis-interest (lack of understanding?) in the website as a tool for reaching people where they are, and in social media as a secondary tool. But I kept forging ahead. This was my mission to give back, and gosh darn it, I was going to do so!! As I was not supplied with updates from the office of this organization, I had to get creative and find the material in other ways. About two years ago, this organization decided it needed a marketing committee. This marketing committee didn’t really know what they wanted to do, other than MARKET the organization. The committee recruited marketing people from local businesses to sit on this committee, and they met and had big thoughts. Included in their big thoughts was the goal that we needed to better utilize Facebook to reach our target audience (???), and the website sucked, and needed to be revamped to better appeal to our target audience. I still wonder to this day if they had even looked at the Facebook page, or spent any amount of time on the website, and its 100+ pages of content.

My response was to ask WHY the website was never promoted as a place to find information? And what EXACTLY was wrong with the website? They couldn’t say, just that it was not what the organization needed. I suggested they read the materials that I had worked through with my study group, to learn how other like organizations were using social media. Nope. A replacement person was brought on to make our Facebook page great. It was great all right, but a little redundant if you were already following the other organizations whose shared material was all that appeared there. I deleted myself as an admin.

A year ago, the organization had this great opportunity. A PROFESSIONAL web designer wanted to DONATE his time to create a masterpiece website for us. It was his MISSION. Would I maintain the website that I had built till it was completed. I said yes. I am still waiting. I have stopped updating it. It no longer lives. My mission is complete.

Why the reason for the rant at this moment? You see, the past year has been all about the committees desire to reach the people where they are getting their information. Facebook does this pretty well. This morning I learned that a top administrator of this organization is deleting his Facebook account. Really? I didn’t know he was active on FB. Now if we really want to reach the people, wouldn’t it make sense that a leader of an organization would be active on the company FB page? Would take it as their mission/duty to participate, to work hard at engaging and reaching the target audience? How can a company so miss the whole idea of reaching and engaging people in this second decade of the 21st century?

As we wait for the marketing committee consisting of professional web developers, marketing executives, and people who truly want the best for this organization, and moving it forward, to finalize and publish the new website. I sit here disillusioned with the administration of this company. Saddened that I have wasted 9 1/2 years.

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