Reflecting on the state of social media on the Isle of Man

Photograph of Social Media Club dinnerAs a small island, separated from the mainland but connected to the world, the development of social media has been an interesting story.

Whilst social media had been adopted as the platform of choice for younger generations, companies were keen on understanding how to reach these demographics on their own platform and how to continue with a positive engagement. The Social Media Club was developed as a way to develop ideas and promote best practice across the social media world.

As part of this, the island’s Social Media Club met every month, ranging in number from 4 to 20 and always promoted interesting discussions, particularly with social media hitting the news for topics such as bullying, privacy and the corporate movements of the new burgeoning tech sector.

We had some successes, introducing users and companies to social media. We also had two successful Twestival events which only ceased due to the organisers’ bizarre brand-grab, raising one of the largest amounts across the world per-capita.

Where has the island come since?

Perhaps we can claim the island has reached a level of adoption which suggests maturity gained through usage, experience and even groups such as the Social Media Club lunches.

Inevitably, marketing companies have adopted the paradigm, specialising in results-based marketing and avoiding the broadcast or fire-and-forget method of reaching out to customers that may otherwise be used.

Manx Radio recently started reading out contributions from social media on their Mandate show, providing an additional channel to contribute to live shows other than the email and telephone older generations may be used to. (It’s interesting that email is now seen as an archaic medium for newer generations.) You get a better class of mental on Twitter!

Even the Isle of Man Government have jumped on, with differing levels of success and engagement according to the topic and department. Between engaging with users as tax payers and delicately straddling the line of individual privacy and the professionalism of the department, it’s been refreshing to see a little bit more transparency.

Further signs of maturity on the island is the consideration of the effect of social media on the island’s unnaturally small juries. Chris Robertshaw has embarked on an exercise of determining whether enough people are in the juries and how the judiciary will mitigate against influence from what is a tightly bound island community online.

In reflection, we remain a separated island but are very much more connected.

 

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