Friday, September 17, 2021

Building the network

 Last week I posted an article talking about the "ecosystem" of people and organizations who need to be connecting and working toward common goals, such as helping kids in poverty move through school and into adult lives.

Here's an example of how I have been trying to do that.

First, since forming the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 I've been building a library of "all that is known" about successful non-school tutoring/mentoring programs and applying that knowledge to expand the availability and enhance the effectiveness of these services to children throughout the Chicago region.

This concept map shows the four sections of the library, along with sub-categories in each section. It includes more than 2000 links.


Every year I spend time going through each section to refresh my understanding of what information each link shares, and to make sure they all are working.  I started doing that again last week.


This time I looked for Twitter links on each account then made sure I was following them, or that I included them on one of my lists.  Twitter rules limit how many you can follow but not how many you can include on lists.  If I want to see what certain types of programs are Tweeting I open a list and skim through those Tweets.

I also started a document where I put the Twitter handles for each organization in my library, in a document which enables me to find them later. Below is one segment.

Then I created a set of graphics, asking "Are you following all of these organizations?  Are you visiting their websites and learning from them?  Below are some Tweets showing how I then shared this information.

I point to many #volunteer #Recruitment resources. Here are some.

Here's another: 

I did this several times so far and am just starting.  Here's another Tweet, where I show how the library website looks, and circled the section of links I was sharing with my post. 

As a result I've generated some conversation between myself and people in the library and hopefully  have encouraged some to reach out and connect to others.

There are other ways to share this information so I hope readers will dig into my library and share the links.  I hope my example will be duplicated in other cities, where people will add my library to their own, which would focus on issues specific to that city, or country, not Chicago, where I work. 


 I'm just one person. I've been building this library and sharing the information since 1993, but with too few resources to do it as well as needed, or to share it as widely as needed. 

Yet, if I can keep doing what I do, maybe others will join and add their own time, talent and dollars.

Thanks for reading.  

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