Saturday, October 16, 2021

Understanding participation in movement building

This is a graphic I've used since 1990s to show how I and everyone else can help draw people to the information available in web libraries, or in face-to-face conferences, that focus on helping youth in high poverty areas move through school and into adult lives with jobs that enable them to raise their own kids free from poverty.

I do this almost every day, using social media, my blogs, my websites and email newsletter. In the 1990s I also had a printed newsletter and a PR firm helping generate media stories.

Yet, the big questions always have been a) who is attending?; b) what networks are they part of? and c) what geography do they represent?.  

I've posted many articles about network building and network analysis on this blog.  Please review some to understand how I've struggled with this for so many years.
In some of these I've pointed to NodeXL, which is a tool that can be used to understand who's participating in a Twitter or Facebook conversation that takes place within a defined period of time. 

Today I saw the Tweet below.
What's exciting about this is that it looks like NodeXL has added a spatial analysis feature to their tool. Thus, you can not only create the traditional network analysis map showing who's connected to who in a conversation, now you can create geographic maps showing where participants come from. 

I've connected with Dr. Graham MacKenzie in the past and feel he's doing some of the best work in showing an analysis of the NodeXL maps, helping me and others make sense of what the maps are showing.  Today  he shared with me this link, which points to a collection of articles that he has written.

I have been reaching out to universities for many years with the goal of creating a Tutor/Mentor Connection research/action program on various campuses where students would do everything I have been trying to do, to support the growth of mentor-rich youth programs in the area surrounding each campus.  While I've had help from many interns I've never been able to form a long-term partnership.

Here's another graphic I've used often. It shows that teams of people with a wide range of talents and networks are needed at the program level, neighborhood level and city, state and federal level, to build and sustain mentor rich programs in all the places where they are needed.

These teams need to be involved in an on-going planning/action cycle that builds public will and the flow of resources needed to power all of the youth and family serving organizations that are needed.  

Learning to use NodeXL and other network analysis tools to understand how well leaders are able to attract needed talent, and keep people involved and the network growing over many years, would be a valuable skill.  It's one that students working in a university T/MC could be learning.

I encourage you to follow NodeXL, Mark Smith and Graham MacKenzie on Twitter so you can see the work they do as they do it.   I hope you'll also follow me, @tutormentorteam.

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