What is Social Reporting

traditional boat in Maputo (by Petr Kosina)

Petr Kosina

For the Knowledge Sharing, Education and Learning workshop we will try to do some Social Reporting as we go. Social reporting is where a group of participants at an event interactively and jointly contribute to some form of reporting, in text, photos, images or video. The resulting “social report” is made accessible, usually online, as soon as possible, sometimes as a half-product. This allows others to join in, to extend, to adjust or remix.

Sue Parrott did live blogging for the Annual General Meeting: joint live blogging would be an example of social reporting. The objective of Social Reporting is to create a “shared memory”, but not only. It is meant to add quality to dialogues. These are some of the characteristics of Social Reporting (from Bev Trayner):

  • Keeping a shared memory of “what happened” through more than one people doing it, often in quite random ways, and brought together by tags;
  • Using different types of media for reporting, each media type being accessible to different types of people with different purposes for “reading” the (social) report;
  • Extending the conversation beyond any one mode (such as face-to-face mode, telephone conference mode, lecture mode) making sure you include people who were not “there”;
  • Putting reporting in the hands of more and different types of people with access to different tools, technologies and approaches;
  • Modeling different ways of helping people to make sense of an occassion;
  • Shining a spotlight on periphery voices by looking out for and recording what they say;
  • Advocacy – raising awareness, highlighting good practice, having an impact in ways that incorporate a wider type of audience than just those who will plough their way through traditional written text.


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