ROSNF: Not just a website

We have been surveying our members about our Fellowship, and the main feedback we seem to be getting has been eye-opening: our members, on the whole, don’t really understand what we offer.

We asked for feedback about ROSNF, and received very specific feedback about rosnf.net, including several comments from members saying they couldn’t see any benefit to being a member. What did we offer that wasn’t already available on Facebook or LinkedIn?

There seems to be a huge misconception that ROSNF = rosnf.net, even though our Fellowship’s existence has pre-dated the website by a good 2 years unofficially / 6 months from time of charter.

Our website is just one component of the fellowship, and is a launching pad rather than the totality of what we do.

We have very specifically decided NOT to reinvent the wheel on rosnf.net. We agree that Facebook and LinkedIn are the best social networks for connecting, and we encourage members to add links to their profiles and pages on rosnf.net, and to launch off to our ROSNF groups / page or member profiles / club pages from there. We do have a small social network (that first and foremost is our member database) so members can interact regardless of which networks they prefer, but it is not intended that it replace discussions etc on LinkedIn or Facebook. But facilitating discussions between Rotarians and Rotaractors is just one aspect of the Fellowship – there is much, much more to us that that.

Our unique selling point – what we offer that is not available anywhere else in the Rotary world, and what I see currently as our primary purpose – is that we provide comprehensive education and practical training about social networking, for all levels of experience:

  • Don’t know what social networking is, or why you should try it out? We help allay people’s fears and misconceptions – our members regularly give talks and seminars at club and district meetings, and I’ve recently spent 2 days training Rotary staff in Sydney. All except one of the panelists on RI’s social media webinars in February 2011 were ROSNF members.
  • Just starting out? We help members get to grips with the different social networks, and the different aspects of Facebook. We explain one-on-one or in the different forums or in articles things like what the difference is between a group and a page, or a Facebook group vs a LinkedIn group, and where you can find Rotarians on the different platforms. We regularly post articles on our Facebook page, with a selection available on our Support & Training page. If you’d like personal help, you can ask questions in our discussion groups here on rosnf.net, on Facebook or LinkedIn, or look up a volunteer “Expert” in a particular platform, or the “Champion” for your district.
  • More comfortable with using social networking? We’ll give you tools and tips to really use the networks and apps effectively, and we’ll help give a leg-up such as the “Hug a Club” project to help get your club up to the magic 25 fans to get a vanity URL. This week we’ll be commencing a new blog series where members will share insights about what works for them in a wide variety of areas.
  • If you’re a pro, then we offer you the opportunity to use your expertise to help others who are just starting out. We provide a central hub where you can be found by those that need your help to get their toes wet, and you can pick and choose what you’d like to help out, whether it is with being a mentor (“Expert”) on a specific site such as LinkedIn, or helping us program new apps. You can sign up as a District or Zone champion and take on the challenge to get social media adopted widely in your local area.

Board member Mary Kathryn DeLodder provides a great analogy. She writes: “It reminds me of a phrase we use in the church world a lot– we (the members) are the church, the church is not the building. In the same way, our members need to understand that they are what makes the fellowship work, and they are what make it fun!”

6 Replies to “ROSNF: Not just a website”

  1. Yes, I think this should be included in the About ROSNF section. I did know you did all this (which is extremely comforting to a novice such as mysel), but I wasn’t aware of this until after several visits. Many thanks for all you and the Board do.

  2. Simone/Ann, thank you for taking the time out to explain what this is all about. Let me see if I have it right. ROSNF.net is a website for Rotarians who are interested in Social Media to log on to and get information on Social Media. ROSNF is a fellowship for Rotary people to share information and generally enjoy fellowship of other Rotarians and exchange information.
    You wish to spread the word about social media to ALL Rotarians so the medium is used to best effect by all and I applaud you for that objective.
    As the District Marketing PR and Communications chair I have to sell the concept to over 2,500 Rotarians and it will be a hard sell. Many I talk to find it a huge step just to even consider getting onto Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter is just a step beyond. Now we should be promoting ROSNF. If you wish more members this is the way it should be promoted, to the people that are not on social media since they are the people you wish to help to use it.
    We have one day of Rotary Fellowships month left and I would hev been delighted to try to get this fellowship across through the month and in hindsight wished we had started this discussion 6 weeks ago.
    Please don’t get me wrong I am trying to find ways of increasing the visibility and members and I think there is a fair amount of work to do. If I can help in anyway please shout.
    Kindest Regards
    Allan

  3. Ann, thank you for your positive feedback!

    Allan, it has been questions like yours that have been invaluable to see that we haven’t articulated well enough what it is that we offer. We have some information in our About ROSNF and Projects pages, but they haven’t spelled out clearly enough how that relates to the individual Rotarian or Rotaractor.

    Feedback is extremely important, because we’re here to meet needs that are not being met. We started ROSNF when we found that many people in ROTI – the more technically-capable Rotarians – had enormous misconceptions about social media. If *they* didn’t see the benefits, then the average Rotarian certainly wasn’t going to either! So we set out to start educating people. You are absolutely right, Allan, that they are the main people we need to target – those who aren’t sure about social networking. We need a team of volunteers like yourself to do that. The more of us that are out there in each district offering to provide training and getting social media presences established, the easier it will be. We’re pooling presentations and materials that can be taken and adapted for each club or district’s own needs, to make it as easy as possible for people to get out there and help inform the Rotary world that social networking is not as scary as they may have heard. If there are other things that we could be providing that we aren’t, we’d love to hear about it.

  4. Simone/Allan – thanks to ROSNF.net, I have more confidence to ‘pitch’ social networking to those who aren’t sure about it, not to mention those who are strongly against it! I think Allan’s questions have been a good example of the saying “There’s no such thing as a stupid question” – it has certainly encouraged me to ask questions in the future as and when I may need to.

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