Technology can be intimidating to some people, even if they made their living from technology 15 or so years ago, like Donna Lavin. That’s why the Community Media Lab in Ypsilanti, Mich., is an invaluable resource, whether you’re very familiar with technology and the Internet, somewhat familiar or a total novice.
For Lavin, who owns the Lavin Lift Strap company with her husband, and other business owners, being out of touch with the latest technology tools is no longer a problem if you’re willing to take an hour or so out of your day to come visit us. And the best part is that it’s free. We have a reporter or editor at the lab, 215 W. Michigan Ave., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday available and at your disposal.
At the Heritage Community Media Lab Aug. 24, Lavin popped in to see us and we helped her set up a YouTube account to showcase her company’s demonstration videos. It was probably something Lavin could have done by herself, but having someone next to her, guiding her and letting her know she was on the right track and helping her come up with tags, provided a sense of security and gave her confidence.
We also talked to Lavin about the next step — setting up a Twitter account to help build an audience and engage that audience by sharing links and information about her product and related topics, as well as retweeting, answering questions and commenting.
Also at the Community Media Lab, we helped freelancer Leslie McGraw map out her multimedia plan to continue a series on the achievement gap in Ann Arbor Public Schools and we spoke to a local resident interested in getting more news published about what’s happening in the local court system. We encouraged him to set up a blog and promote his work using social media, and we may partner with him on it.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Community Media Lab yet, we hope you will make time soon. Whether you work in public relations, volunteer as a media liaison for a community group or nonprofit, you’re interested in blogging or sharpening your social media skills, or you’re just uncomfortable using technology and want to get up to speed, we’re here to help you. We’ve helped people set up personal and professional Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, and edit video. We’ve also hosted a variety of workshops, on everything from writing a press release to editing audio for podcasts to using the Freedom of Information Act to navigating a wiki. Click here to check out what free workshops we have planned for September and October.
We also plan on presenting on our Community Media Lab at local senior centers, chambers of commerce and classrooms. To make arrangements for us to visit, email firstname.lastname@example.org.