What is a Social Media Surgery?

McDonald Road Library hosts Edinburgh’s latest Social Media Surgery on Wednesday 14th August from 5.30 – 7.30pm. We caught up with James, one of the “surgeons”, to find out more

A previous surgery at McDonald Rd Library. Photo courtesy of Lilly Hunter (@lillylyle)

What are social media surgeries and who are they for?

Social Media Surgeries are informal sessions aimed at helping people make the most of the web and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They take place across the UK and are run by volunteers (the “surgeons”) offering their time and expertise to help individuals, local voluntary or community organisations, charities, clubs or societies looking for a bit of advice. They are completely free and very relaxed. You don’t need any particular skills or knowledge of using the web – our surgeons can help you whatever level you’re at.

Why are you doing this?

The web and social media sites have opened up new worlds of communication for millions of people worldwide. They are a powerful tools for campaigning, collaborating and engaging others; helping charities to spread their message, allowing volunteers to come together, and empowering citizens to become more active in their community. The surgeries aim to help more people make use of these wonderful tools – our surgeons have all found ways to use social media to improve their lives and the lives of those around them, and they want to share that!

What’s been your experiences of the surgeries you’ve attended?

Every surgery is different, and each person who comes along brings something new – whether it’s a surgeon with a great tip for a useful new website, or a patient with a challenging question that makes us all stop and think! But what they’ve all had in common is the wonderful buzz in the room – the excitement of the surgeons not knowing what they’re going to be asked next, and the genuine appreciation of the folk who come along and get all this great advice and support for free! It’s so rewarding to start with someone who knows nothing about any of this, and to have them tweeting or blogging just a hour or so later!

What if I want to be a surgeon?

The surgeries rely on the goodwill of those who come and offer their time to help others. The surgeons don’t have to be “experts” – in fact, we strongly believe there’s no such thing as a social media expert! If you think you could spare a couple of hours to come along and help someone to discover the world of social media, visit www.edsms.org.uk to see when our next dates are and follow the links to sign up to say you’re coming – this helps us to ensure there are enough chairs and biscuits!

Thanks James!


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