NetSquared Spotlight: Ben Teoh

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NetSquared Spotlights are a series of interviews focused on the work of our amazing NetSquared Local Organizers and Partners around the world. Each spotlight we will ask questions that profile our Net2 organizers' approach to community organizing so that others can learn from their experience.

 

For our latest NetSquared Spotlight we are featuring another of our amazing TechSoup Global NetSquared Partners, Ben Teoh, who is the Net2 Local Organizer for NetSquared Adelaide, works for the not-for-profit Connecting Up and is an organizer of upcoming NetSquared Camp: Downunder. You can read more about Ben's work at Connecting Up at http://www.connectingup.org/blog, get more info on NetSquared Camp Downunder, as well as his site at: http://hellobenteoh.com.au, and follow Ben at http://www.twitter.com/hellobenteoh.

 

Tell us who you are in less than 140 characters

Husband, dad, blogger, social media junkie, wannabe ninja. Love meeting people excited about using tech for good, not evil. #WithGreatPower

 

Why did your organization start hosting NetSquared meetups?

I’ve always liked the idea of bringing people together to discuss topics or learn or share and the opportunity to do that and match it with my love of tech, the online space and social good seemed like a great fit. From the start it’s been rewarding and the opportunity to meet new people and build relationships with regulars is priceless.

 

How has hosting NetSquared meetups benefitted your organization?

It’s helped us to bring a face-to-face presence to what we do – most of our communication with the people we work with is via telephones or computers. It’s also helped us connect with people from various sectors in Adelaide.

 

How has NetSquared helped you connect with your customers and supporters?

It’s given our Adelaide supporters a chance to meet us in person and also for us to learn together from guest speakers.

What do your local participants really want to know? What are the most popular

topics?

Anything to do with developing strategic approaches to the digital space. We’re seeing this more and more from north the non-profit and business sectors. People have heard about the latest and greatest but they want to know how to put things like social media and the Cloud to practical use within an organisation.

 

What’s the coolest thing that’s happened at one of your events?

NetSquared Downunder has to be the coolest event we’ve run so far. As part of the NetSquared Camp for Australia/New Zealand, we live streamed an event across four cities with guest speakers in each. It was a real experiment in using Google+ Hangouts and trying to create engaging multi-city events as cheaply and easily as possible. Despite a couple of tech hiccups, everything went really smoothly. It was great working with Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington.

How do you measure the success of your events? (What do you consider a successful event? what does success look like?)

It’s nice when our numbers are up and the room’s full, but I really like taking a step back at the end of the night just to observe interactions between people. I love it when there’s lots of conversation, debate, discussion between people – for me, that’s success and it could be six or sixty people. It’s also a great chance to eavesdrop and get ideas for future events!

 

Why should other TSGN partners consider holding NetSquared meetups?

Nothing beats good old face-to-face engagement. We’ve learned at Connecting Up that there’s real value in running ‘offline’ events, especially when it comes to building relationships with nonprofits. The great thing about NetSquared meetups is that you can tap into brilliant resources, a vibrant community of organisers, get the support of the amazing Eli and also have the flexibility to run the your meetup the way it suits you and your community. It’s a great initiative and can provide significant value to your existing work.

Thanks to Ben for letting us interview him for this NetSquared Spotlight! Stay tuned for future posts in the NetSquared Spotlight series.