OK, we’ll confess. Since Dave arrived here at the Volunteer Centre South Derbyshire, our geek quotient has increased several hundredfold. We now communicate with you through this blog, by email as well as by phone, occasionally in print and even face to face. In addition, we have our Facebook page, which is fairly well established now and a couple of weeks ago we signed up for Twitter. (If you are on Twitter, please follow us @VolCenSDerbys.)
However, there are some risks to volunteer-involving organisations from having a high online profile presence, as Tony Goodrow, points out in an excellent article for the US-based volunteer management website Our Shared Resources.
In his article, “Facial recognition software & what every volunteer manager should know about it”, he points out that with the increase of computing power that is available, photo websites like Picasa, Flikr and Facebook already have, or will soon have software that will scan pictures and automatically “tag” people in them.
This could present some safeguarding concerns if you are, like us, in the habit of taking lots of photographs of events and activities that include volunteers and very possibly service users. With the festive season upon us, we all need to be careful.
You may never post your own pictures online, but how many of your volunteers or service users have phones with cameras and post to Facebook or Flikr accounts?