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Three of us at the Advocate are taking a course called "Using Social Media," courtesy of the Knight Digital Media Center.

Given that the point of the course is how newspapers can use social media to build audience, I figured I'd share some of it with you. I welcome your suggestions for creating a local information network for the Crossroads region through our Web site.

Here is the reading for the first part of the course:

-- "Adults and Social Network Websites"

My question: The number of adults who have a profile on a social network has quadrupled from 2005 to today. How can VictoriaAdvocate.com best ride this wave?

-- Number of US Facebook Users Over 35 Nearly Doubles in Last 60 Days

My question: How do we better integrate VictoriaAdvocate.com with Facebook and other social media platforms?

-- Nielsen: Social Nets Overtake E-mail

My question: If social networking is the most popular Internet activity, how can we successfully combine this feature with a news site? How do we encourage networking while keeping out the trolls who tend to drive away people who want a calmer place to converse and network with friends? How do we allow people to connect on our site on a more intimate level to friends and on another safer level to the rest of the virtual world?

-- Twitter Traffic Explodes...And Not Being Driven by the Usual Suspects!

My question: In what ways, can our site can better integrate Twitter, not just for our staff but for our readers, too? How can we best stay on top of the next big thing in the world of social media? Twitter and Facebook will become outdated soon.

-- Still Don’t Get Twitter? Maybe This Will Help

My question: I get Twitter, but how widespread will its use become among our readers?

The ultimate goal of our course will be to create a social media project. I'll keep blogging as we go along. What project would you like to see us tackle?

Thanks for your help.