Case 5: Do not rely on one specialist only

During the first phase of the big hype of social networks among young people in 2008, one youth centre employee in Vienna discovered – as he was in favour of using Facebook – that many youngsters were also visiting a platform when they used the centre's three free internet workspaces. After discussion with the young people he found out that all of them were present on this online site and came up with the idea of a youth centre profile on the network in the next team meeting.

As a bit of a surprise, the director was in favour and he started the account, soon having more than 100 friends. It turned out that actually almost all visitors already had an account there, the youth worker convinced the director to give him 3 hours per week to take care of the account and the e-youthwork. Within the other youth centres the director proudly presented the new approach, it was seen as a new best practise example.

Al of a sudden, some 12 months later, the young colleague decided to change job and left the centre, and the other centre (which had also joined the platform) were surprised not to get any more messages. With the young colleague all the knowledge, even basic stuff such as how to use the platform, was gone, and a complete restart was necessary because nobody had thought about the fact that a single specialist is not enough for sustainable, long term use.