Monday, 29 July 2013

Social media and the workplace - sorting the wheat from the chaff

'The bottom line: the most important impact of social media technologies comes from who — and what — they empower, not just the information they exchange. Do organizations appreciate and understand that these tools put them in the "empowerment" and not just the "better communications" business?'

I think Michael is right about this so long as you 'get it' in the first place.  For lots of people that I speak to in the workplace, social media still feels optional and peripheral to day-to-day activity.  Sometimes this seems to feel like a binary choice between meeting or not meeting a work-based goal or, more often, just a perceived lack of relevance because of the unfocused nature of what's being posted by others. 

Sorting the wheat from the chaff

In my experience, it takes just a little bit of self-organisation and experimentation to sort the 'wheat from the chaff'.  These are the practical things that I do. I've sorted them into things I do to  find information and then another set of things that I do to make sense of what I've found.  

Finding information

  1. Bookmarking websites and blogs that are relevant to my interests
  2. Building my connections on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, SlideShare
  3. Reading what others are posting on LinkedIn, etc 
  4. Subscribing to aggregator email lists and RSS feeds
  5. Joining and contributing to special interest groups on LinkedIn and other public or private networks

Sense-making, learning and sharing

  1. Collating/aggregating a regular digest for others to read
  2. Clipping articles and web pages using Evernote.  
  3. Making brief notes on Evernote to remind me of points of interest, to which I can refer at a later date
  4. Keeping a paper notebook to hand to note down anything of interest from what I am reading, or doing or observing
  5. Blogging to help organise thoughts and ideas
  6. Microblogging on Twitter or LinkedIn to signpost useful hints and tips for others to use
  7. SlideShare to present ideas in more depth.  My SlideShare presentation about the NODES model of conversational learning and social collaboration describes the process of Network.  

Image courtesy of a Czech tourism site

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