So what’s your social media policy? It’s not something you should do lightly, or haphazardly, it seems to me. In fact, such a policy really is part of your personal knowledge mastery. While your systems may vary, your results should be sources for you to find information, present yourself in your various communities, and to share your thoughts. Let’s do this by platform.
Facebook, is for me, the place I be me. Clark Quinn, not Quinnovation. The people I connect to there are a relatively small group that I know through various phases of my life: there are people I’ve known since kindergarten through college, neighbors and friends through various of my various residences, and some professional associations that have also become friends. And a few others that are hard to categorize other than that they interest me. Largely, it’s people I trust enough to let me be me. If I don’t connect to you there, it’s not a reflection of you, it’s that I just don’t know you well enough to connect. I can see a B2C company using Facebook, but that’s not me, so it’s not a biz place.
Oddly, I used to connect to almost anyone related to elearning on Facebook, but I realized that was a mistake. I determined that LinkedIn was where I should harbor professional connections, so I trimmed my Facebook connections down and offer most anyone connected to elearning to connect to me on LinkedIn. I even choose to connect to people I don’t know (rightly or wrongly). On the other hand, I also get connection requests from bankers, real estate people, and others that I see no connection with. Typically I’ll ask why they want to connect, and when I do get responses, it’s typically a scam (you know, “dying and want to give you my millions”; yeah. right). They get the appropriate treatment. And a caveat, if there’s biz dev or sales in the title even if it is elearning, I sign but also respond that if the first thing they do is pitch me their services, I’ll disconnect. And do.
Twitter, of course, is where I follow folks of interest professionally, personally, or even politically. It’s a place to get pointers to new things and of course to reciprocate. It’s timely, short, and often fun. And there’re the various chats that I participate in around learning (e.g. #lrnchat, which I was recruited to be one of the original moderators, though I’ve finally stepped away, and a few others I join when I can), as another learning channel. During those times I’ll generate and share a fair bit of tweets, otherwise it’s more opportunistic.
And, of course, this is my blog, for deeper reflections. Like this. I believe that if you find someone interesting, and follow both their blogs and their tweets, you can see what they’re tracking and then their reflections, and use them as a mentor. A stealth mentor, as I like to call it ;). And I follow a number of my colleagues who I think have demonstrated the ability to regularly contribute independent thoughts (not just rehashing others) and are tied into sources of real value (not just hype).
I confess I’m not yet on Pinterest, Instagram, and others. With finite time, I have to find things that offer real value. And I have my own blinders, just like others. I’m not facile with video (I also don’t have the attention to watch long things, I think I’m coming to grips with a touch of ADD, with all the good and bad that comes with it).
Other social media tools I use for specific things include Yammer, Skype, and of course dedicated tools like Google Docs of various sorts, Doodle, and more. And I use IFTTT to send blog announcements to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I’m not a big user of Google Plus, but if IFTTT did have that as a recipe, I would post there too.
Others have other strategies. Some are more closed on LinkedIn, I have friends and colleagues, don’t use Facebook, etc. The point is to be conscious in your use, and understand the tradeoffs (e.g. the filter bubble). I want to have a place to share with folks I’m not proximal with, but not professionally. And a place to connect with my professional colleagues. I need a place to follow pointers, and a place to reflect. This is my social media learning strategy. What’s yours?
Virginia Yonkers says
I wonder if when you joined (the lifecycle of the social media) and it’s original intent make a difference. Like you, I use facebook just for a few close friends, family, and colleagues. However, I was on facebook when it was a closed network for the university. I have a “university” account, then developed a different account when my kids went on as teens (mostly to monitor what they were doing). I was a LinkedIn user near the beginning but now am more active as my work situation changes. I actually use it to keep up contacts with my former students as they graduate. This helps me to contact them for feedback once they are in the workplace but also to find new employment opportunities.
I use twitter like you. It is professional. Likewise with my blog, although I now have 5 different blogs: 3 for students, one targeted towards social media users over 50, and one to publish my research and thoughts on topics I am interested in researching.
I think you should start using youtube in the same way you use twitter. I have to admit that I have been on Youtube almost since the beginning for the same reason I was on facebook: my kids. They would upload their own videos that I would monitor for public appropriateness. However, I have begun to also use it to save videos for my teaching. I also have my students create videos which they have the skills to do. As a user of videos, I can give them feedback (e.g. The video is way to long and boring; you lost my attention within the first 2 minutes). The new generation seems to be moving away from text (which the 25-30+ were very deep into) so I feel I need to understand how they use visuals (e.g. instagram and youtube). I have begun to play with my own videos and find the new features on Youtube make it very easy to use (think skype with subtitles if you want them). I’ll be working with my class this semester on how to use pinterest and instagram. I use pinterest for personal use, but it appears that women use this more than men, so it would be useful to be familiar with it just so you don’t lose a demographic.
Thanks for the feedback. I’d have trouble keeping track of all the accounts, let alone all the blogs! I suppose I should experiment with video more. In my copious spare time, of course ;).