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?