This morning I went to Boston Social Media Breakfast #9. EMC sponsored this edition of SMB Boston, and Jaime Pappas (one of EMC’s Social Media Managers) was one of the featured speakers. She did a great job talking about EMC’s overall strategy. What I’d like to do is talk about the revelations I had from attending the meeting, and try to talk a little about Social Media and Education.
One person I talked to was Dan Schawbel. He looked exhausted. He’s just finished a book, he is working on his magazine, and oh yeah he works for EMC. I was feeling matronly and told him he has to slow down, take time for himself, and find time to just be still. He asked me, “is that what you do?” Unfortunately, my daughter was with me, and she immediately began snickering. Dan turned to her and said I love it when people give you advice they don’t take. Know what? He’s right! Grad school has totally messed up my balance. I am not sure how I am going to do it, but I am going to make time to get my quiet time. Then I can harass Dan again with a clean conscience.
I also met Alicia Staley in person (aka @stales). She told me more about her Foundation, and I have to say I am so in awe of her. She is doing my dream! She’s working full-time, and working to build an organization that serves a cause she is passionate about. I hope I can be like her one day!!!
David talked about listening to the conversations that are going on “out there” in the WWW. He spoke about thinking about how a company would react if someone was in the front lobby shouting “Y’all Suck!!!” How fast would someone from PR be down there to see what was up? Well, people do that online, why aren’t companies engaging them?
Can that transfer to education? Maybe – do we have customers at smaller sites that don’t have the luxury of interacting with a huge IT team? Do they want to interact with people going through the same issues they have?
Peter Kim spoke about the importance of making Social Media about business. This is so important for my organization. Our training works because we tie it back to what the business needs. My senior management will not even consider talking about social media if it is not tied back to the business. We’ve stopped calling it “social media”, instead we call it “enterprise collaboration”. It’s the same thing, just a different term. The collaboration idea has lots of educational research and theory behind it; social media carries a negative connotation.
Social media enables some of the things educators have wanted to do for a long time: foster informal learning, make a way for the learner to create their own meanings to formal instruction. The challenge in a corporate environment becomes tying this back to the business.
My organization has some exciting things in the works. So watch this space, as soon as I’m able to report back on what we’re up to I’ll post it here first! OK, maybe 2nd, after I post it to EMC ONE – our internal social media site!