I have this horrible tendency to close the door on what was old and move on. School, jobs, neighbors, etc. And I feel real bad about it.
At a workshop in North Carolina last month one attendee I was having breakfast with told me it was a trait of Scorpios (which I am). I looked it up.
“Part of the negative side of the Scorpio nature is a tendency to discard friends once they cease to be useful, but the decent native is aware of, and fights this tendency.”
Geesh. Cease to be useful? Sounds like an old shoe.. I guess if I ever gave up this platform (blogging) for communicating, you’d all be old shoes. Old Manolo Blahniks of course because you are all so very classy : )
Social Networks are Scorpio-friendly. They foster relationships and help you make and keep connections.
One example of this was an interview I conducted for the Qualitative Research class I took this past semester. I interviewed someone who attended our IiL07 conference in an effort to explore her experiences with the online community portion of the event. (We used Leverage Software and a Facebook group to support the conference).
She explained how at past face-to-face (f2f) events she ended up with a stack of business cards that went nowhere after she got home because she got busy with work. However, with online social networking she is staying in touch and feels this online element increases the likelihood of staying in touch with the people she met. The ‘tendency to discard’ is less likely. The effort it less.
Connections are a beautiful thing to support lifelong learning – a trait we hope our learners develop. What better way to continue the conversation- to continue learning – than to stay connected.
You may want to consider how social networks can work for those one-time events you coordinate at your organization – especially those that include people outside of your organization. Shortsighted maybe, but I never used them in conjunction with a one-time face-to-face event made up of people who seemed not to be otherwise connected. I imagined social networks being used in organizations more for established work groups (everybody in this department), for projects involving people across work groups (for those working on this new implementation), for those with shared roles (leadership), and for those working through a specific curriculum (bootcamp for newbies).
For example, I once coordinated a group event (that included some training) for a group of claims adjusters who were periodically called into service for a catastrophe – hurricanes, etc. This was a group from various companies, geographic locations, and levels of experience. I guess looking back my shortsightedness came from working in a closed environment. Outsiders (those that didn’t work for the company) were connected to the organization by email cc’s and that’s about it. Think how much employees would have learned from experts in the area of handling catastrophes had there been a community. And, it would have been therapeutic for working under those high stress conditions.
The increased sense of connectedness that has been suggested by the research around blended learning provides some credibility. Although my qualitative research project was not full-scale and by no means can be considered definitive, it does provide some interesting avenues for further research.
Perhaps this is all no-brainer stuff but with 1/3 of corporations blocking social networking sites like Facebook, bringing online social networking in-house is probably one of those battles you want to pursue even if you have to look for a behind-the-firewall solution.