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Posts Tagged ‘social media

Our own mrbrown got into a tizzy over a CNA article that reported that an expert in NTU stated or implied the following:

  • you only need a two-person team to maintain a social media presence for your organization
  • the team should take no more than 24 hours to respond
  • queries or feedback tended to cluster after dinner time

His comments were not surprising since mrbrown is arguably Singapore’s most famous blogger. But I think he might have read in between the lines for information that was not there.

According to the article, the director of the Singapore Internet Research Centre, Ang Peng Hwa said:

You need, basically, two people just to maintain one site, and typically, the respondents come (online, sometime after dinner)

mrbrown might have read “basically, two people” as the recommended number. I think Ang meant that is the minimum number. You need a dedicated and well-versed team to manage the feedback, marketing and customer service that are associated with social media. Realistically, two people is all an organization might afford. We at the CeL have one person. Some entire institutes have none.

Ang’s “after dinner” remark is also something the reporting agency seemed to have summarized. After all, who talks in brackets? He wasn’t referring to reading and responding only after dinner but to peak usage patterns. Scour the Web for Facebook and Twitter strategies and you will find the best days and hours to post. If you want to engage and respond, you will capitalize on when most folks are online.

mrbrown might not like the term “netizen” but I don’t have issues with it. Just like I do not mind how “Google” and “friend” are now verbs today. Netizens are people; they are just people who are comfortable with leaving digital footprints wherever they go. Bloggers, tweeters and the denizens of Facebook are examples of today’s netizens.

I blame the reporting and editing of CNA more than the academic. The sound bite in the video recording was heavily edited so CNA could make its point. The academic’s message might have thus been lost or misconstrued in the medium.

I was more disturbed by statements in the CNA article like:

Singapore’s government agencies are set to get more structured training in the use of social media.

The “structured training” is civil service speak. Social media, like public conversation, is messy. Conventional training sometimes removes context or is so sanitized that it borders on being irrelevant.

I think such a programme does need some organization for organizations. But you need not start from zero and certainly need not rely on conventional structure.

Get teams comprised of people who are already maintaining social media presence for themselves or their organizations. Get them to share their practices, but do not label these as “best practices” because what is best for one or some is not best for the rest. The structure comes in the areas of customer service principles, marketing strategies and communication theories.

Bottom line: The rules have changed. Power is with the people. Teach or train by the new rules, not by the old ones.

The phrase I found condescending was “online chatter cannot be ignored”. Chatter has a negative connotation, like the way chatter in class is frowned upon. Associated with chatter are terms like noise and pointlessness.

Yes, there is a fair amount of chatter online. But there are also reasoned discourse, thoughtful reflection and passionate awareness-raising of various causes. Under certain circumstances, a crowd can be wise. We can leverage on that in class or in civil discourse. We start by recognizing that this discourse is not just inane chatter.


SlideShare source

Many thanks to @hychan_edu for sharing this on Twitter.

This is probably the best SlideShare I have seen on the impact of social media on modern life. How anyone can ignore this in the educational context is beyond me!


Video source

If social media had an anthem, this could be it. Gotta share, gotta share, gotta share.

é•’è®° Yut Kee Restaurant by Tianyake, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  Tianyake 

I quote from an article written by Singapore’s mrbrown about the use of social media in our recently concluded elections.

The third storm front is the growth of social media. Five years ago, in the 2006 elections, Twitter and Facebook were not factors. We mostly had blogs back then. Now many are online, and most have access to Facebook. And if my wife is actively consuming and sharing thoughts, videos, and photos about the elections, then it is no longer a geek’s world anymore.

Like a giant kopitiam*, we have gathered online, to trade stories, opinions and ideas. What used to be done in kopitiams by old men with too much free time in their hands, is now done on Facebook and Twitter, the kopitiams of this century.

*coffee shop

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, skipping CD or an MP3 on a loop, I’d point out that the only realm that has not fully or properly embraced social media is education. It is stuck in LMS mode and does not know how to deal with SLS (social learning systems).

Thanks to Benji from my MID822 class, I enjoyed a quiet laugh at the graphic below.

This could easily have been an essay about social media. Instead it takes an offbeat look at the topic.

It is a good case of less is more. It takes a lot of content knowledge, creativity and critical thinking to conceptualize, create and summarize such a complex topic.

Class Of 2011: If Social Media Were a High School
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application


Video source

As this video highlights, A LOT happens in 24 hours. It might also seem like a video from the Did You Know series but it’s not.

Two things in the video jumped out at me.

First, with a reference to Farmville specifically and online micro-transactions in general, “digital tractors now outsell real ones in the US”. Some real world commodities have become more relevant  in the virtual world than in the real world!

Second, after all the stats are presented, the video issues this challenge: If you’re not taking social media seriously, give it 24 hours to change your mind. The same challenge could be issued to educators. Oh, but wait, we are still stuck in the mud that is the factory model…


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