social learning

The Threat of New Technology

I’m taking the liberty of reposting Norman Lamont’s superb slideshare presentation on the use of new technology in the workplace.

I do so a) because it’s probably the one piece of content I’ve recommended to more people than any other, b) because it gets the message across more powerfully than any academic treatise on the subject and c) because it should be required reading for anyone responsible for learning and communication in the workplace.

Elearning Awards adds Social Media Category

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Elearning Awards dinner in London, having been a judge in a couple of the categories.

During the after awards drinks, Jane Hart and I were discussing the lack of any awards that encouraged the use of social learning tools.

Well, earlier this week I was a participant in a meeting between the eLN and Bizmedia, and I’m pleased to be able to say that as a result of that there will be a new category introduced for the 2010 Awards – “The best use of social media for learning”.

The official launch will take place at Learning Technologies in January.

The Advance of Social Media

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Back in the summer I wrote an article for Saffron Interactive titled ‘The Advance of Social Media’. Its key message is that social media is now a mainstream activity and that organisations that attempt to ignore it, do so at their own risk.

If you’d like to read the full article, it is available to download here in PDF format, along with a number of other great articles in Saffron’s Advance series.

Is Twitter Really Not Right For Business?

Earlier this week, The Times ran a story titled “Twitter may not be right for business“.

Despite the title, the article seems to be more about the shortcomings of companies, and why that makes them unsuitable as users of microblogging. To quote the article “Nevertheless, I think there are several fundamental reasons why companies are unsuited to microblogging,…”.

The article goes on to list 5 reasons why companies are not suitable;

  1. Companies are incapable of dealing with things in real time
  2. Companies are incapable of brevity
  3. Companies are not open
  4. Companies are neither altruistic or reciprocal
  5. Companies do not have distinct voices or personalities

I don’t think I’m alone in being relieved I don’t work in a company that behaves as described in the article. One which is probably not fit to deal with its customers, is certainly not fit to manage and develop its employees and is unlikely to have a very bright (or long) future.

The biggest problem with the article, is of course that all five of the statements are wrong. Many companies are very good at dealing with things in real time, and can be both brief and open. Altruism and reciprocity are not unknown qualities in the world of business. Virgin, Disney and Nike are just a few examples of companies with a distinct voice and personality.

If you actually read the story, you’ll find the tone is clearly tongue in cheek, but that won’t stop some people attempting to use this as evidence that Twitter has no place in business.