Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beyond the Conversation

Why is social media called a conversation? It's much, much more than that. Forget about seeing Britney Spears loose it or some other celebrity showing their google bits to the world. Social media is a way to engage, to interact, and to collaborate on a level that is far more reaching than face to face communication. Using social media, I can obtain resources from a variety of experts with the click of a mouse or conduct a presentation via Skype to a classroom or conference room in China. As simply as I can say it, social media is the great connector.

Professionally, social media has been a way for me to connect with a myriad of amazing individuals. Through Twitter I have met Ingrid Stabb, co-author of The Career Within You, J.T. O'Donnell, founder, president, and CEO of and Eric Sheninger, educator, author, speaker, consultant. Each of them, along with the many others I didn't name, have enriched my life in ways that go beyond simply calling social media a conversation.

Personally, social media has also been a great asset to me as a doctoral student. This quarter I am taking a stats class. It's a class that's loathed by everyone in my cohort. However, the work has been easier to understand thanks to tools like Skype and Youtube. I can't tell you how invaluable it has been to be able to be on a Skype call with several members of my cohort to discuss assignments, and to be able to share screens to actually see how someone created a Pivot Table or conducted a Index has been key to understanding the material. And, Youtube is the best site for getting answers. I've been able to find video demos on how to do the Pearson product-moment, as well as conduct a T Test on Excel. Honestly, Youtube is more effective than doing the same search on Google.

You can call social media what you want. I call it a game-changer - Akin to how the VCR forever changed how people watched movies. In this informational age, having access to relevant, reliable, useful, and actionable resources and materials will be what separates those on the bench from those in the starting lineup.

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