Value from Social Media  

Through a discussion with Ken Allan on a post about Objections to Corporate Social Media Ken pointed out that much of the objections focus on new complexities associated with social learning. Ken then points to the 90-9-1 rule and says that because of the complexity - people simply will not adopt new methods and tools in significant ways - therefore:

It just won’t happen.

This becomes the crux of the issue for me personally and a big part of the reason to start Work Literacy in the first place. It needs to happen and here’s why …

Let’s consider a simple scenario - I’m trying to decide if a particular solution makes sense for my company / organization. I do some searching on Google and find some overviews of the solution and some other good information. But, what it’s still not quite enough to make me feel comfortable with my recommendations. I would like more in the areas of:

  • Experience - What have been the experiences of other organizations (not the canned case studies) when they’ve used this solution.
  • Boundaries / Existence - I’ve got a particular issue and I’m not sure if answers to that issue exist out there, I’ve not found it in my searching.
  • Confirmation - I’m beginning to have an answer, but I’d like to get confirmation of the answer based on my particular situation based on experience.
  • Importance - Some of the issues I see, I’m not sure how important they are in practice, should I be concerned.

All of these kinds of questions are hard to answer with Google. But there are really good ways to help you find answers via social media (blogs, social networks, etc.). In fact, getting the answer through social media solutions to these questions will be significantly faster and better than through search. Yes, it was more complex to be in position to be able to leverage social media to get these answers. And, yes, most knowledge workers are not conscious about performing in this way. But, I would claim that the social solution here is greatly superior.

Do you agree that it is better here and you believe that this is not an uncommon situation?

If so, then I would claim that there are a lot of knowledge workers who need to learn how to do this.

Who’s going to produce better at the end of the day: A person who knows how to use Google only or a person who can use Google and also can reach out via social media to help find and answer?

I believe the answer is obvious and individuals and organizations need to wake up to this!