Michael Schrage says in his HBR blog: The Real Power of Enterprise Social Media Platforms
'The bottom line: the most important impact of social media technologies comes from who — and what — they empower, not just the information they exchange. Do organizations appreciate and understand that these tools put them in the "empowerment" and not just the "better communications" business?'
I think Michael is right about this so long as you 'get it' in the first place. For lots of people that I speak to in the workplace, social media still feels optional and peripheral to day-to-day activity. Sometimes this seems to feel like a binary choice between meeting or not meeting a work-based goal or, more often, just a perceived lack of relevance because of the unfocused nature of what's being posted by others.
Sorting the wheat from the chaff
In my experience, it takes just a little bit of self-organisation and experimentation to sort the 'wheat from the chaff'. These are the practical things that I do. I've sorted them into things I do to find information and then another set of things that I do to make sense of what I've found.
- Bookmarking websites and blogs that are relevant to my interests
- Building my connections on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, SlideShare
- Reading what others are posting on LinkedIn, etc
- Subscribing to aggregator email lists and RSS feeds
- Joining and contributing to special interest groups on LinkedIn and other public or private networks
Sense-making, learning and sharing
- Collating/aggregating a regular digest for others to read
- Clipping articles and web pages using Evernote.
- Making brief notes on Evernote to remind me of points of interest, to which I can refer at a later date
- Keeping a paper notebook to hand to note down anything of interest from what I am reading, or doing or observing
- Blogging to help organise thoughts and ideas
- Microblogging on Twitter or LinkedIn to signpost useful hints and tips for others to use
- SlideShare to present ideas in more depth. My SlideShare presentation about the NODES model of conversational learning and social collaboration describes the process of Network.
Image courtesy of a Czech tourism site