As Learning Technologies Professionals, we all believe in Social Networking; our big problem is how to get others to believe it too! I'm looking forward to chairing the 2 sessions (T3S4 and 5) on THU on this subject; but what are your thoughts?
What are your top tips and tricks to ensure that the next time you use it it won't fall flat on its face?
HUGE fan of Etienne Wenger's work and I actually sit in the Knowledge Management branch in my office where one of main functions is building and expanding our CoPs. And the term is perfectly fine and does have a lot behind it, I also think that it probably carries a lot of baggage with it, in the sense that I think a lot of CoPs have been implemented badly. That being said, no reason to abandon the term.
My thinking though is that like O'Reilly's use of "2.0" to indicate break with the past way of doing business, the term "social learning" still has some utility if for nothing else than to frame the differences with CoPs and to push some discussion forward there.
Community management is crucial to the success of social learning. Don's a great example of an effective community manager for this group itself. I recently hit upon this excellent presentation on community management. It lists 5 tips for community management which I think are extremely crucial to the success of any social learning initiative.
In the post I note that social learning needs to be integrated with other social management approaches. The same applies with social networking too - so I'd suggest the answer to your question is: don't start with social networking. Find something else for people to believe in (you might remember my session on Capabilities in your track (3) at LT 2008).
If this thing / capability is something to do with either learning or social, then you've got it made.
Thanks for this, Jon, and yes I do remember your session well! Your point is well taken; in this thread we've tried to identify what is critical to making social learning work - and you've taken us neatly to the position of focusing on the ends rather than the means.