At yesterdays workshop session we considered a number of different tools, and asked ourselves one key question; If we stop thinking about the product (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and start thinking about the platform or purpose (e.g. Networking, Micro Updates, User Generated Video) could we use these them within our organisations? The answer seemed to be yes for all of them.

The tools we looked at were;

twitter.com (micro updates)
identi.ca (micro updates)
laconi.ca (an open source micor update platform that you can install)

brightkite.com (location based micro updates)

upcoming.yahoo.com (events)

delicious.com (social bookmarks)

youtube.com (user generated video)
blip.tv (user generated video)
5min.com (user generated video with a focus on teaching/learning)

flickr.com (image sharing)

linkedin.com (network)
facebook.com (network)

friendfeed.com (lifestream)
ping.fm (lifestream)

Remember though, the key idea was how could we take the ideas and integrate those into what we already have, or could introduce internally? You might not want to post your internal events on Upcoming, but you could do something very similar using SharePoint if that's what you have in house.

The big question:

There was one question we didn't have time to answer, and that was 'what is the role of the L&D department in using social media tools?'

What are you thoughts? How are you doing this, or planning to do this?

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Replies to This Discussion

The role of the L&D should be to learn/elaborate with the business, the delegates and the instructors how to best use these tools before, during and after learning events.
Dedicated resources should be working on pilotes to progressively establish guidelines and best practices that could be applied for other programs.
L&D departments need to build their own experience in using these social media tools to improve their own productivity and knowledge sharing. From that position they can advise and support their wider use across the organisation. It was noticeable how little Twitter was used during yesterday's sessions. In other forums I have attended Twitter and real-time blogs add a valuable dimension of commentary to a shared experience such as a workshop or conference. You need to experience it to get it's value and from there it is easier to find ways to meaningfully promote these tools use within an organisational framework.

The alternative is that staff do this anyway bypassing L&D involvement entirely. Which should be worrying to those in L&D.
I think this where the role of L&D mergers/blurs with Knowledge Management. Within our organisation, the majority of learning happens on the job and not through formal training programs our L&D team may develop and offer. We need to provide the structure and guidance around these tools so that our professionals can ge the best out of them.

I agree with Guillaume, these need to compliment and enhance what we do formally both before and after any structured event. For example, Wikis, forums and network groups for individuals who have attended training to stay in touch, share examples and ask questions.

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