I agree Jane. I'd also recommend that people 'get stuck in' to just a couple of tools to begin with and investigate how they work and how they could be applied to benefit the business. Its easy to get swampled by the vast numbers of tools out there. Your Top Tools lists are a good place to start. We are evaluating Wordpress as a blogging platform and Moodle this year.
OK so I have been taking Jane's advice now for a while and have become disillusioned with the number of people who talk about social media but don't actually do anything about it. So I have done exactly what Jane recommends and I have been quietly converting the members of my team to see social media as an enabler and actually showing them how it can benefit them in their role and add value to the things we do.
This is what I did:
Created a network on Ning - took all of 15 mins
Ran webinars on social media across the team covering blogging, RSS, microblogging and wiki's.
Created an i-google page.
This is key because within i-google you can add chat, twitter, gmail, imo, rss feeds and my webex plug in.
I feel as though I am connected to a mass of information and members of my team in a much more personal and productive manner. We are using these tools to keep up to date with latest trends and sharing and collaborating so much more and educating ourselves in how information is spread through Web 2.0. You can't do this all in one day my advice is start small and prove that it works and show how it works.
We are also using this as an opportunity to write our own social media policy that fits in with what we use and is specific to our needs.
It can all be overwhelming with so much stuff but there is no better way to find out than get your hands dirty and your feet wet - better that way round than the other. To expand the brief a little, this approach works for individuals motivated to develop their own skills and knowledge but we can't ignore the fact that other people need a little more structure and help with 'getting on board'. So, with so many learning professionals out there, has anyone developed any competencies/skill areas for social and collaborative media that are working in practice? I know this isn't everyone's favourite topic but I've been asked to produce some and I'd like to know how I'm doing.