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Here I am day 2 of the Brightstar conference in Wellington, New Zealand, blogging behind Michael Sampson who is blogging on Kim Sbarcea talking about blogging, whilst I am blogging about him blogging and Kim talking about blogging.

Kim is giving a fascination presentation on social media, starting with a bit of run-through as to why anyone would get involved in the first place. Kim starts by exploring our implicit desire to learn and to garner knowledge, social media provides the ability to link with other like-minded people. These things, says Kim are all about serendipity, following others connections, “you pop onto facebook or whatever and there is that piece of knowledge that you didn’t know you wanted” and you can follow it through from there.

Social media allows us to build up trust, one trusted person will create links to other many other blogs and through our one trusted contact, we find many other trusted contacts. In her own blog Kim links to Dave Snowdon, Patrick Lambe and they do the same. Those people at this conference who have not met any of these people before, and who respond positively to Kim will (or may) now have a group of trusted experts that they can leverage to improve their own learning and knowledge. Social media creates a wrap-around and brings these communities to the light. This is great. It’s unstructured and dynamic, continuously evolving and this works well with humans, but with this comes a tension, particularly in relation to organisations¬† as they are structured. Social media is challenging the notion that knowledge is static, the first generation of intranets were stuffed full of documents. This mirrors my latest catch-cry that ‘Intranets are dead’ meaning that is no longer useful or acceptable to drive this early model of intranets, and that intranets must be unbounded so that they embrace the social media technologies and other ways of working.

These new systems are emergent and the days of the traditional IT shop are numbered, along with those of the tyrannical rule of the IT expert. It is no longer difficult to understand and use technology, Gen X and Y, already know how to use everything, they come in with this knowledge. User-generated content and control is in the hands of the users.

10 barriers to Social Media (as per Wired Magazine)

Top 10 barriers to social media …
The research on the above, from WIRED magazine:
1. the lack of a demonstrable business case … 72%
2. a resistance to change (management and staff) … 34%
3. a fear of loss of control or a loss of real control … 44%
4. a fear of transparency (amongst senior managemen) … 37%
5. not a sufficiently high priority … 34%
6. a fear of misuse … 34%
7. a lack of employee access … 28%
8. a lack of clarity over implementation – process and technology … 28%
9. no clear measurement for success … 28%
10. compliance and regulation … 12%

Note: I noted that Michael was doing a far better job of noting these, so I grabbed them off his site.

Social media is bringing the individual into the public space, and this raises concerns, particularly relating to young people in particular. There is lots of media coverage on this, and most of us are aware of the perils and issues. Beyond this employers are starting to look at Google and MySpace to see who employees and prospective employees are connected with and what these people are all about.

Whilst these are things that must be considered, there are many advantages. It does allow you to showcase your talent, and expertise, and it does help you to have a voice, be attractive to am employer and redraw the boundaries between the public and the private.

Kim looked at blogs and the legal profession (Kim has a legal background, is there anything that she hasn’t done?). ‘Lawyers have blawgs’ that provide a day in the life of lawyers, for the low-down on KM and the legal profession see kmspace.blogspot.com for a more up-close-and-personal account Lawyer Trix is the go. Lawyer Trix blogs anonymously as she would likely loose her job were it known that she was blogging.

Kim asked: Why don’t organisations get it? It’s a great internal tool for communicating? Sure there are security measures to be considered, but these are not insurmountable. The challenges for organisations include the move to:

  • Folksonomies rather than taxsonomies
  • Relinquishing the control of vocabularly
  • Use-driven technology
  • Emergent, rather than fully-formed technology systems and more

Individual challenges include:

  • How much of myself do I make public
  • Employees may know you
  • Do you learn more about yourself?
  • Doe we tag things because we think they are interesting or because others will think they are interesting.

A mind-map on the three Cs of blogging providing good insight into the capabilities required for successful blogging:

Competencies – Technical. Organised. Rading/RSS. Writing. Message.

Comfort – Thick skinned. Be in spotlight. Willing to learn. Honest and transparent.

Capacity – Self-starter. Discipline, Time. Work hard and smart. Social. Consistency

Time was now running out, shame, as I could’ve listened to Kim all day (even after spending the previous evening dining with Kim and a colleague the night before). Kim finished by skipping quickly through Social bookmarking, Delicious, Magnolia and citizen journalists, visit english.ohmynews the best and the biggest in this area, for the A-Z of social media, sign up to the social media site and read the social meda advocacy site: Web worker daily

Finally beware: lessons from the (ex) Mayor of Arlington, Oregon, Carmen Kontur-Gronquist. Who was recalled as Mayor for sexy photos showing off her sexy gym-toned body on the internet and then went on to be a micro-celebrity.

Kim finished up by outlining the ways that ASIC are using social media. Fabulous as always: thanks Kim.

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