keskiviikko 8. joulukuuta 2010

To be online - to be offline? That’s my social media question

In my last blog I wrote a wish to Santa Claus to bring me a new social media (SOME) tool with high speed connection. I’m not sure anymore if it is a good idea to have just one SOME- tool because the presence in several SOME- communities is the key issue especially if you are selling or marketing something. A social media consultant Jay Baer says in his blog that social media “ is much more about the social than it is about the media” and although we are social we have “our powerful, inescapable, unavoidable need to not be alone”. How many SOME- communities should I take part in, how active should I be in there, and how can I know how much is enough to be online for me? I still struggle with these kind of questions, while I’m planning my personal social media online-offline strategy because I also have a strong need to be alone.

In the attached picture I’m having a Skype phone with my daughter Sanna to San Francisco. Three months ago in August 2010, I used Facebook and Skype for my private online social networking. After that I’ve taught myself to use over 15 social media tools. I’ve learnt that Facebook has much more opportunities than just being a connection tool with my friends and family. While I’ve used these SOME- tools, I’ve realised that the key question is not in the use of SOME- tools. Instead, the question is, how to participate in the SOME- communities, that these SOME- tools give me an opportunity.

I’ve started consciously changing my own leadership action model to be more based online working culture and therefore my management team also has to change their working culture. I’m a lucky person because my management team is so innovative and they want to try this new online working culture together with me. I’ve created many private and public discussion groups on Yammer for our management team and also for other personnel in our college. We’ve also started using WIKI for sharing documents, which is a huge change from our previous working culture.

Now in the begin of December 2010 I see both challenges and opportunities in the use of social media as part of leadership. The greatest challenge is, how can we change an organisation’s culture that only has one “leadership tool”, face to face- meetings. Everyday I hear how people are tired of these meetings. But are people ready to renew their working models by using SOME- tools that give an opportunity to work together and share your experiences online with each others. I understand that a change to an online-offline working culture happens step by step. The first step is to do social media rules for our management team and also for the whole college to avoid conflicts in this new online-offline working culture.

While I’m digging more deeply into the world of social media, my knowledge has spread from my own Facebook- family and friends community to see more opportunities than disadvantages in the whole social media issue. Online working contributes paperless office and also green business generally. The new generation, our current students, they were born to a social media society and they are here now and we should learn how to communicate and work together with them online-offline.

The future is clear, I can’t stay out of SOME- communities, they are meaningful to me and to my work. Now I’m just looking how to find a balance between online-offline work. Social media is becoming more and more as a part of my life. Is it coming to change my identity or even my personality? I’m quite sure that SOME online working is going to change my thinking and my working models. So it’s quite sure SOME will also changes my personality to a better direction, I hope, ;).

torstai 11. marraskuuta 2010

A Social Media Tool With High Speed Web Connections

I’ve used computers/IT- technology as part of my life and work the past 20 years. In the beginning the greatest change was when the computer screen view changed from the dark mysterious DOS- world to WINDOWS- world. After that change, it was so nice to know, where I was and what I was doing with e- tools. After that work has changed from paper office to e-office, where I use eight different kinds of software everyday in my work.

During the last three years I’ve created for myself profiles/accounts to over ten social media tools (Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, YouTube, NING, Second Life, WIKI, Google- tools; Blogger & docs and two Moodle- learning platforms). When I count together all my e-tools, the number is near twenty that I use almost everyday. I have a dream that in the future I have one e-tool, which I use for online calls, video conferences, chats, messages, documents’ pictures’, videos’ sharing and so on for the other purposes, that we don’t even know about yet.

Nowadays, while I’m using e-tools via my laptop I almost feel how a relationship with me and my laptop works. Our relationship has almost human features. When I open my laptop, I’m a little worried if it will connect to the Internet. If there are difficulties to get connected, I can feel how my laptop suffers and I wonder if I can help it. It’s like a human who can’t get air to breath. What to do with a laptop that is not connected to others via Internet?

My new laptop is now two weeks old. In the very begin my laptop had a lot of “newborn’s problems” and I needed advices from our Helpdesk. It was a strange feeling when a person from HelpDesk gave long distance help for my laptop. I followed on my screen, how she digitally touched my mouse and made some “clicks, clicks, clicks” and cured my laptop to work again. While doing this digital cure operation I discussed with her on the phone. I was so relieved to get my laptop baby back from digital doctor and my social media studies were able to continue again.

Now, Christmas is coming in one month, it’s time to make wishes to Santa Claus. I have two wishes. Dear Santa Claus, please bring me a social media tool with all kinds of features I described before and, if it’s Brand is NOKIA-SOME , we Finns are more than happy for that. The second wish is, please acquire me a Web connection, that always works on my laptop and that gives me Internet connections and also allows me to go to our organisation’s intranet, where ever I am.

maanantai 11. lokakuuta 2010

Two Days at Second Life

I spent two days (Oct 7-8 , 2010) at Second Life (SL)- conference Learning in Different Worlds- conference in Lahti, Finland. I was very skeptical in the begin of the seminar because my AVATAR- identity Katrilli Kling hasn’t learnt to move or fly in SL. Katrilli has visited in SL three times (September 2009, June 2010 and October 2010). Karilli hasn’t found any other AVATAR- personalities in SL and they say that there are thousands of them. I wonder where they are and why they are in SL? I don’t understand why you have to have AVATAR- identity; Why can’t you just be there with your real name and face to communicate with others? After two days at the conference my understanding considering SL increased. SL is a handy tool for simulation work with shared experiences with other people all over the world.

The theme Augmented reality went over my head in the conference. I found more questions than answers to that theme. How to use it in your everyday life as part of your learning or leadership? I’ll need a new conference to solve out if there is any use of that e.g. school organizations. During a seminar I asked a question for the key note speakers; do they value how they spend their time online (social media: e.g. Second Life, Facebook (FB)...) or offline (reality) meeting real people in real life. My question was old-fashioned for them. They don’t even think in that way there is reality (offline) and online- spaces for them. They use both of these areas flexible as part of their everyday life, while meeting people online or offline. I still think that online- working with social media is a different space of my life and I still value more real life like taking my labrador-boy Jesse for his long morning walks during weekends. But can you evaluate yourself, which is more valuable to you: 1) online life e.g in social media (SL, FB...) or 2) reality life with meeting people in real life in face to face?

keskiviikko 15. syyskuuta 2010

The Meaningful Social Media (SOME) Experiences

The final year of my MBA- studies has started. I’m going to do my dissertation of the theme; the managers’ use of social media (SOME) as part of their leadership. I’ve participated in many Finnish online groups considering SOME and learning. My first experience is that it’s very difficult to join an online group, if you don’t know or have met anyone of the group personally beforehand (offline). How to join as a new partner to the online groups, which are existing already and if you don’t know anyone of the group beforehand. I’m looking answers to that question while doing my dissertation.

I took a part to Helena Aramo’s lecture on 1st September 2010. Helena Aramo presented, that the use of SOME should be very open to all participants. So far, I thought that e.g. Facebook is a tool for co-operation with family members and friends. I don’t share any issues considering my work with my Facebook friends. During my MBA- dissertation studies, I’m going to put more attention to how to use SOME as part of leadership. It will be nice to see if my thinking of the use of Facebook is going to change during the coming studies. The thinking will be changed, if I’m going to share my Facebook profile with my colleagues at work.

lauantai 3. heinäkuuta 2010

Meaningful Learning Experiences

Hi everyone old and new friends,

I've written blogs since 2009 in Finnish as a part of my work.This blog here in Blogger will be written in English. I'm interested in meaningful learning experiences, which I've studied in my doctoral thesis . The doctoral thesis is written in Finnish but the abstract is in English. The main results of the PhD- research is considering the following aspects of adult's learning:

The Adult’s Meaningful Learning Experiences
We all have meaningful learning experiences all the time. A meaningful learning experience is an occasion or an event which an adult remembers afterwards and in which the adult has felt learning. Meaningful learning experiences are guiding adults to make choices in their life. In the new situation the learning experiences are meaningful or meaningless for us. It is a continuous process, where adults evaluate themselves in previous and current situations and in future possibilities. The adults can feel themselves incomplete, lacking of knowhow. The awareness of this lack of knowhow gets adults to renew themselves e.g. through studies in adult education. If someone knows that she/he doesn’t have enough knowhow and still doesn’t go to adult education studies, it is perhaps that they don’t have the willpower to change or renew themselves. The willpower or a lack of willpower can be explained by adults’ “safety belt”, which covers adults thinking.

The ”safety belt”, which covers adults thinking is an opportunity and also a barrier to learning. The safety belt includes assumptions, attitudes and fears against new things. Through the safety belt, the adult interprets and gives meaning to e.g. things, texts and events in everyday life. The safety belt gives a feeling of security in new situations. In meaningful learning experiences, the safety belt is "punctured". Through that process strong feelings appear which change experiences, which the adult remembers afterwards. With these feelings the learning will be part of the "hard core" in the ”knowledge warehouse” as a part of our thinking. The critical reflection which leads to renewing and transforming learning is suggested as a tool of experiential learning. Adults’ identity and action and thinking models are developed by using critical reflection. Critical reflection opportunities for adults are in everyday life situations in schools, work and also in free time. The opportunity for learning from work and everyday life makes the work and life itself meaningful for adults.

If you are also interested in meaningful learning or leadership experiences, you are more than welcome to share them with me.