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, ;).