Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book review: the new social learning

I read 'the New Social Learning' by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner. There was actually less new information than I had hoped for, I missed a deeper layer of understanding how social media changes learning processes. How do social media change individual, team and organisational learning processes? And how to facilitate that change process? Maybe I'm looking for something that doesn't exist :).

Nevertheless it is a comprehensive overview of what is possible with sociale media in organisations. So if you plan to work with social media to support learning and knowledge management in an organisation it is a practical book with lots of examples. Information is organised neatly per chapter around online communities, multimedia (stories), microsharing/microblogging, collective intelligence, virtual environments and the use of social media to support events. The chapters have the same subheadings. My favorite is 'respond to critics'. I fully recognize the questions that critics ask and the book helps you deal with the questions.

A new term I picked up is 'ambient awareness'. It is similar too, but not the same as 'distant closeness' which is more about intimate contact without the need to have one on one contact. The new ways of communication ask for new concepts. Ambient awareness refers to continuous online contact. Because of this continuous contact it is like you are together and can read each other's mood. Every small message is relatively unimportant but you have to see the relationships through the lens of the stream of messages.

It is an important new term to me. The critics often wonder why I follow people on Twitter who tweet about 'what they have for breakfast'. Next time somebody asks me about Twitter I will not explain that there are also people who don't tweet (only) about breakfast but focus on helping them see that the value is in the full stream of small messages. And the relationships built through that stream.

If you are interested in the book, you can follow news about the book on twitter through @newsociallearn or go to the website.

Extra tip I got through the book: Oneforty is a great site for information about social media tools, for instance the page about twitter tools.
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1 comment:

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