Where social media make sense to me are as a method of exposing the fact that organizations are made up of people. I don't want to read blog posts or Facebook status updates or tweets from Microsoft, Google, Blackboard, Adobe, Apple etc.... But I do want to hear from the people who work at these companies. Particularly the people who work in the education divisions of these companies.
The NYTimes has now has a social media editor named Jennifer Preston. In an intervew on NYTimes Tech Talk, Preston makes the point that NYTimes reporters can use social media to engage in two-way conversations with a highly motivated community. Part of her job is to encourage this conversation.
I think the time has come for companies to bring in their own social media editors. I know some of the people who work in ed. tech companies that we do business with, but I don't know nearly enough of you. Who are the education leaders, decision makers, program managers, developers, designers, and sales folks at Microsoft? (to pick on one). What do you guys care about? What is driving you crazy? What are you working on? What articles and blogs are you reading right now? What products and services do you use? How did you get into educational technology? What do you hope to leave as your legacy?
I'm sure that the people who work in ed. tech. are blogging, tweeting, and facebooking (what am I missing?). I'm sure that if I knew who they were then I could build a social network relationship with colleagues in the ed. tech. community.
But I don't know who you are. I don't know where you are.
This seems like a natural place where EDUCAUSE could get involved. Both in encouraging the people who make up ed. tech. companies to have a social media presence and in helping to aggregate and organize this community. Social media will be the tool that breaks down the barriers and integrates the higher ed and for-profit cultures. EDUCAUSE could help this process along.
While we wait for an EDUCAUSE vendor/school social media initiative does anyone have any ideas how to get started on building these online relationships? Does anyone have a list of ed. tech bloggers, tweeters, and facebook folks? Any ed. tech. companies that have been particularly progressive on this front?
And if you work in the ed. tech. industry - then - hello.