Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

What’s your media platform for knowledge sharing?

I love this quotation from Seth Godin, which is included as slide #83 in Marta Kagan’s new SlideShare “What the F**K is Social Media: One Year Later.”

The word blog is irrelevant.
What’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.”

If you can get beyond the unnecessary profane reference in the presentation’s title and references in several of the slides, there are some GREAT statistics and quotations included in this slide deck for current social media trends.

Here are few of the standouts.

Why care about social media?

Because 3 out of 4 Americans use social technology. (Forrester, The Growth of Social Technology Adoption, 2008.)

Because 2/3 of the global internet population visit social networks. (Nielsen, Global Faces and Networked Places, 2009.)

Because visiting social sites is now the 4th most popular online activity– ahead of personal email. (Nielsen, Global Faces and Networked Places, 2009.)

Too many of our school leaders are still dismissing the social web as a frivolous, irrelevant pursuit which must be banned during the school day and frowned upon after school. In many communities, adults continue to abdicate their responsibility to help prepare students to make good decisions on an unfiltered web. Hyperlinked writing is the MOST powerful form of writing yet invented on our planet. Yet a paltry number of our schools and educators today are regularly creating and sharing content on the social web, or guiding students as they create and share online. This must change.

13 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE. It would take 412.3 YEARS to view every video on YouTube, today.

This is the coming exaflood. It’s just beginning.

93% of social media users believe a company should have a presence in social media. (Cone, Business in Social Media Study, September 2008)

What are your school’s current guidelines for social media use, both for teachers/administrators/staff and for students? Don’t have any? It’s time to collaboratively create some, together. See the July 17, 2009, article “Social Media Sparks Policy Debate” for more on this. Hat tip to Karen Montgomery.

The people in charge of talking are in the marketing department. The people in charge of listening are in the research or service or sales department. They hardly ever talk to each other, let alone have full-duplex conversations with customers. (Josh Bernoff, Why marketers have trouble with full-duplex social technology, June 30, 2009.)

Who are “the people in charge of listening” in your school organization? Does this referenced communication disconnect sound like the teachers, the administrators, the IT department, and the curriculum department? To what degree are schools continuing to press forward as groups of individuals in isolated silos, largely disconnected from each other and from constituents? Where are the best examples of school leaders who embrace social media technologies to “tell their story” and allow both students and teachers to “tell their stories” to the community about their learning, their interests, their lives, and their meaningful work “at school?” We need to amplify those exemplars.

For companies, resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time. If your business isn’t putting itself out there, it ought to be. (BusinessWeek, February 19, 2009.)

Have you seen the number of schools in the United States which still have static websites that were designed in 1998 using Microsoft Frontpage 1.0?! Even in school districts which are using content management systems for their websites, how many directly empower BOTH teachers AND students to publish work directly to the web? How many IT directors are clinging to the fantasy that the interests of the school district are best served by them serving as a web 1.0 gatekeeper of all content published online by school constituents? Resistance may be futile, but there is sure a lot of it in educational IT as well as educational administration. The fear factor over issues of CONTROL is sky high, and not diminishing.

Stop thinking “campaigns.” Start thinking “conversations.”

Social media for schools is not and should not be about buzzwords. It’s not fundamentally about technology. As David Jakes persuasively says quite often, it’s about communication and literacy.

If your product sucks, social media won’t fix it.

Technology is an amplifier. (Hat tip to Jeff Allen.) Who fears transparency the most? The people who are doing things they shouldn’t be doing, or don’t want to share/broadcast what they are doing. Are kids in your schools bored out of their gourds? Social media won’t fix that. It will amplify it. Afraid to give your students voice, because you’re scared of what they will say about your school, your teachers, your curriculum, or your culture of fear built around standardized testing? It’s time to change your product. It’s time to change your learning culture. Social media will empower others to uncover and reveal who and what your organization truly is, and as leaders we’re well advised to take a proactive rather than a reactive stance to this disruptive potential.

Here’s the full presentation on SlideShare. Again, I don’t endorse or approve of the profane references, I really think they detract rather than add to the credibility and effectiveness of this message, but if you can look past them there are good nuggets here.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes’ free newsletter. Check out Wes’ video tutorial library, “Playing with Media.” Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..



, , , ,




One response to “What’s your media platform for knowledge sharing?”

  1. Rob Jacobs Avatar

    Every principal, literacy leader, and superintendent should read this post and look at that slideshare presentation before we get so disconnected to what students are doing outside of school that we lose all relevance to their lives.