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Social Learning + Social Media – Powerfully Working Together

March 7th, 2011

Source: Marcia Conner & Tony Bingham - The New Social Learning: Transforming Your Organizations Through Social Media

I had an interesting question put forward by a participant in one of my Social Learning & Working Smarter Through Social Media workshops. We were discussing policies to protect staff when they are communicating online with clients or partners. The question brought in the issue of posting on a personal social network sites.

The lady posing the questions received many supportive and positive responses to here announcement about a cause she was supporting. What troubled her was the numerous caustic and derogatory comments left by people who were just creeping her site with no intention of adding any value to the conversation.

She felt it was important to leave the derogatory comments in her post because it would honor her values of being open and inclusive to anyone who shared on her site. This was a major conflict for her because she saw no valid use in leaving those comments in her post. A real delimma, probably faced by many people on their social networking sites.

One of the participants shared his view. He explained that his organization had no difficulty in filtering and removing such comments from their site. He went on to say that his organization explicitly states on their site that they will remove such comments as they are not in keeping with the value positions of the organization and are not contributing to healthy discussion or putting a critical thinking approach to the issue.

I liked his explanation and thought his organization’s policy could be used to handle those offensive comments on her site. I suggested that she consider developing her own comment policy. In this way, she can be explicit about her “rules” and deal with these issues as they arise.

Her personal commenting policy will be a boundary setting message that defines the rules for what she will live by and accept in her online communications and relationships. I think it is a good thing to set boundaries and live by them, online and off. She is exerting her right to control her space.

I think this was a great example of social learning. Our ideas were shared amongst the group, we  reflected and tried to make sense out of the issue, a suggestion developed from the conversation and was put forward as a possible solution. If she adopts that suggestion, she will have incorporated a new behaviour to support her online presence.

When I made a post of  this social learning moment I am putting the episode out for others to see and add their perspective. A powerful why to extend and deepen the discussion so that others might reflect, contribute or learn from our social learning moment.

What do you think?

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  1. March 9th, 2011 at 03:08 | #1

    I completely agree to this. By carefully administrating a comment policy one can monitor unreasonable statements as well as try to encourage better traffic. Social learning is about bringing something new to the table as opposed to discussing something irrelevant. We too face similar problems. But it seems like this act of spamming on blogs may not stop so easily.

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