ASTD Luncheon – Social Networking for Training Pros

Dave spoke today at the ASTD monthly luncheon regarding different social networking tools that training professionals can employ. And this is what he said…

There are three concepts that describe a classic training development process:

Development to Delivery to Post-Episodic:

For each stage in that process, there are social tools available to make your task easier, and more efficient. Whichever tools you decide to use depends on you, and your clients.

We provided a handout (below) that categorizes different platforms available:

Development & Post-Episodic: Social Tools



Social Networks



Discussion Boards


Delivery: Social Tools



Miscellaneous Tools

So what does all of this mean? Take the gun, leave the canola. With a plethora of social networking tools available, it is always best to choose what fits your needs best: You (training professionals) said that you use online learning to connect with other learners (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and also to directly share content (Delicious, SocialCast, WetPaint). With the conversation, we acknowledged how overwhelming it all is, but in 2010, also necessary. Identify your primary need. Pick a social tool and try it out.

And then we promised to better explain an RSS feed:

RSS in Plain English

The questions you asked:

1) What are your suggestions for content selection?

Answer:  Let’s refer to Betty White’s still-talked-about SNL debut. She referenced the way in which she was essentially recruited to SNL—via Facebook. And then she said “[Facebook] just looks like an incredible waste of time.” And of course she is right; Betty White is always right. But this problem can be remedied.

Dave’s response to the question was this: “The mundane stuff is the glue that maintains the connection.” The popularity of these social mediums indicates how they grow: one connection begets another.  The conversations we are used to holding face to face (f2f or “meat space”), are now displayed online and in public domains for everyone to see.  This constant presence is the appeal of social media: it is a perpetual status update. “What are you doing?” would never be asked if many didn’t want to know.

2) How do I engage my LinkedIn group members? (Or rather, how do I get activity from someone besides the moderator?)

Answer:  Your group will allow more than one moderator—use this tool. More moderators. More information. More activity. More participation can be induced with individual prodding. Stoke the fire. One of the biggest complaints about LinkedIn is that it is “too official.” We like to be flies on the wall, but are drawn to the flame the moment a question is asked that provokes us. Increase your chance for feedback by simply increasing your activity.

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