The Marketing angle on Social Media seems clearer to most than does the Learning angle I fight for. There has been more willingness for Marketing to expand social networking via Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Organizations launch into SM campaigns as a necessary evil …Social Media use by our potential customers is seen as an unfortunate reality, a consequence of Web 2.0. Social Media is something perceived as being out there, it’s the barbarian at the gate, it could be damaging therefore we must do something! So we reluctantly, cautiously PUSH organizations into social networking and the tools (Twitter, etc).
So with this perception of Social Media it’s difficult to encourage the same widespread tool use for learning within organizations. Here we have a chance to use the tools rather than the perceived having the tools use us.
If we did embrace these tools and approaches for learning we would be in effect pulling the tools in for the benefit of growing our people, increasing productivity, and increasing innovation…. Something we have left up to Training. Training however is not ALWAYS the means to learning … it is one way, however often overused and inappropriate. Learning is the goal not training, so if Social Media can be used to improve knowledge and performance than we need to do more with it today and stop leaning on the training crutch.