Sunday, June 11, 2006

Me Publishing

In the May 26 edition of Eliot Masie's Learning TRENDS newsletter, he told a story of a young man who went to work for a Fortune 100 company and on the first day of orientation asked where he could publish his profile. Not satisfied that his profile was only in the HR system, he replied, "But, where do I post my profile so that everyone else in the company can see what I am about?" Apparently he had been a daily user of the Facebook and MySpace social networking systems and he just assumed that a big corporation would have a similar system.

As Masie went on to say:
His model of learning and "belonging" involved a degree of "me-publishing" and social networking. He was amazed that people could work for a 50,000 person company and not be able to self-publish their profiles and experiences.... One week later, he resigned and went to a company that gave him the tools and permissions to keep a daily work blog and access to an internally secure social networking system. By the way, he took a 15% reduction in salary in order to be in a better topography of knowledge sharing.

Don't do this just for your NextGen employees. The age of me-publishing and social networking is upon us and will be leveraged by every generation of our workforce. We can create models that protect the company's interests while deeply fostering the power of the network and the wisdom of crowds.
This is a powerful story of the role that Web 2.0 technologies can have on social learning. I see the portfolio as another example of "me publishing" where individuals can share their profiles in a highly engaging environment. I've written before about the popularity of social networking sites, like FaceBook and MySpace. Masie doesn't mention portfolios, but I think that is the natural extension of "me publishing" and personal profiles.

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