Entries in online social networks (2)


Becoming a PLPeep as social media strategist for Powerful Learning Practice

I've been working in social media for more than six years now, but I'm getting to take my skills to a whole new level with Powerful Learning Practice (PLP). PLP offers professional development to help educators incorporate social media and new technology in their classrooms. Since October, I've been serving as PLP's social networking strategist, managing Facebook, Twitter and the PLP Network Blog. I also get the opportunity to connect with PLP's learning communities online.

PLP offers a long-term, job-embedded professional development program to help educators better understand 21st Century learning environments. PLP's model enables thousands of educators around the country to experience the transformative power of the social Web: Face-to-face in their own schools, exchanging ideas through a community of inquiry and in re-envisioning their own personal learning practice.

So with PLP, I'm not just marketing with social media, I'm participating with social media. I'm directly connecting with educators who are learning to develop their own Personal Learning Networks through social media. I'm very excited to approach social media from this new perspective, and it's opened my eyes even more to the power of social media. I've used social media for learning and connecting with others for many years, and it's truly been priceless for my own personal learning and professional development. It's very rewarding to help educators do the same.

Two of my colleagues at PLP, co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall, recently published The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, a book to help educators create a learning community through social media and take advantage of technology to improve their own learning and ultimately the learning of their students. This would be an excellent gift to share with any teachers in your life.

PLP also offers e-learning courses. There's a free Web 2.0 Tools eCourse that anyone (not just educators) can check out. Sign up and you’ll receive an email every day for two weeks with a Web 2.0 tool activity. At the end of the eCourse, you’ll be well on your way to being a Web 2.0 tools master and developing your personal learning network.

To learn more about Reina Communications' role at Powerful Learning Practice, check out my interview on the PLP blog.


A comment about comments

One of the biggest fears PR people have about social media is negative comments. First, everyone assumes the worst when it comes to interacting with stakeholders on the corporate  blog, YouTube, Facebook or other online social networks. When I'm consulting and the topic comes up, there's typically push back about trusting the community to police itself.

It's okay for people to write bad things about your brand online. While it can be intimidating to know that someone can write malicious comments about your business, you have to remember that there is a greater world of participation. If your organization is doing what's right, there will be far more positive comments to follow the negative prick who wants to vent and spread lies about your brand. If your organization is doing what's wrong, monitoring social media will offer you a red flag warning before the situation gets out of control. There are far greater benefits than risks when it comes to opening comments on social media (e.g., obtaining feedback, sharing information, improved customer service).

Even still, I find that argument is not enough to convince executives to consider opening comments and relinquishing their perceived control over the Web presence. Perhaps then, an alternative approach is to post a "Code of Comments." One of my favorite blogs, The Consumerist, posted a Code of Comments this week, and I think it's a great example. I've shared it with my clients in hopes that with a little time, I'll gain their buy-in and we can start getting them to participate in social media the way it is intended.