This is why I just love Google+

Just the other day I re-shared a post from Tim O’Reilly. The post itself has (to date) had 283 comments and been +1’d 1482 times and been re-shared 728 times. If, like me, the person re-sharing the post has made a comment which indicates their slant on the original post that means the ecosystem of engagement and the range of views expressed is immense – I’m not skilled enough to garner those posts and analyse them but I do know they’re all recorded in one place, so you could search them out.

What I do know is that this level of engagement and the depth of comment that can be engendered on Google+ would not have happened on twitter – where the best one might have hoped to have achieved would have been a reference to a blog post you’d written with the comments (if any) stored on a myriad of blogs all over the place; and would not have happened at all on Facebook – where I’ve never observed any serious commentary occurring.

There’s really quality engagement and conversation taking place on Google+. I commend it to you!

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Once upon a time in the past

I go away on holiday and look what happens – you get sloughed (a new verb I do declare).

There are real worlds, virtual worlds and ideal worlds. Which one do we all want to inhabit? Or at least which one do I want to inhabit? Can I do so though? No. So …

… that is why I developed a well-honed slice of pragmatism to go with my undoubted large slab of idealism, vision, passion and excitement (forgive the hyperbole). Being pragmatic is both a protection to self and a way-ahead for all. You know the answer, it’s just you have to engineer the route by which nirvana is delivered. Yes, I am saying that serendipity CANNOT happen in the enterprise, it can only happen to the individual – that’s why we do need to find and develop those that will become the emissaries of new ways of working, and whilst doing that we must NOT lose faith, and NOT lose track of the way we believe things SHOULD be … because as a colleague once said (and it is from my favourite film, so I should know) “if you build it, they will come”. We’re not talking about a Field of Dreams though, we’re talking about change that will improve the working practices for the next generation of University staff, and the exposure to new ways of working that our students will desparately need this year, let alone next year – that’s how fast the pace of change actually is.

Postscript

I’ve just completed a questionnaire for a colleague who’s doing an MSc and her final question in the survey which referes to the use of social media tools was

25. Could you suggest any other ways in which these tools could be used to engage you more effectively in the work environment?

The real issue is not so much the tools, but more the culture within an organisation; the need to change that culture so that change is embraced which in itself includes empowering the worker to look at what they’re doing themselves and question/challenge it. So engagement is hugely important but in many ways empowerment is even more important.

Engagement is a precursor to marriage; it is the period of examination and exploration of self and partnerships. If engagement is successful, a successful partnership (marriage) usually follows. There’s not that much different in the workplace. You can’t engage with someone in isolation, it is with a view to partnership working, so engagement without a vision/belief that it will lead to partnership is bound to fail.

Therefore the use of “tools” can be an aid to establishing the viability of the partnership. Essentially this boils down to seeing how communication and collaboration (shared working) can best be developed. So the tools are not the problem, it’s the desire to seek partnership through shared working that is the “missing link”; crack that one and engagement becomes meaningful.