Social Networks

Entries related to social networks, group psychology, anthropology, and really any of the social sciences.

Social Media and Leadership

Today, I spent the day at the Connecticut Health Foundation’s All Fellows Retreat. As always, it was a source of plenty food for thought. At a previous fellow gathering, I learned about the conscious competency learning model. In this model, we start off as being unconscious of our incompetence in a particular area. The first part of learning is discovering our incompetence, becoming consciously incompetent. We then develop competence becoming consciously competent. We continue using the skill until it becomes second nature. At this point, we cease being conscious of using the skill, and we become unconsciously competent.

The original context I learned this in was in being culturally competent. When dealing with people from a different background, how often do we end up saying something unhelpful or unkind, without even knowing it? We might be offended or defensive when someone brings it to our attention, but hopefully, we start working on becoming more competent in our cultural communications.

I thought about this today, as I drove up to the All Fellow Retreat in another context: How does the competency model apply to social media? How many of us have gotten to the point where using social media is second nature to us? Do we remember when we struggled over whether or not to post certain things?

Today, we talked about three aspects of the actions of individuals, teams, and organizations: Robust, Relevant, and Relations. Many organizations get stuck with robust activities. They may be really good at doing something, but how relevant is that to the organization? From a social media perspective, this is like looking at how many followers you have, or how many hits your webpage gets. (Remember the old definition of HITS? How Idiots Track Success). This gets to the relevant part. If you have a lot of followers, a lot of traffic to your website, even a lot of likes or comments, if it isn’t helping you achieve your organizations mission, if it isn’t relevant, does it really matter?

The sweet spot comes when you add in relationships. During the discussion today, one person mentioned a coworker who always showed pictures of her kids. The person at the retreat spoke about learning that if she wanted to motivate and engage that worker, starting the discussion around kids seemed most effective. I think this captures some of my frequent comments about tweeting about breakfast. It is part of building the relationship that gets other people engaged.

I hesitate posting this, for fear of sounding too much like too many ‘social media experts’ posting their thoughts about how to do social media. Yet I’ve decided to share it, hoping it will resonate with some people and perhaps generate further thought.

Discernment MOOC

In the middle of what I described yesterday as a week that I expect to be very long, I received an email today about another step in my spiritual journey. The Diocesan Dean of Formation sent me an email saying that she had invited my parish priest to form a discernment group for me.

For those not acquainted with the language or the process it describes, people seeking a greater understand of how they can best serve God, including the possibility of becoming a priest, enter a discernment process. In Connecticut, a parish will organize a discernment group for a person in this process. It is a small group that meets around nine times to help the person get a better sense of what God is calling the person to.

As a blogger, living much of my life out loud, online, I am looking for the best ways to connect this process with my online writing. It is challenging because the face to face group is confidential. So, instead of writing about that group I hope to write about the questions being posed and the insights I gain from the group and invite a larger online community to share, in a more public manner, their thoughts which might also help me in my discernment process.

This online process, might take the form akin to a connectivist MOOC. I hope to learn more about my journey both in a private confidential small face to face group as well as in a large public online group. I hope that others, participating in the online group, might learn more about their journey as well, and that we might all learn more about how learning and spiritual growth can take place online in the twenty-first century.

I expect it will still be a few weeks before my face to face discernment group starts, and I’m thinking that the Discernment MOOC should parallel that, so I won’t dive into the core of the discernment MOOC for a few weeks. Until then, I am just floating this idea. What are your thoughts? Are you interested in participating? Do you know others that might be interested? Are there things I should consider or avoid?

#rhizo15 Expanding the discussion

In her blog post, Rewilding the rhizome. Angela Brown writes about leaving a note in a library copy of Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus asking,

“What if you could find a shared exploration … “

She points to #rhizo15 and the shared exploration of A Thousand Plateaus.

Concurrent with this, Autumm Caines, in her blog post, The Living Artifact: An Open Letter/Invitation/Call for Help to the #rhizo15 Community to an open, connected, rhizomatic discussion of Jose Antonio Bowen’s Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning.

Meanwhile, I’m reading Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss and Janet Ruffings’s Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings. Both are thought provoking books, and I wonder about the hashtag for the ongoing discussion of these books.

Is there a website to connect with others that are currently reading, and wanting to discuss, certain thought provoking books? Are there easy ways to find hashtags, Facebook groups, Google Groups, or other online fora to discuss these books? If not, what would it take to start such a site?

#Rhizo15 Online Associative Poetry

When I was younger and it was my turn to put the children to bed, I would grab a few poetry anthologies to read to them. I would typically start off with one poem, and then moved to another poem that was somehow connected to the first, at least in my own mind.

Years later, I would go to ‘social dreaming matrices’ where people would share dreams and associations they had to the dreams. It was a challenge to resist the urge to interpret the dreams and instead to just share associations and observations about these associations.

Now that our youngest daughter is now a teenager, we have a new activity. We will sit around the dining room table and have a ‘riff off’. One person would play a song, typically from YouTube or Spotify on one electronic device or another. The next person would then play a song related to the first, and we would go around taking turns associating one song to the previous.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about this with poetry, combining the childhood reading of poetry with the free association on dreams or music, free associating from one poem to the next in an online community.

It seems to fit nicely with the whole rhizomatic learning event I’ve been participating in and it might be a fun thing to try there. I will share this post in the Practical Discussion group on Facebook. For that group, a starting poem could be The #Rhizo15 Artifact poem I wrote for this week. One person could share a poem they associate to this poem, and then others could share poems they associate with each subsequent poem. If they really like the idea, they could start a similar rhizomatic sharing of a poem with associations in other places, which could potentially serve to start other associative poem sharing in a fractal manner.

I will also probably start a similar thread on my own Facebook page and see if either of these take off.

The #Rhizo15 Artifact

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Many paths converged
(each path a learning subjective)
out of the directed graph
of carefully measured online posts;

the content in the creators,
the content in the community,

arriving back at the initial thoughts
as foretold by Eliot
and foreshadowed by Joyce.

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend
of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to
Howth Castle and Environs.

Along the way
we experience
the goddess
the temptress
the father,
we kill the Buddha
and get of the idea
of ‘dave’.

The ultimate boon?
An artifact?
A map?
L’objet petit a?
Perhaps an amulet
or talisman
that can assist the next hero
in their journey.

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