Next Stop…Social Media Awareness

I am looking forward to some fast passed learning with #ksudsm. Although it will  be a really short, world wind tromp through social media. Trying to name three aspects of this mysterious world that I look forward to learning is a little like trying to decide what I think I might find most interesting about an upcoming exploration of unicorns. Both propositions leave me fairly indecisive. I am reasonably confident at this point that you cannot put your finger on either and that everyone has a slightly different image of them. The mere fact that I learned new words by just reading our course syllabus assures me that I

Unicorn

Borrowed from Flickr.com (CC0)

know I do not know what I do not know. None the less I will begin there.

 

I have heard of, and read a little about, Gamification, but Transmedia is a completely new term for me. Enticing a learner to explore multiple platforms in order to follow a story, while subconsciously learning, is an intriguing idea. One of my challenges, as a training developer, is how to most efficiently prepare a new employee for the role they are about to take on, without totally overloading their mind with days of consecutive single subject servings of CBTs. On the one hand, they sure seem eager to get out of the classroom and out into their new role under this approach, despite the contrasting ambient temperatures of a brisk 73° classroom and a sweltering manufacturing environment that averages above 95°. However, the missing link is how to realistically tie the various subjects together, in order to better build a transferable set of skills for our new team members. An increased understanding of both gamification and transmedia may enhance that effort.

Another area I know I should improve in is self-branding. Self-promotion was just never my style. It always felt like something that requires a certain level of bravado that I just never developed. In retrospect, I think I always enjoyed when people underestimated me based on some initial preconception, then quickly surpass their impression with results. Having spent the lion’s share of my adult life in the military, where it was not largely an issue, I now face a growing potential of preconceptions based on appearance caused by nature’s chrome job (motorcyclist go chrome, not gray). Improving my brand could open new doors in the waning years of my career. I always thought this just meant having a good resume or LinkedIn posting (of which both of mine need work), but I am already finding there is so much more I can do. A Harvard Business Review article covered several simple steps. Dr. Daws already covered Googling yourself. Author Soumitra Dutta also suggest protecting your identity by purchasing your own domain, and then using that to establish your Social Media accounts. Then also exploiting employer provided platforms.

So I may still not know much about unicorns by October, but if one of them ever needs advice about Social Media, then I may be able to help them.  

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