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10 Social Media Quick Tips

1. Determine your goals before signing up for a service.

2. Make sure you have a presence on the ones with the most traffic: i.e., Twitter and Facebook.

3. Keep it Simple.  Do not sign up for everything or you will have to maintain everything.

4. Engage, engage, engage!

5. Be responsive – Twitter operates in literally seconds. 

6. Remember it’s ALL about the relationship. 

7. Be Kind.  There will be haters - ignore them, but thank your followers – profusely.

8. Give some to get some. For example: Offer behind the scenes info about what you do and how you do it.

9. Be real.  Speak their language.  (Know your demographics)

10. Have fun!  

My undergrad degree was not planned.  I had graduated with an Associate of Arts (AA) in Liberal Arts from the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA.  I am glad I went to the effort to get that designation since it saved me a lot of time when I went on to other programs.  If you don't have the AA then your units are judged individually.  Not good.  With the AA they took the units as a fulfillment of my General Education - no questions asked.  Time was running out to enter a program for that year; I had entertained joining the Air Force - but I ended up withdrawing that option when I found out my educational pursuits was not what I had believed.  Education and learning has always been very important to me.

I was looking through the newspaper and saw an invitation to an information session for the University of San Francisco (USF) offering a degree program right in the town I was living.  It peaked my interest and I attended.  The program being offered was Organizational Behavior.  I have to admit that I had never heard of it before, but I have always been intrigued by behavior so I thought it would be a good fit. In the program, I could obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in a year and a half. Even better, some of the units were obtained through Experiential Learning, which meant I got to apply what I learned in school by writing essays.  I was in heaven!  I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with USF. I was the youngest in the class by almost 20 years, but that made it even more exciting to me.  A panel of teachers in San Francisco judged our essays, so I competed on the same ground as my classmates.  It turned out to be a huge boost to my confidence as I demonstrated my knowledge of business and life.  One of the assignments was to write our autobiography.  Reading it today is quite a treat!

My Master’s Degree was obtained under similar circumstances.  I was nearing 30 and wanted an advanced degree – Law School was my preference at the time but the schedule for their classes was 4 nights a week for 4 years.  That was a little much even for me.  I decided instead on a MBA program that was 2 nights a week at California Lutheran University for just under 2 years.  They held classes just down the street from where I worked. It was perfect. I chose International Business as my minor, but it turned out that the classes weren’t offered at that campus so guess what I ended up with? Yes, that’s right, Organizational Behavior.  I will admit that I was sort of bummed.  Remember, I had already proved my competency in the subject at USF.  I haven’t really ever promoted my majors because it usually meets with:  “What?” or What is that?  Then today as I was listening to a course on Udemy entitled: Darden School of Business Entrepreneurship Course (it’s free!).  I heard this clip (below), I had to record it and share.  Amazing how someone recognizing the value of Organizational Behavior can suddenly change my perception, or at least wake it up. 

I truly loved the knowledge and experience I gained in Organizational Behavior, in case you are wondering what it is, here’s a good definition:

Organizational behavior is an academic discipline concerned with describing, understanding, predicting, and controlling human behavior in an organizational environment. Organizational behavior has evolved from early classical management theories into a complex school of thought—and it continues to change in response to the dynamic environment and proliferating corporate cultures in which today's businesses operate. Understanding one individual's behavior is a challenging problem in and of itself. A group, made up of different individuals and multiple relationships among those individuals, is even more complex…. In the fact of this overwhelming complexity, organizational behavior must be managed. Ultimately the work of organizations gets done through the behavior of people, individually or collectively, on their own or in collaboration with technology. Thus, central to the management task is the management of organizational behavior. To do this, there must be the capacity to understand the patterns of behavior at individual, group, and organization levels, to predict what behavior responses will be elicited by different managerial actions, and finally to use understanding and prediction to achieve control. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/organizational-behavior#ixzz2O8KQZrvR

Pretty cool huh?

 

I am one of the biggest fans of social media and the Internet – I love the opportunities it brings to connect with a wider audience than your current surroundings.  I have written about it before, First Monday how I have met people because of Twitter and I am extremely thankful for the ways it has changed my life.

Today I am writing about a way that it is destructive.  I love school – you’ve noticed I am sure, I love learning; I love the experience of school, the camaraderie with the other students (USC was the best, by far), the atmosphere of the place – well, basically everything.  It is definitely a true and deep love for me.  And when the classes started moving online I was thrilled.  I could take even more classes!  It was awesome. 

Until they loaded the students with so much busy work to compensate for not having class that it shut down the learning process entirely.  No one can keep up with the sheer volume and actually learn anything.  What happened to class discussions and projects that not only demonstrated what you learned, but taught you so much more?  Remember the group projects you hated but always were better for having gone through the process?  Isn’t that the point of education – to make you a different person?  A better person?

I am all for “easy points”, but within reason. Loading up students with an already full schedule with ridiculous assignments is cruel.  Maybe the students will be able to do research, but it doesn’t take more than a couple assignments for that task to be learned, and I haven’t found it to be an actual job requirement for most people, but I have found that being able to speak with others is pretty important.

I know the steep budget cuts in education are to blame for some of these decisions but there are also spiteful teachers who want the online classes to fail so they don’t have to do them anymore, but it’s really the students who suffer.  They have to take these classes to get the degree they desire for the career they want.  If this was my only alternative right now, I don’t think I would have fallen in love with education.  I think I would have quit.  In fact, at that age, I know I would have.  I worked full time all through college – there is no way this volume of work would even be possible.  And this is one class.  A normal workload is at least 4 – 5 classes.  It’s a shame.  People are hungry for good education and interaction. 

Over the past 2 years I have taken 12 online classes.  With a few exceptions they have all been loaded with nonsense assignments to fill the time instead of interactive assignments designed to recreate the classroom experience.  The notable exceptions were some of my computer forensic classes, coincidentally all with the same teacher, who created scenarios we had to figure out to get the class work done.  They were awesome.  It took work from the professor but it fully engaged the class and in the end we walked away with actual hands-on knowledge and experience.  I have to remember to thank him again. 

The Internet is the perfect vehicle to provide quality education, but it is just that, a vehicle, the people who are driving have to care enough to provide the class work that is not a punishment for the users, but an engaging and informative class – just like the classroom experience.  I think it can be done (I have seen it done).  Maybe I will be part of it.  Who knows?  But vocalizing the flaws is the first step to any change don’t you think?

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