As mentioned earlier, I was invited to speak at Dr. Michael Stefanone’s Organizational Communication class. Entitled “The Rise of Us”, I spoke on the present and future uses of social media in corporations. By social media, I largely refer to things such as blogs, wikis and even Second Life.
Even though it was a huge lecture hall, I was quite disappointed with the lack of awareness to a lot of things I mentioned. Once again, there was the mentality that people who engage in these forms of activities have no life… be it studying black friday deals online, blogging, or even trying Second Life. Perhaps they do spend time on Facebook or MySpace, but we didn’t get there.
On a positive note, one of the students asked where people find the time to invest in these new media and whether it was a socially healthy in the first place. In response, I pointed out how the same question could have been asked when televisions first came around… followed by when the Internet first connected our households. While we are comfortable with the traditional media, I highlighted to them how legitimate affordances of social media are still being discovered, such as for the purpose of improving education or redefining politics.
Before I ended the session, I urged the students to experience these things for themselves since things like blogs and Second Life are very much like blank canvases waiting for an expression. As science fiction writer William Gibson once said, “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet”.
UPDATE1 : Who’d knew that this little video presentation of mine has made it into The Chronicle of Higher Education. Entitled “When Professors Are More Wired Than Their Students“, writer Scott Carlson points out our discussion on technological-apathy in academia, and on the legitimacy of blogs and Second Life as part of our mainstream media landscape.
UPDATE 2: By request, here’s the Microsoft Powerpoint file I produced for the presentation in the video. Feel free to use it to evangelize social media use on your campus!