Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Social Media and Academics

I was at an interesting meeting today at that excellent establishment Henley Business School. HBS are looking at the next phase of their social media strategy and as a Henley alumnus (MBA 96) I was there to provide input from the alumni as well as my thoughts on SM strategies. It was a positive session and I am looking forward to getting the new strategy underway.

One interesting feature was a perceived reluctance from some academics to use blogs. This seems strange to me as they are generally opinionated (quite rightly), like to share their opinions (lectures), like to be well regarded (kudos) and good at writing (it's their job). So from my simplistic viewpoit it would seem that Blogs would be a natural medium.

So why the reluctance? It could be the professional standards based on peer reviews and double blind referreed papers make the idea of something as free format as a blog seem uncomfortable. But speaking as a practioner, I'd like to hear more views or opinions on current topics with can act as brain food. The time it takes to get academic journals published are not compatible with the speed business models are changing. For example, anyone trying to publish papers on social media has a real challenge to be currrent and useful.

So the answer may be to encourage more snapshots of academic research, considered viewpoints or maybe provacative questions. Dr Neil Hair at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York State has created his community of "lab rats" where he can pose questions and test ideas ( so there are great examples where this happens.

Come on guys, you've got lots of stuff we are interested in and we'd love you to share some of it!

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