I am unabashedly bullish on the impact of social media applied to the enterprise and, more specifically, on e-learning. Social + Learning is a formula that is both powerful and transformative.
In my last post, I put forth the opinion that enterprise 2.0 technologies heretofore are “empty drums.”
What I meant by this is that a successful social community needs three ingredients to be successful: 1) Enabling Technology; 2) Vibrant Community; and 3) Great Content. With no community and no content, you are left with an empty barrel where users don’t contribute because it looks like no one visits and no one visits because it looks like no one contributes.
The key is social media’s power of “amplification.” Amplification is the reason the New York Times gets one billion hits to its content monthly and has become one of the most accessed content sources on the planet. It’s great content, accessed by a vibrant community, facilitated by enabling technology (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
So as you think about the emerging role of social as part of your learning strategy, don’t focus on the enabling technology as much as how you can leverage the two ingredients that you already have. You probably already have a license to use a variety of digital books and other learning assets. If you are a SkillSoft client, this means that you likely have enterprise courseware, simulations, e-books, analyst reports, video programs, job aids, etc. And, you already have a captive base of users consuming this content. You have two of the three ingredients.
Now, when you consider the missing ingredient – the enabling technology, think about which learning provider can provide you not with an ‘empty drum,’ but with a social learning framework that immediately takes advantage of your existing e-learning investments.
This notion of leveraging the amplification benefits of social technology to enable users to create profiles, discover one another, co-create useful content in context, share it easily, rate it, build a reputation, and ultimately tailor the learning repository into a living, dynamic community is the core design principle behind SkillSoft’s social strategy.
We call it inGenius. We’re seeing the excitement for it build within our community, especially since our friends at Bersin & Associates announced that we’ll launch it at its IMPACT 2010 conference.
I invite you to try inGenius to see for yourself how this approach can immediately begin driving social results that are meaningful, safe, and aligned to your learning initiatives.