Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

Do you need training in social media?

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...
Image by luc legay via Flickr

This social media course in Birmingham is causing a lot of controversy. That’s understandable’ since everyone who uses it at the moment is self-taught so why the need to spend £4000 on a course?

The tutors involved are pointing out that people who aren’t on the course are in no position to comment, which sounds fair enough. I have another problem with it, though. I’m writing a book on social networking (yes I know I’ve mentioned that a number of times) and one of the things that scares me – no, terrifies me – is that between the time at which I submit the manuscript and it actually seeing the inside of a bookshop, a process that will take about 5 months due to dark arts and publishing industry reasons, it’ll be totally out of date.

Consider, for example, if I’d been commissioned to write it a year ago. I’d have mentioned Twitter, certainly, but it would have appeared as a bit of a side issue to other social media like Bebo, Myspace, Facebook. There’s no doubt that these will have their place in the book this time around, but I’ll be writing for a generation that’s aware of social networking purely because it’s been on Twitter. The hooks, the way people get into it, have changed. In a very short time.

And now there’s a course on it. Well, fine. 25 years ago I started a course in French at college, and over the years my knowledge has become dated – I don’t know whether there’s a French word for iPod, or WiFi, we simply didn’t have them 25 years ago. I can accept that over a quarter of a century. My concern about degree-level social networking is that it’ll date almost as much over a period of months.

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March 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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