Thursday, July 8, 2010
I'm wondering what kind of social media my fellow property profs use for professional and networking purposes. I taught undergrad business students last year and we had interesting conversations about their relationship with social media as students and how that would change when they entered the "real" world. I suspect that the norms that I'm used to as a practitioner are different than the norms in the professional academic world.
1. Blogs. This one is easy since this is, obviously, a blog. My experience is that blogs are significantly more prevalent in academic circles. Practitioners don't seem to use them. I think they're missing out.
2. Facebook. When I asked my undergrads how many of them used Facebook, nearly every hand in the room went up. We talked about their criteria for "friending" and it usually translated to "someone I met at a party once." One senior had 1000+ "friends." I, on the other hand, have pretty strict rules about Facebook. I'm "friends" with my family and actual friends, but not "work friends." Definitely not clients. Or students. I understand that 250-500 million people are on Facebook and it has its place, but I have a hard time imagining how it can be used in a professional context.
3. Linked In. I am a big fan of Linked In, which is much smaller but basically the equivalent of Facebook in the professional world. I've found it to be very useful to smooth initial introductions to people I'd like to talk to as well as keep those in my rolodex updated on my professional moves. I have linked with a number of my former students on Linked In and some of them have told me that it helped them find jobs. Besides helping our students make professional connections, Linked In also has great promise in bridging a gap between academics and practitioners, allowing us to share info with one another. Any property profs who are members, I'd love to link with you!
4. Twitter. For some reason, the accounting profession is in love with Twitter. Beyond that, it seems to be populated by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore fans. I'm not sure legal academics can do too much with 140-character tweets.
What do you think? Are legal academics using social media effectively? Could we do more to use these tools to collaborate and create virtual communities with our colleagues across the country and around the world? What else could we try?
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