Sunday, November 30, 2008

Apathy vs. Lack of Proper Training

I, like many, worked at a grocery store in high school. First a bagger, then a cashier, then the produce department. Each job required training on how to do it. I usually spent several shifts shadowing someone, then several on my own but with supervision. This method seemed to work just fine. I see it employed places other than the grocery store.

Lately, I have been amazed at how poorly grocery bags are packed by store employees. I know that you have to adjust to the bag type, cloth or plastic these days, but I can't tell if the employees are lazy or just didn't get proper training. I even go as far as emptying my cart strategically to try to help - put all the cold stuff together, bread and eggs last so they can go on top, etc. But it doesn't seem to matter.

I think there is a fine line between apathy and lack of training, at least trying to identify which situation it is. Anyone have any great ideas for identifing and then fixing either situation?

Monday, November 24, 2008

This should be on a tee shirt

Another Shirky Quote:

Revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new technologies -- it happens when society adopts new behaviors.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Are Your Members Comparing You To?

Another great quote from Shirky in Chapter 6 that I think gets lost on a lot of folks.

Prior to the spread of movable type, scribes didn't write slowly; they wrote at ordinary speed, which is to say that in the absence of a comparable alternative, the speed of a man writing was the norm for all publishing. After movable type came in, scribes started to write slowly, even though their speed hadn't changed; it was simply that they were being compared to something much faster.

So what are your members comparing you to?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Word of Warning

Shirky has a great quote in Chapter 6 that you should use as an association professional in advocating your boss for starting a social media program or hiring someone dedicated to your current social media efforts.

With many more possible groups competing for the average individuals time, the speed with which a group can come unglued has also increased.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to the Blogging

Wow. I just realized it has been 5 weeks since I posted last. That is what having a new job as ED and a 7 month old will do. Needless to say, I have been busy. But, I have started reading Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky again. So, be ready to see a few posts about what nuggets I dig up.

Here is today's nugget. In Chapter 5, Shirky talks about Power Law distributions and Wikipedia contributors. And this quote is something I think too many people forget in associations when planning or launching their social media projects:
To understand the creation of something like a Wikipedia article, you can't look for a representative contributor, because none exists. Instead, you have to change your focus, to concentrate not on the individual users but on the behavior of the collective.

If you don't have champions ready to help lead the effort and be the top of that power law curve, you won't get anywhere. Plus, if you are only looking at a small sample of your members, you may not be getting the true picture of who will participate.