I had the privelage of attending the NSW KM Forum monthly gathering last evening and listening to some wonderful people speak about their successes, failures and learning's when interacting with online communities. One speaker in particular caught my attention.
Mark Pollard proposed some wonderful thinking with regard to contribution and community. In his presentation he had some great statements to make that, for me at least, were very thought provoking. Mark contends:
- That not all interaction is created socially
- Just because it happens using social media technology does not make it "social"
- His sense of community was defined as: "a group of people with a common belief system that interact constructively and directly with each other"
The last point struck the greatest chord with me as it forced me to understand whether my belief system was integral in determining whether I chose to interact with a community or not?
I came to the conclusion that as a life long learner, my belief system is developed based on my openness to learning and therefore the more I learn the more I develop this belief system. This in turn will play a major role in whether I interact or seek to interact with communities both virtual and face to face.
I then found myself ruminating whether there is in fact huge merit in social network analysis before contemplating the use of social media within organisations? Should we know what these belief systems look like to understand the opportunities for success? Surely people interact because of the similarities in their belief systems? What comes first? Interaction or belief?