Time to get serious about the course I will be teaching this Spring Term. I have been so excited about the Action Research Nicaragua course that I have put this upcoming course on the back burner. The Spring Term course is called Social Media Strategies for Business and it is taught once a year in the Emerging Media track for Colorado Technical University. I designed and developed the course three years ago and have taught it twice. Given the speed with which Social Media has been adopted and adapted during the last three years it is time for an update. And maybe some retrospection on where social media was and where it is going as a business tool. (In my course “business” can be defined as a variety of organizations, nonprofits, educational institutions, the military, government, etc.). To encourage retrospection I have assigned Kevin Kelly’s book published in 1998 New Rules for a New Economy. It’s a good starting place for the students who will mainly be new to the Emerging Media track. In the book, Kelly wrote about ten rules that guide the use of technology in our economy and what he wrote then, almost 15 years ago, is what is now happening. The first time I taught this course I assigned Yochai Benkler’s book The Wealth of Networks. Benkler’s book is similar to Kelly’s but written from a pure economist viewpoint. In the Spring of 2010, the ideas in Benkler’s book were close to heresy, very much in conflict with the beliefs with which many of these adult students had been raised. Spring of 2011, I again used Benkler’s book and there was very little controversy. So now, I think the course needs to look back a little at what has been happening since 1998 and especially what has happened in the last couple of years. Perhaps then the new emergence might become clearer to all of us.
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