Who's Controlling your profile?

Have you ever been giving a presentation or talking to someone and all of a sudden you say something that makes you stop and think. I do it quite often actually and most of the time these turn into blog posts as is this one. My last session at EARCOS I was all fired up with a standing room only crowd and I was talking about Facebook and having a social presence when this came flying out of my mouth. “If you don’t take control of your social presence, someone else will!” I had some shocked looks in the room, some wiggles in the chairs, and after the session ended had three people come up to me and ask “How do I register my own domain name?” (I use godaddy.com BTW) As educators I think it is even more important. Like it or not, your students are out there and they’re talking about you! You can either allow them to create your social presence for you or you can take control of it. I’ve talked about the power of your social presence before and it is a scary thing if you do not have a gage on what’s out there. You can’t control what others say about you, but you can try to control what Google and Facebook searches find and rank. I’ve also been hard on schools lately who are not controlling their social presence in Facebook. If you are a teacher in a high school go search for your school and see what you find. Then ask yourself: 1) Is this what we want incoming students to know?2) How could our school harness the power here?3) What do we want students; Past, Present, Future to find and know about. (BTW schools…blocking it does not make it go away!) One school that is getting this, I think anyway, is the International School of Kuala Lumpur. When you do a search for ISKL at Facebook the first group that comes up is their alumni group with over 1300 members. I used this as an example in my presentation and the Alumni overseer of the group was at the conference heard that I had use the site and approached me. The site was started by two past students. The alumni association approached them and asked if they could make this the official site. The school’s alumni association now works with...

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Let your presence be known!

Last week I listened to TWIT episode 121. This is not unusual as the TWIT podcast is my favorite podcast to listen to; great quality, good people, and relevant topics that somehow I always find a way to bring back to education. Now the unusual part comes with my wife and I having a conversations on Saturday morning that paralleled what they were talking about on TWIT. It is also something I have been thinking about over the past couple of days. Now either my wife is secretly listening to TWIT (which would bring a tear to my eye) or there truly is some power in this network.During the TWIT episode (right around the 60-minute mark), they talk about networks and how much a network can be worth. In the episode, they use Scoble as an example.  “He would probably bring you 20, 30, 40 thousand dollars worth of value just in the marketing of his social presence. Think of that, if you were a company you would get 20, 30, 40 percent discount on his presence.” “Everybody who is in your social network is worth 50 cents to a dollar to your employer.” Think about that for a minute. Is your social presence, your social network, worth something? Absolutely! Now education is not in the money-making business, but we are in the knowledge business. That knowledge is worth something to our schools, our districts, and to the teachers we teach with and help. I’ll use myself as an example: Because of my social presence, how many of you know of Shanghai American School (SAS)? How many of you think that Shanghai American School would be a good school to work at? How many of you would consider working for SAS because of what you know about the school through my social presence? Is that worth something to my school? Is it worth something to my school that a teacher asks for a letter to explain blogging to parents, and that I am able to Twitter the request and in less than 5 minutes have three links to help that teacher? Is it worth something to my school that as the recruiting process is upon us in international schools, that administrators can point recruits to my blog as an example of the types of things we are doing at SAS? Do schools understand the value of what they have...

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