Friday, June 1, 2012

That Search Makes You Look Good

In an era of social media dominance who you know matters. But how do you get people to want to know you?   


You can be powerful: I'm not.
Innovative: Some people call me that.
Informative: I try, but other people are much better about breaking ed tech news than I am.
Influential: Last time I checked my Klout score was the the same as the AFLAC Duck, really.

All I've got left is funny.  I can do funny. Nick Provenzano (@TheNerdyTeacher) once told all his followers to follow me after I replied to a comment he made about airport security with a Spinal Tap reference, something about a vegetable in his pants. Pop culture is currency in social media. Knowing about the things that other smart people know about makes you part of the club. But what do you do about the things you don't know? Can you just Google it?

A few weeks ago I began following James Sanders (@jamestsanders) because I heard he was the keynote for a conference I can't go to on Google Apps in Education. His Twitter profile looked good and I decided he was a keeper. He is, innovative, informative, influential and it turns out, also funny.

Last Friday morning he tweeted that Doris Fisher would be in his classroom that day on short notice. He seemed like this was a big deal, so I wondered who she was. I was waiting in the drive through line at that coffee place to get some tea and scrolling through twitter. I switched over to Google and searched. Turns out it is a pretty common name. She was either a singer, a billionaire or a dead British politician. I went with the billionaire and in a few clicks found out that she was the founder of The Gap and also a major funder of KIPP schools. That fit.  Feeling more informed I tweeted back to James that I hoped he was wearing the right jeans. He got the joke and replied that he had on the wrong brand and was therefore doomed. It all happened in less time than it took to get my tea.

Am I a fraud for acting like I already knew who he was talking about? Is searching about a twitter reference cheating? I hope not. I'd like to think that's just information literacy being applied to social media. I have cultural currency in some areas, but I do borrow from Google when I need to. Now if you'll excuse me I have some online shopping to do.