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Facebook me sometime...

Facebook changed my life! Well, it changed the way I communicated with my niece about her wedding anyway. She coordinated a lot of wedding stuff through her facebook account, including colors for the wedding party (my daughter's the flower girl). When I first asked her about the wedding, she replied, "Facebook me". I was pretty sure she didn't want me to smack her in the head with the dictionary I was holding, so using said volume I quickly looked up "facebook" - wasn't there, darn Webster's! Anyway, it was lengthily explained to me that, as is common in N. American English, the noun had be verbed and I was to immediately go to Facebook and sign up as her friend. So began my limited experience with Social Networking.

Years ago, when the earth was green, dinosaurs ruled the earth and I had yet to return to graduate school, I worked in pharmaceutical sales. No I did not stand on a street corner, I worked for a large drug company and visited lots and lots of doctors and asked them what they liked and didn't like about the company's products. This feedback was analyzed to determine what the company's clientele were interested in. Businesses have been doing this for a long time. Seems to me these Social Networking sites offer us a similar opportunity.

These sorts of utilities have tremendous potential both for internal organization (a nice way to organize our areas of expertise and what we're currently working on and the information we have currently prepared to present) and to assess and get input from our clientele and stakeholders. Our clientele could provide input on what issues they would like to see discussed at upcoming events, or even suggest programming that's needed. One of the biggest concerns of Extension Educators is that we stay responsive and relevant. This could be a mechanism whereby that is easily achieved. Although we have far too many individual clients to make this feasible, it might work very well for representative groups. In my case, I'm thinking of commodity groups, who everyday hear the concerns and needs of their members.

In addition, client profiles for an audience could provide information that would make our programming not just more efficient and responsive but more attractive to our clientele. It can include what venues are preferred, what ancillary services have been most appreciated Yes, I know we all keep this info in our heads, but it's still nice to get the input and maintain a record of client's needs.

I have yet to establish either a Facebook or a MySpace account, but someday, maybe somebody will Facebook me.....

Comments

great post! These are great ideas. I especially like the idea of using online networking to interface with commodity groups. Thanks for doing week 8!