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Great conversation - with valid concerns regarding how to preserve the integrity of the emergent profession known as "social media". As some have pointed out, the development of professional licensing and/or certification is one way that other professions have sought to ensure the trustworthiness of practitioners. What strikes me about this conversation is the remarkable similarity to issues that plagued an earlier "movement" - organizational learning. Peter Senge was perhaps the most visible leader of this enormous wave in the 1990's, and more can be learned about the concepts at: http://www.solonline.org/ How many of "us" were enthusiastic supporters of this way of thinking? And how many of us observed the rapid rise (and subsequent collapse) of the wave of "organizational learning" practitioners and Chief Learning Officers within many global organizations (e.g., Shell, Coca-Cola). There are lessons to be learned from that experience - perhaps most eloquently defined by Peter Senge himself when describing how a social movement can easily become perceived as a "cult" by non-believers.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2009 on How To Spot Social Media Snake Oil at Logic+Emotion
21st Century Guilds Who will lead their creation? It is my sincere belief that the guild system will return to prominence in the 21st century - as the most appropriate organizational "form" to harness the potential of we passionate creatives. After all, wouldn't it be incredibly rewarding to commit to a genuine apprenticeship under the leadership of a master like John Hagel? Seth Godin has more recently defined the "Tribe" as a new social form (http://tiny.cc/cIcwc) - and he could very well be onto something. Rock on! _ James