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PLN House of Horrors

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K Assynt

on 15 April 2016

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Transcript of PLN House of Horrors

The PLN House of Horrors
PLN Promise for Your University
What are PLNs?
Personal Learning Networks are dynamic and open networks of informal relationships of varied strength and reciprocity which each of your employees and students actively chooses to inspire them, learn from, and share their knowledge with around topics and projects they are interested in Profersonally (TM - Jason Seiden - http://youtu.be/LU_D795-9kE). It stretches across institutional, national and online-offline divides, but its reach and richness is particularly well supported by online social media tools.
The Promise
"The most effective organisations make use of employee [or student PLNs] to reduce costs, improve efficiency and spur innovation" (Cross et al. 2010 http://bit.ly/11UcR7r)
your STUDENTS become independent and self-guided learners
your RESEARCHERS easily engage in interdisciplinary/interdepartmental collaboration, effortless dissemination and knowledge transfer for greater impact and visibility
your SUPPORT and ADMIN staff collaborate across services and departments for better problem solving
your LECTURERS are inspired to implement modern and innovative learning and teaching methods - top ranking in National Student Survey guaranteed!
What do you actually get?
Staying inside?
Going outside?
Sisyphean toil of reputation management
Your students=customers...
Is there a choice?!
Blind teenage lust?
Are you just pursuing the latest buzzword?

+Jennifer Rainey explains the power of why:

Back to 1984?
Organisational Network Analysis of formal organisational structures and informal communications allows "managers [to] gain abird’s-eye view of existing network structures and communication patterns, which are often in stark contrast to what they believe them to be or how they would like them to function [...] In management settings ONA has been effective at providing leaders with insights to help diagnose and
solve the problems that often hamper important collective-process outcomes such as organisational structure, decision making, performance and innovation.
(Whelan et al. 2011 http://bit.ly/ZK04qX)
"it stands a reasonably good chance as being seen as invasive, manipulative, and intrusive, and will alienate the very knowledge workers and staff that you are trying to unite in purpose"

"it will be very tempting to use that information for disciplinary actions as well as for knowledge management. This spells disaster because using it just once to nail the office lovers or a gossip, (or even the person leaking company secrets) will easily undermine the further trust of staff in a dramatic and probably catastrophic fashion"

which can "detonate into a big fireball that will rip your organization apart"

Social Network Analysis - cure or curse? Matthew Loxton http://bit.ly/HBQ0IM
Playing with 2.0 cages
Enterprise/Virtual Learning Environment "solutions"
Buying the social learning solution or
getting stuck in an expensive perpetual beta?
Could not put it better than South Park - can you afford a Centurion Package?

Yammer was just getting going at this University after 2 years of centrally-supported embedding when...
Enabling or gagging conversations?
Motivating authentic participation or turning students and workers into zombies via fear and exhaustion - automatons ticking the boxes of "doing social"?
"Actually, people just don’t interact anymore. They post whatever they have been told they need to share across, or, even better, they
scheduled it all, so that they don’t have to leave their Inboxes and really important meetings, then they place the check marks on their to-do lists and the whole thing dies. Right there." Luis Suarez http://bit.ly/151h5s5

"the knowledge sharing paradox is that enterprise social tools constrain what they are supposed to enhance [...] Why would someone share everything they know on an enterprise network, knowing that on the inevitable day that they leave, their knowledge artifacts will remain behind? I could not imagine having this blog (AKA my outboard brain) cut off from me. I would not put anywhere near the effort I do now if someone else controlled my access to this blog."
Harold Jarsche http://bit.ly/1hKFjB1

Providing cozy safety or locking your early PLN adopters in a social intranets/web 2.0 VLE box?
Oh so perfectly stifling to "user-driven
innovation" and "locally sticky knowledge"
(More on Eric von Hippel by Mike Caufield here: http://bit.ly/HbfWdC)
"But the message Blackboard sent (and I think intentionally sent) over the years to skittish administrators was “Now that we’ve offered these innovations in the product itself, you can rein in all your experimenters and put them back in the box.”" Mike Caufield http://bit.ly/HbfWdC

"Our intranets have just as much likelihood of chance of re-enforcing the current modes of domination inside of an organization (further
re-enforcing the power structures that are encoded and embedded in our institutions) as it does being an emancipatory force."
Gordon Ross (http://bit.ly/HJ30LE)
T.R.A.N.S.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N or playing Dr Jekyll - Mr Hyde games?
"What kind of political form do we want to belong to, in our organizations, to resolve the divergent interests that are bound to happen?
The social intranet then is the convenient object, the "MacGuffin" in that strategic design exercise associated with answering that question"
Gordon Ross (http://bit.ly/HJ30LE)
“The empowerment of social actors [students, staff, academics] cannot be separated from their empowerment against other social actors [lecturers, managers, PIs], unless we accept the naïve image of a reconciled human community, a normative utopia that is belied by historical observation.
The power to do something … is always the power to do something against someone, or against the values and interests of this “someone”…"
Manuel Castells in Gordon Ross (http://bit.ly/HJ30LE)
Effective social learning = flattening hierarchies and breaking down the silos
"You need to earn both the merit and your reputation with total strangers. Every day. Every single day of the year. Year in, year out. And that’s pretty though, you know, specially, when you are not used to it."
Louis Suarez (http://bit.ly/151h5s5)
"Dad at a disco" nightmares for lecturers
"Lecturers can make sure they maintain dialogue with their students through participation in social media sites. But be careful. It's not as simple as 'going where your students are'. That never worked in the student bar and it won't work on Facebook. In both cases I wait until I'm asked before joining students. The last thing they want is their lecturer hanging around like Dad at a disco when they want to talk frankly and openly about their courses, assessment results or what they got up to in the small hours of the night. Student groups tend to set up their own Facebook groups anyway, without any prompting from their teachers."
Steve Wheeler (http://bit.ly/16kjfIu)
Students don't have qualms about excluding the university from their online PLN spaces - who's to stop them from "learning" by sharing solutions to multiple choice tests?
Ready to enter the legal jungle?
University's legal obligations clash with Terms and Conditions of social media tools...
Don't get me started on social media guidelines (university and professional), patenting, PR embargoes, commercial in confidence, sensitive information, copyright...
Letting in
the creatures of the night
Powerful external PLNs can be conduits to security breaches in your organisations
"LinkedIn released a new product today called Intro. They call it “doing the impossible”, but some might call it “hijacking email”. Why do we say this? Consider the following:

Intro reconfigures your iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad) so that all of your emails go through LinkedIn’s servers. You read that right. Once you install the Intro app, all of your emails, both sent and received, are transmitted via LinkedIn’s servers. LinkedIn is forcing all your IMAP and SMTP data through their own servers and then analyzing and scraping your emails for data pertaining to…whatever they feel like.

“But that sounds like a man-in-the-middle attack!” I hear you cry. Yes. Yes it does. Because it is. That’s exactly what it is. And this is a bad thing. If your employees are checking their company email, it’s an especially bad thing."
Bishop Fox (http://bit.ly/17fzg3i)
perception that blogs/social media inappropriate vanity projects for unproductive academics

"bloggersaretimewasters Says:
October 23rd, 2013 at 4:47 PM

@ Paul Bracher. I took the liberty to check out your website at Saint Louis University. I am not sure what the requirements for tenure are in your department, but I can assure you that if you keep up the meager publication output you have had so far (despite working in excellent labs at outstanding universities) you would find it difficult to obtain tenure at a serious and reputable University (though you would likely have a good shot at a community college).
I have also cross referenced the publication output and credentials of several other “bloggers”, like yourself. What you all have in common, besides the self-proclaimed notion that you are doing the community a huge favor by uncovering so many frauds left right and centre is… a modest publication output and an overall “low” scientific profile. By low I don`t mean that you keep a low profile out of modesty, mind you.
Bottom line. How about you people try to forge your careers through your own discoveries and original scientific inquiries, rather than try to get ahead by attempting to undermine the work of others? Ah wait, I guess many of you don`t do it because you are not able to. That`s too bad."

bloggersaretimewasters, a senior academic troll in comments at a reputable academic blog Chembark (http://bit.ly/H1ujku)
online reputation management is time-consuming and tricky - do you want your institution in a sockpuppeting or astroturfing scandals?

A fate of an academic trying to exploit social media for self-promotion and a WikiPR scandal:

"Emad Rahim, Dean of the College of Business and Management at Colorado Technical University, recruited Wiki-PR earlier this year. “I have been focusing the last few years in developing my brand as a thought leader in higher education and entrepreneurship,” he told me. “[Modern academia] requires a lot more media visibility. In other words I have to be ‘googleable’ to make my brand credible and that’s what brought me to work with Wiki-PR.”

Rahim paid Wiki-PR $1,500 over two installments to create a page for him on the site. “After reviewing all of my information [Wiki-PR] assured me that my profile would get published on Wikipedia without any problems. We wrote a short bio, included quotes and links to credible sources, publications, employment history, and a picture.”

At first he was happy with the result, but within two weeks the page had come to the attention of other Wikipedia editors. Email exchanges show the extent to which Wiki-PR spun and obfuscated the issue. On July 17, Rahim emailed the firm after noticing that his page had been marked for deletion for not being notable enough. CEO Michael French replied, “You're covered by Page Management. Not to worry. Thank you for your patience with the encyclopedic process.”

A few days later the page was deleted, and Rahim contacted French again. “You're in the queue for reuploading. We'll be live in five to eight business days,” was the entirety of French’s response. “What will prevent them from rejecting it again?” the academic asked. “It wasn't rejected. It was approved and went live,” French responded, adding: “Your page was vandalized.”

When the page was finally created again, it contained only one sentence. Rather than apologizing, French told Rahim to raise his media profile, and connected the academic to Scarsdale media, who offered 30 days of "media relations efforts" for another $800.

“They promised me results that they had no control over.“ At just 30 words long, Rahim’s profile cost him the equivalent of $50 per word.

Martin Robbins (http://bit.ly/H6BkRz)
Just think about it...
Image credits:

PLN Promise background image by Trey Ratcliff http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/2065282685/

PLN House of Horrors background composite image by Kay Assynt using
- Clare Bell http://www.flickr.com/photos/southpaw2305/4043601844/ and
- SNA Image from "A quantitative study of social organisation in open source software communities"[2012] Zanetti, Marcelo Serrano; Sarigol, Emre; Scholtes, Ingo; Tessone, Claudio Juan; Schweitzer, Frank OASIcs 2012 - Imperial College Computing Student Workshop 2012, Jones A.V. (Ed.), Pages: 116--122, Volume: 28, Publisher: Schloss Dagstuhl http://www.sg.ethz.ch/team/people/ischoltes/

Horror humans from Mansion of Terror Promotions 2008 by daveiam at http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveiam/sets/72157606996405330/

Conversations in social media from Briger King http://www.flickr.com/photos/birgerking/4731898939/, shared by +Pam O'Brian on her blog http://pamobriensblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/personal-learning-networks-and-organisations/

Big data teenage sex via @chris_friend @iwonabb on Twitter
Obama/Merkel via Twitter - specific reference lost

Jekyll and Hyde http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022835/ (re-release poster of 1931 movie)
Full transcript