I read Shannon Paul’s blog this morning where she was invited to speak at a class at Ferris State University on using social media tools in marketing research. While she did not share the entire content of the class on her blog, she alluded to the gist of it in her afterthoughts and with the question: “How do you prepare communications students for a world where no canonized body of work applies?”
But the fallacy that there is “no canonized body of work” is not entirely accurate. There are huge volumes of works that study human behavior. The problem I have with social media classes like this is they study the medium rather than the text. It is the same issue I have with business and social media experts who attempt to sell an ROI of social media.
Why do we eat? The simple answer would be that if we did not eat, we would die. But that is not entirely true. Science can provide us with a pill we can take that would provide exactly the nutrition we need — no more, no less — to keep our bodies healthy. Yet, we resist the notion that a pill, taken three time a day, would replace daily meals.
For those of you who may not know, I was with the Dayton Daily News from 1998-2002. It was perhaps the most meaningful period of my life, in which I learned how to write objectively, think independently, treasure really, really talented people around me, learned how to change the world with little more than a thought and a pen, to learn patience, compassion and humility from greater human beings and learned how to find meaning in a job where I was paid almost nothing and expected to accomplish almost everything. I loved every heartache of the 4 1/2 years I spent there.
Yesterday, I visited the DDN building on Ludlow Ave in downtown Dayton. They were having a public sale where furniture, computer equipment, etc was being sold for whatever they could get. I went to walk the halls for one last time, to hear my friends, colleagues and mentors in my head one last time, to reclaim the same excitement I felt coming into the old newspaper building every morning. I was not disappointed.