There Goes the Eye Medicine – Cisco’s Big Move to Social Networking

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Application Points: Cisco could be blinding many of us. Commercially viable. Massive solution focuses on technical prowess. Cases still persist on really bad LMSs and Synchronous presentations (virtual meetings).


Many of us are struggling about how to discover the true value of the Web 2.0 and Social Learning in business. Cisco’s move is another glare from the sun. (To see clearly, I need to wear sun glasses.)

Amy Kucharik from IT Knowledge Exchange reported Cisco’s John Chambers rallying speech on how Cisco is implementing Social Networking, in a rather massive way. Cisco’s Collaboration Strategy: Adding Vision to Social Networking.

“Major components of this collaboration scenario, according to Chambers, are social networking and video — in fact, he said that “visual networking is the future.” But Chambers said Cisco plans to add vision to social networking, putting structure behind Web 2.0-type tools like Twitter or Facebook (he alluded to the way “kids” use social networking tools here), validating their use as business tools.”

“A highlight of the session was the demonstration of WebEx Connect and how Cisco’s latest and greatest collaboration technology (brought about by Cisco’s recent WebEx acquisition) will enable us to communicate differently. Jim Grubb — jokingly dubbed “chief demonstration officer” — joined Chambers on stage for the demo. They showed off one-touch meeting functionality and something called “casting,” which I captured in this short video. “

Amy Kucharik concluded her article with some skepticism. She feels technology may not keep the integrity of the social interaction.

I share her skepticism. I have been concerned with the problem of massive adoption or our propensity for scale. Technology, like that of Cisco, is an important recognition of the potential contribution of social networking. The downside is that trainers and those who wish to implement social learning and networking will overly focus on the use of the collaborative aspects and the tools, consequently using social networking in a very narrow and muted way, like an orphan.

For example, Virtual Training and LMSs are great tools. We are too familiar with what ails go with the systems and the quality of content and use. How often do we see poor applications of these tools?

Social Networking is like an eye medicine. You can’t apply it from a second story building. You need an eye drop to apply it directly.

Related Topics:

Deep Problems with Our Tools – e-Learning, Social Learning, etc.

LMS is Dead! But Long Live LMS!

“Humans are suckers for scale” – The Art of Simplexity

Ray Jimenez, PhD

“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”