“You have been influenced when you have thought something that you otherwise wouldn't have thought or done something that you otherwise wouldn't have done.” – Philip Sheldrake, “The Business of Influence”
There are a lot of people who influence me. Today I was influenced by Sarah Baughman, Evaluation & Research Specialist for the Military Families Partnership eXtension Initiative.
She curates information about evaluation as it pertains to Extension work with a Scoop.it page at: http://www.scoop.it/t/cooperative-extension-evaluation. What she shared today (actually yesterday - I just read it today) was an article about Social Media Measurement Standards. There were several good points made in this article including the quote above. In her curation, Dr. Baughman said, "One interesting point is the statement that reach comes before engagement and influence takes place beyond engagement." While this sounds like an obvious conclusion, the discussion on her Scoop.it page points out that with social media, engagement and influence increases reach in a snowballing sort of way.
Reading this reinforced my belief that social media is a good thing for me and for extension to be using. I just have to commit myself to do a better job at it. And figure out how to do it well while doing all the other things I should be doing. I know many (if not all) of you are in the same boat. We can't ignore social media if we want to continue to grow our influence - which is what Extension is all about. To use social media effectively, you have to listen, respond to others comments, and share new information. All of this takes time. It's becomes a matter of allocating the right amount of time to social media to achieve your goals.
If you want to keep up with new ideas about measuring and reporting extension work, follow her Scoop.it page. It's easy. Just click on the "Follow" button. Don't worry about getting too much - she only posts 3-4 times a month.
Another Scoop.it that influences me is Bob Bertsch's "Working Differently in Extension". He recently shared a YouTube video from AgNerds where they give a really good discussion about how farmers and agents are using Twitter to deal with a recent army worm infestation in Ontario.