The Social Learning Curve

by Jay Deragon on 06/02/2010

Learning has a curve to it regardless of subject. Learning to use all things social follows typical learning curves, some learn faster while others never learn.

The term learning curve refers to the changing rate of learning (in the average person) for a given activity or tool. Typically, the increase in retention of information is sharpest after the first attempts, and then gradually even out, meaning that less and less new information is retained after each repetition.

The learning curve can also represent the first difficulty of learning something and, to an extent, how much there is to learn after first familiarity.

The rate of change and interest of a subject affects personal and organizational learning curves. The faster the elements of a subject changes and the higher the interest is indicative of new learning curves forming which can increase the difficulty after initial familiarity.

The Social Learning Curve

All things social are creating a herd of copycats following practices, methods and behavior created by the frenzy of learning something new. Everyone is running to Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and whatever new “social thing” appears on the market moment by moment. Many are following the content of self-appointed guru’s who propagate the wisdom of the crowds which becomes nothing more than obvious observation of short-term changes and moments of interest about who, what, where, how and why. It seems like some crowds follow the traffic without thinking about where the traffic is going.

When we stop and think about the meaning of what social technology represents and the relevant rates of change only then can we begin to learn how to adapt to learning curves before us. When we don’t think then we aren’t learning because all we are doing is following the behavior of others. Following others behavior isn’t learning rather it is simply repeating what others do or say.

The Economics of Learning Curves

The more we learn the more we know. Learning doesn’t stop after formal education. Learning is a lifelong process. When we stop learning we reduce our knowledge inventory and when our inventory doesn’t grow than productivity becomes static.

In economics learning of productivity and efficiency generally follows the same kinds of experience curves and has interesting secondary effects. Efficiency and productivity improvement can be considered as whole organization or industry or economies learn.

All things social are relevant to methodologies for improving anything and everything. Why? Because improvement cannot be achieved without communications. While most of today’s social media activities are centric to marketing and pr (with little improvement in methods) there is much more that social can help improve.

New improvement opportunities rest within the learning curve which is outside existing knowledge. To discover those improvement opportunities requires thinking beyond the moment and studying the very dynamics that create the rates of change and interest. Like money, the rates of change and interest are where the value of the next curve is created.  New knowledge rest outside of experience and learning the possibilities along the social curve is where the new roads of knowledge are developing.

Most of today’s social media traffic is following an old road and not creating a new one. The road of knowledge will take you back to the same place you’ve been or to a new place you haven’t been. You decide which road serves you best.

{ 42 comments }

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Kelly June 8, 2010 at 8:56 am

just as a follow up, If you liked the whitepaper, There is a webinar they are hosting that should be very cutting edge. You can register for now. It delves into social media and security, obviously a hot topic right now. http://bit.ly/cR80Al

Kelly June 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I’m a consultant working with Palo Alto Networks, a network security company that helps enterprises manage social networking apps on the corporate network. IT departments are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They know that end-users and the business units will revolt if these apps are outright blocked. At the same time, they know these apps carry risks and can’t leave them unchecked. It requires a good balance between enablement and security. There is a good whitepaper on the subject of blocking social networking apps, “To Block or Not. Is that the question?”
http://bit.ly/d2NZRp
It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps

Scott Dickson June 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

RT @SocialNetDaily: The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJT3

GAby Menta June 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

RT @SocialNetDaily: The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJT3

Roope Kiviranta June 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

RT @TopsyRT: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/aEZnF2

Yoez June 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm

RT @SocialNetDaily The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJT3

DeMarketting.com June 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm

RT @SocialNetDaily: The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJT3

jonnew June 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

RT @SocialNetDaily: The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJT3

Ken Banks June 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJSQ

Social Media June 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1UJT3

carlos fgutierrez June 4, 2010 at 3:17 am

http://www.relationship-economy.com/?p=10191 curva de aprendiZaje social

Sonja Gottschalk June 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

The Social Learning Curve http://su.pr/1BOFUe

ingenesist June 3, 2010 at 8:46 am

RT @JDeragon: The Social Learning Curve | http://lnkd.in/GQ6h7x

JonFerrara SocialCRM June 3, 2010 at 8:18 am

The Social Learning Curve – Where are you on the curve? – http://ht.ly/1TwID #SocialMedia

Holt Communications June 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm

This was interesting The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/d73OM4 #socialeconomy http://bit.ly/9WOz84

Business 3.0 Tech. June 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/aEZnF2 Most of today’s social media traffic is following an old road and not creating a new one.

Derek June 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I agree with the majority of what you’ve said here, however a great deal can also be learned by emulating the successful companies. Not copying their efforts, but using similar tactics while adjusting them to your unique needs.

Thanks!
.-= Derek´s last blog ..Socialwok Cooks Up Collaboration in Your Inbox =-.

lynnstrandmeyer June 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

RT @spyder_trap The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1SXzt | Dude! Awesome find. Helpful! #sm #nptalk

spyder_trap June 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

The Social Learning Curve http://ow.ly/1SXzt

Business 3.0 Tech. June 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Following others behavior isn’t learning rather it is simply repeating what others do or say http://bit.ly/c6fbY6 – How would you get head?

+ Mosaico June 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/dlpysg #socialmedia (por @AronStevenson) – Aprenda e gere mudança. Só repetir ñ basta!

card4net June 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

RT @TopsyRT: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/aEZnF2

JDeragon June 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

All things social are creating a herd of copycats following behavior created by the frenzy of learning something new. http://bit.ly/c6fbY6

Thierry de Baillon June 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/c6fbY6

Decio Coutinho June 2, 2010 at 7:56 am

RT @mosaicosocial That´s why I always #RF and #RT @AronStevenson: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/dlpysg #socialmedia (Super!)

+ Mosaico June 2, 2010 at 7:45 am

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/dlpysg #socialmedia (por @AronStevenson) – Aprenda e gere mudança. Só repetir ñ basta!

+ Mosaico June 2, 2010 at 7:43 am

That´s why I always #RF and #RT @AronStevenson: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/dlpysg #socialmedia (Super!)

Mosaico Social June 2, 2010 at 7:43 am

That´s why I always #RF and #RT @AronStevenson: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/dlpysg #socialmedia (Super!)

basilio_ June 2, 2010 at 7:31 am

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/djHZdN

Allen Howell June 2, 2010 at 7:05 am

RT @TopsyRT: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/aEZnF2

JDeragon June 2, 2010 at 5:33 am

The Social Learning Curve | http://lnkd.in/GQ6h7x

ALSAGORA June 2, 2010 at 5:18 am

RT @TopsyRT: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/aEZnF2

ALSAGORA June 2, 2010 at 5:17 am

J'ai lu sur The relationship Economy http://www.relationship-economy.com/?p=10191

Joe Grasso June 2, 2010 at 5:11 am

The Social Learning Curve: The road of knowledge will take you back to the same place you've been or to… http://bit.ly/dlpysg RT@JDeragon

Achievers Network June 2, 2010 at 5:11 am

The Social Learning Curve: The road of knowledge will take you back to the same place you've been or to a new plac… http://bit.ly/dmG0lZ

Aron Stevenson June 2, 2010 at 5:11 am

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/dlpysg #socialmedia

smconnection June 2, 2010 at 5:11 am

The Social Learning Curve: The road of knowledge will take you back to the same place you've been or to a new plac… http://bit.ly/dmG0lZ

prblogs June 2, 2010 at 5:11 am

RelationshipEcon: The Social Learning Curve: The road of knowledge will take you back to the same place you've bee… http://bit.ly/dmG0lZ

StarGazon June 2, 2010 at 5:01 am

The Social Learning Curve via The Relationship Economy – Learning has a curve to it regardless of subject. … http://tinyurl.com/27kbax6

AllThingsM June 2, 2010 at 4:48 am

The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/cIyPAm

JDeragon June 2, 2010 at 4:38 am

ReThink: The Social Learning Curve http://bit.ly/b1K4Nd

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