A Short Trip Down Memory Lane…

On the quest of becoming a truly social-minded culture, about a year and a half ago, we rolled up our sleeves and created a multi-level, multi-track social media training program that used game principles and integrated with our Education Management System to encourage and reward participation. We augmented our on-demand courses with a vibrant community filled with self-service resources, online discussions (we call them “social chats”), team challenges, and recognitions and testimonials.

What I’m most proud of is that we did this in house and on a shoestring budget (imagine toddler-sized shoes and shoestrings). The original team was very small, namely the wonderful Elizabeth Houston (please give it up for @elhoust) and yours truly (@petra1400). Having seen great success with our internal program and inspired by the possibilities of growing and even bringing it to our customers, partners and general public, we have added some resources and upgraded to kid-sized shoestrings. Soon, the external-facing training program pilot, a scaled down version of our internal program was born. (For the record, the current team is still really small and also includes @kmgibbs and some of @nrrivas07 and our fun intern, @efannie’s time).

We knew it was just a matter of time before we wanted to expand the customer-facing program and mirror it after our internal program as much as possible.

Driving in the Fast (and Furious) Lane

Over the past few months, we have been working furiously on making this dream become a reality. While we have a little longer to go before you can test drive our new social media training center, we want to share some screen shots of this new environment. Besides individual learning, participants will be able to create their own network, join communities, get live updates from the socialsphere and jump into conversations with fellow students. We are currently beta testing it with a few people (many thanks to them for volunteering their time!) and if everything checks out, we are looking to pilot the center in or around January 2014. Stay tuned for more information.

A Virtual Tour

Upon entering the training center, Elizabeth (@elhoust) – whom I consider the mother of this center – will greet and orient you.

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This tool will house a set of live and on-demand resources, activities and networking opportunities to help you learn and make friends. Similar to our internal program, participants will have the option to advance through different levels, and earn points and perks on their road to social media mastery.

LEARN by participating in our on-demand courses, checking out our self-service resources and online chats, and by forming study groups with your peers.

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MAKE FRIENDS by discovering who’s in your area, what they’re talking about, what they’re learning, and by exchanging your perspectives with them.

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We are so excited and can’t wait to share the final product with you! And we hope you will like it as much as we do.