This is an excellent post by Allison Fine on what is means to be a professional today. I think this has direct application to what it means to be an Extension professional today. Check out the excerpt below. - Bob
"Since 2005, I have spoken to thousands of executives from corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations about their discomfort using social media for business purposes. The problem for them isn't learning which button to push; if that were difficult seniors wouldn't be the fastest growing segment on Facebook. The real problem is that using social media challenges their basic assumptions of what it means to be "professional." The definition of professional behavior is an immutable set of behaviors developed early in one's career."
"A new definition of professional behavior is developing in this social world. Here is the transition:
Old professional = I am closed to the world
New professional = I am open and accessible to the world, strengthening my realtionships with people
Old professional = I can't make mistakes in public
New professional = I am human, when I inevitably make mistakes, I apologize quickly and sincerely
Old professional = I don't reveal my personal interests to the world
New professional = My interests, hobbies, passions make me interesting and attractive
Old professional = I am expected to have the answers to questions
New professional = I am searching for answers with my network of colleagues and supporters
Old professional = Power is taken and held
New professional = Power is shared and grown
Social media enable people to be their best selves: honest, open, fallible, funny, and connected, but too many people and organizations are still trying their best to imitate automatons. Your organization, reputation, logo and staff are living, breathing entities that need to be out in the world to be effective."