Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

By Dennis D. McDonald

It's unusual for me to be interviewed. I usually do interviews in connection with my own research or my own client work. Over the past month, however, I've been interviewed five different times by five different people:

  1. A newspaper reporter. The interview topic was the use by local governments of social networksorks such as "Facebook" to develop better relationships with young people. My comment was that many young people will resist using systems such as Facebook for receiving official communications via "trusted" sources such as Facebook. This attitude changes in an emergency situation, though, given what we saw at Virginia Tech following the shootings there.
  2. A magazine freelance writer. The interview topic was adoption (or lack of adoption) by government agencies and first responders of social media and social networking as elements in emergency response communications. The article will eventually be published in a magazine devoted to technology and government medical services. (I'm doing some of my own research into the topic.)
  3. A consulting company. This was a company I had contacted in the past for market information related to a strategic market analysis project I was doing for a client earlier this year. The purpose of the call was a combination of market research and professional networking. We chatted about the impact of "web 2.0" technologies on corporate learning and training systems and how many different corporate functions are being impacted by increasingly simple and powerful social and professional networking platforms.
  4. A university researcher. This was the second time in the past several months I've been interviewed by people from this particular college. This interview dealt with trends in knowledge management as I saw them. I discussed the difference between "old KM" and "new KM" in light of the rise in popularity of social media and social networking both inside and outside the firewall. The interview was an opportunity to wax speculative, but to be honest, I drew on many of the concepts I'm dealing with in a consulting project I'm doing now for a collaboration software company.
  5. A market researcher. The researcher was following up on my having registered for and used a new online software tool for scheduling meetings. I enjoy market research interviews, probably because I started my career with several years of quantitatively oriented research into how technology impacts professional communications and publishing.
With such a variety it's difficult to draw any conclusions from the above, other than to wonder about the coincidence of being asked for so many interviews in so short of time. I figure there is some seasonality there (early Fall, back to school, etc.) but i think wider acceptance of social media and social networking is a reality and that is one of the things I'm taking away from this.


Studying Social Media's Role Following an Emergency

A Variety of Disaster Response Communications Options