“Consider the source.” – SCN Encourager 11/21/2013

I’ve always thought this was good advice.

Now I’m not so sure.

And I’m not a confident school communicator when one of my tried and true clichés can’t be trusted.

When I learned that The American Journal of Medical Quality sent in a team of researchers to study the Facebook pages of 40 New York City hospitals, I relished the opportunity to immerse myself in the findings and report them out to you.

Because there are so many similarities between education and healthcare, I tagged this study as a “five star” source for relevant social media insights.

Articles like this are usually perfect for weaving into the Encourager.

Even if I totally mess up and misinterpret its lessons (known to happen), if the study itself derives out of a high-brow professional publication, I still might come off as a contemplative intellectual.

I can’t lose.

Just the name of the magazine — The American Journal of Medical Quality — makes me want to wear a bright round button on my sweater that teases “Ask me what I’m reading today?”

Luckily, I kept this button in my dresser drawer.

The study let me down.

Think about it.

The extensive data collected in this research was used to compare every hospital’s Facebook “likes” with its corresponding mortality rate.

That’s it.

The researchers took great pride in announcing that the hospitals with the greatest number of “likes” on Facebook were also those that experienced the lowest mortality rates.

Big whoop.

Even I couldn’t botch up the conclusion that if an organization wants to build up an army of satisfied and “raving fans,” it should consistently make every effort to keep them alive!

Oh, brother.

I had originally planned on this “considered source” (this esteemed  journal) as an easy way to coast and show off.

Dang, was I wrong.

But not every source is flawed.

Recently I had the privilege of listening to a veteran school communicator talk about some of the changes she’s seen in our educational landscape over the years.

One aspect she viewed as a big plus is the fact that many school leaders are now “thinking more entrepreneurial.”  (even if they do sometimes misspell it…)

Hmmm. I never thought about this angle.

So, rather than try to bedazzle you with something inferior that I’ve mined from a lofty highfaluting source, why not lean in the other direction and send you a bit of in-the-trenches commentary from a basic, straightforward source?

This article is titled “How managing your time is a waste of time.”

It’s definitely spot on for most of us. Take a peek.

Just don’t get spoiled by all of this good stuff.

It’s only a temporary blip.

I still intend on sending you ideas and perspectives from sources selected solely for their “bedazzle” factor.

It’s what I do best.

Tom Page, SCN
carTH 112113



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