The Social Network Equation

[tweetmeme source="drtaramdent"] In Higher Education, researchers like to measure everything. Quantitative or qualitative, we are interested in what works, why it works, how it works, and how it could work better.  As an educator, regardless of academic position, social business presents opportunity to promote accessible, quality education. There are almost infinite ways to use social business to achieve social benefit education.  Many of these ways will be discussed in proceeding blogs and video blogs.  But before we dive in, this discussion introduces the fundamental relationship of the what, why, and how of social business and Higher Education.

SP = I (R/V)

The Social Network Equation states, “Social Power is the amount of influence created by one’s reach and visibility” Tara Madden-Dent.

SP: (Social Power) the measurable influence an individual has within social business.

I: (Influence) the intended or unintended impact of an individual’s social business actions on others

R: (Reach) the sum of all social networking connections linked to an individual

V: (Visibility) the level of social media exposure and search engine rank of a social object.   [A social object is the searchable and sharable product or value in the form of a document, audio, video, pictures, presentations or link. (Simmons, 2011)]

I believe that a positive correlation is found between Social Power and social responsibility.  As Social Power increases, so does social responsibility.  As social business continues to redefine the world as we know it, we will see greater emphasis on social media regulation and accountability to structure social responsibility.  Measurement and analytics will be able to describe and infer relationships we never knew existed (probably because they didn’t) and predict how social media will be structured.  Social business analytics and measurement tools can quantifiably discern each variable within the Social Network Equation.  The breakdown of one’s Social Power (SP) will suggest how and what is effective (or not effective) in the reach (R) or visibility (V).

Student Affairs, Residential Life, Recreation, Faculty, Administration, and other campus networks can increase their impact to provide accessible quality education.  Remember, social business in Higher Education is for social benefit.  Identify what is working, why it’s working, and how to make it better by understanding that your Social Power presupposes high influence from network reach and content visibility.

Please use your Social Power responsibly.

Social Business in Higher Education: Increasing Faculty Competitiveness

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A PhD is one thing, publications and grants are another, but what more can faculty do to increase their competitiveness in today’s international Higher Education market?  One effective strategy includes virtual marketing, networking, and publication known as Social Business. Social Business is a cyber market which provides an international platform to promote a product or business for social benefit (Simmons, 2011; Yunus, 2007).  Faculty can use Social Business practices to establish their value by marketing themselves as a personal brand while contributing new research (Evans, McKee, & Bratton, 2010).  An effective personal brand can be established through blogging, tweeting, a Google+ profile, a personal website, a professional Facebook profile, and other social media for business (Simmons, 2011). Social Business also allows faculty to publish and disseminate research faster, reach larger audiences, engage in worldwide educational dialog, and reinvent virtual delivery methods of classroom instruction while promoting their professional skills and achievements.

Higher Educational leaders should consider using Social Business strategies to become more competitive by increasing their rate of publication, curate data amongst other educational leaders, and build a personal brand.  Inbound marketing and blogging are metacognitive activities which contribute towards better publishing and instructional skills (Livingston, 2003). Employers, scholars, and students gain better access to faculty professionalism and academic contributions through the use of Social Business. The prevalence of Social Business will continue to demonstrate its usefulness within Higher Education’s faculty community and institutional practices (Kelm, 2011). I recommend that faculty learn responsible and professional Social Business skills in order to lead our digital citizenry within an international cyber culture.

Educational Leadership Administration has the responsibility to stay abreast to technological advances which influence our industry. We have the duty to master and lead effective educational Social Business strategies.  Higher Education’s increasingly capitalistic market suggests that faculty's effectiveness will be held more accountable and will be made more public via social media. We will continue to witness how faculty’s value will be considerably based on the impact, output, influence, and recognition of their overall personal brand.  Faculty can use Social Business to create a website portfolio showcasing their personal brand to increase their competitiveness and global recognition.

If you are faculty, Google yourself. What do you find? You have the power to construct an international image and personal brand to promote your research and professional status.  Social Business is a proactive technique enabling you to succeed in a cyber culture by competing in an international academic market.


Evans, D., McKee, J., & Bratton, S. (2010). Social media marketing: The next generation of business engagement. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Kelm, O. R. (2011). Social media: It's what students do. Business Communication Quarterly. 74(4), 505-520.

Livingston, J. A. (2003). Metacognition: An overview. Retrieved from

Simmons, B. L. (February, 2011). Social media for business. Retrieved at

Yunas, M. (2007). Creating a world without poverty: Social business and the future of capitalism. Philadelphia, PA: Public Affairs.

Image: By retrieved from

Publish or Perish

Is it not the responsibility of educational leaders to foster and facilitate a prepared faculty workforce, equipped with the skills to thrive within Higher Education?  Competing for grants, promotion, and professional recognition through publication is a required skill for successful faculty.  So how can educational leaders more effectively prepare faculty to publish?  The answer is by promoting graduate student publication.  The “publish or perish” environment of Higher Education presupposes an academic’s ability to construct, submit, and defend written positions, expanding preexisting research and theory.  Significant pressure has been placed on faculty to regularly produce scholarly publication and yet, only a small percentage of academics are actively publishing.  Graduate students fluent in writing and publishing scholarly articles have the necessary skills to consistently publish as faculty.  Implementing publication workshops into Educational Leadership graduate programs will increase graduate student publication rates and thus foster a better prepared faculty workforce. Graduate Publication Workshops within Educational Leadership graduate programs are an effective strategy to increase publication rates.  I recommend including writing workshops, publication mentors, and peer co-author collaboration within the workshops to promote a culture of publication amongst all program stakeholders.  I also recommend that graduate students published online via social media.  Create a blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networking account to share research and academic content. This will promote writing and research skills while increasing student competitiveness in today’s Higher Education market.

Research and publications are directly linked to grant and funding opportunities, promotion and tenure, and faculty property interests; therefore Educational Leadership Administration has the responsibility to prioritize frequent publication amidst its graduate students.  Establishing a structured publication preparation system within Educational Leadership graduate programs will better introduce novice authors to the publication process, increase student publication output, increase graduate student competitiveness, and ultimately generate a greater publishing faculty workforce.

But I Have A College Degree....

A student of mine approached me this week seeking advice on how to increase her professional competitiveness.  I asked her what skills she possessed and her response was simply, “Well, I’ll soon have a college degree”. Her response is quite common amongst students.  Why is a job expected or entitled after graduation?  It has been said that a college degree is now considered the new high school diploma.  This means that the majority of applicants out in the market already have a college degree, thus making a college graduate more generic.  It certainly doesn’t guarantee anyone a job after graduation.  Often times, employers complain that their “educated” new hires lack basic qualifications and struggle to keep up in today’s evolving business climate.  So what does it take to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants?

I recommend that students have an extra talent or skill before graduating to set them apart from their future competition.  There are a couple skills which do that.  The first skill is to learn a second language.  Globalization offers you great opportunity to succeed in many industries, presupposing you have the ability to communicate with different cultures.  If you want to be the most competitive and desired applicant or qualified employee, know a second language.

Another skill is customer service which should incorporate cultural competence.  As our planet blends into one big melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities, languages, religions, and beliefs, you’re ability to communicate and build relationships with people very different from yourself, will lead you to larger networks and therefore more opportunities for success.

Lastly, become technology savvy.  I know this skill can be scary and intimidating for many of you but it is necessary for most careers.  Even competence in basic computer programs will increase your worth as an employee.  In the next few years, our world will experience significant change due to technological advancements. For example, social business is a force moving at immeasurable speeds that everyone can benefit from.  Don’t fight it or avoid it, understand it and master it.  Only a small percentage of people use social media and social business in its most effective measure.

Within the next few weeks, I will invite industry leaders within Higher Education, Social Business, and Cross Cultural Education to join me via video blogs to contribute towards our conversations regarding how these skills can increase your competitive edge within our global market.

To Teach or Not to Teach

If qualified teachers are leaving the industry and college students change majors to abandon their goal of teaching, won’t the demand for qualified and experience educators significantly rise in the near future? Yes.  Schools, colleges, and universities will be searching for teachers and professors to fill future positions created by those who have left, opted out, or retired.  If the qualified applicant pool is shrinking, then aspiring teachers or experienced teachers who remain in the industry will soon be in demand.  Don’t be afraid of change. The teaching industry must evolve for it is dependent upon advances in research, technology, and the continuous changes of societal needs. The good news is, we will find that these changes will create new job positions, new programs, and new classes; thus requiring the employment of more qualified teachers and administrators. The supply and demand relationship will soon be in the favor of the professional who advanced their education and experience during this recession.

I encourage those working on becoming a public educator or higher education professor to stay the course.  This is the time to invest in yourself.  As the economy struggles to recover, pursue another academic degree or educational skill for that extra competitive edge.  I suggest becoming fluent in an educational IT application, learn a new language, enroll in Graduate School, or complete a new certificate.  With these skills, you will soon find a world desperately needing your services. 

Education has become a global industry, interconnected by a limitless and evolving curriculum, online education, study abroad programs, private and public schools, vocational institutions, and a domestic and international need for qualified educators. Be steadfast, market yourself, and we will once again embrace a thriving profession.

Welcome To My Blog

My purpose is to facilitate effective learning and preparation for you to thrive in a competitive global market. As a University instructor, researcher, published scholar, and lifelong learner I am fascinated with the most effective ways to prepare successful students, faculty, global business leaders, Expatriates, and Expatriate Families for international success. All realms of life are interconnected on the global scale.  Business, religion, environment, politics, education, and public health are industries which you have power to influence and manipulate.  My blogs are a continuous and interactive discussion on how you can be better prepared for professional success in today’s competitive global community. Let's expand my blogs to discuss how higher education, social business, cross-cultural training can synergize resources to accomplish a common goal. 

After years of experience in Higher Education, I investigate how the most effective instructional models can be applied in business to enhance the efficiency of professional development.  Regardless if you’re a college student or business professional, you will benefit greatly by expanding your capacity to learn, develop, and adapt in our evolving world market.  Break through the limitations which restrict your potential for achievement by joining me as I introduce strategies and concepts to improve your domestic and international success.  I look forward to getting to know who you are, your business strategies and ideas, and how we can work together to improve our professional standing.

"As a lifelong learner, I will be a better version of myself tomorrow than I am today.” Tara Madden-Dent