In last spring’s 502 Group Transactions course, one of the assignments was to write a book review of Scott Klosofsky’s 2011 text, A Manager’s Guide to Social Media. It was one of three books that Klosofsky had published within a couple months late 2010 and early 2011. All three covered much the same ground from different perspectives and degrees of complexity, depending on the audience at which they were aimed. One of the books appears to have been the feedstock for the other two, and that book, Enterprise Social Technology was written using a crowd sourcing model. According to information in publicity material for the book, Klososky outlined each chapter, then crowdsourced the actual writing, along with the cover design and publicity (The Crowdsourcing of the Book, 2011). Given the interconnectedness of the material and use of social networks in its creation, it feels inauthentic and misleading that the crowdsourced origins of the material are not acknowledged in the three books.
Klosofsky probably would use the same arguments as Helene Hegemann ( in Theresa Wang’s April 6 posting) to defend the lack of transparency, but this doesn’t pass the ethical smell test for me. It would seem always better to pay homage to our inspirations, inasmuch as possible. True, some notions are so embedded in our culture that they have become invisible, as McLuhan pointed out about the fish not realizing it was surrounded by water. But particularly when origins are obvious, ‘fess up and defend it as fair use. Being silent is counter to what I see as the values of a networked and crowd-sourced economy: respect, inclusion and acknowledgement.
Not surprisingly, Klosofsky’s book offers little in the way of advice on ethical use of social media in the workplace. As my beloved mother-in-law might say, he might not have been a liar, but he seems a stranger to the truth.
(Image sourced from http://books.google.ca/books?id=RWsPW3a8Y1gC&dq=isbn:0071754334&redir_esc=y)
Klososky, S. (2011). Enterprise social technology: Helping organizations harness the power of social media, social networking, social relevance. Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group.
Klososky, S. (2011). The Manager’s Guide to Social Media. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Klososky, S. (2011). The Velocity Manifesto: Harnessing Technology, Vision, and Culture to Future-Proof Your Organization. Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group.
The Crowdsourcing of the Book. (2011). Retrieved from