Tag Archives: social media

Week 1 – Just what is Social Media

As I stated previously, my primary purpose of writing this blog is to learn more about this thing we call “social media”.

Yes, I know that this should be common sense… after all, I do have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and of course, a blog. However, there has to be so much more to actually utilizing social media and its tributary – social networking.

When it comes to things that I do not know much about (pause for your laughter), I am an answer seeker. I ask questions. I search the Internet. I read, read and read some more. This is no exception.

One of my first forays into truly understanding this thing we call social media was to contact my former colleague (in another profession for both of us) Jason Falls. He’s quite possibly the most knowledgeable guy I know when it comes to social media, its uses and benefits. He’s crafted a career out of being a social media strategist and runs Social Media Explorer

Falls truly grasps this concept of social media and networking. Case in point, when I first joined Twitter many moons ago, @JasonFalls was one of the first friends that I “followed”. His first post to me included a call to action to his followers to follow me for insights on sports pr and sports in general. I immediately gained a few followers from his sphere of influence, two of which I still regularly read – @kevinpalmer and @Miss_Ink – both of whom I consider to be social media experts. And just recently, when I began to follow leadership personalities on Twitter, I came across @MichaelHyatt. And while I followed him and read his blog because of his thoughts on leadership (as CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing), it was his take on social media that really struck me.

While all of that may seem long winded (yes, I am an academic after all), it is generally good to ask people that you know.

Kevin Palmer, who also works as a social media strategist and runs the blog Social Media Answers, graciously sent me his “technical” definition for social media:

Social media is the evolution of online communication where users can now easily create their own content in multiple mediums, comment existing content, and consume content created by peers.

While that may serve as one of many definitions, the main emphasis that I get out of social media is how the conversation between people (and companies, customers, brands, etc.) has shifted in content, delivery, and most importantly immediacy.

That being said, here are some links to interesting reads on the topic of social media:

Advertisements

It’s all about the Baby Steps

We all do it.

We jump into something new and hit the ground running, yet we really have no idea about 1) where we are going, 2) what do we do when we get there and 3)why we’re actually doing what we are doing.

It happens with everything. And for me, it’s happening with social media.

Hence the reason for this blog, and by extension this opening post.

Here is what I do know about social media. Facebook is for showing off to “friends” who you haven’t seen since high school or grade school. Myspace is for showing your creative side and discovering/following an eclectic mix of music. Twitter is for talking about anything that you want, albeit in 140 characters or less.

However, Social Media is much, much more than that.

In fact, used in the right way, social media can help you stay connected to people and things that interest you, develop content that is unique to you as a person, and allows you to matter on a different scale than you did before.

So, over the course of the next few months, years, decades (maybe not so much decades), I’ll begin my training camp of sorts with entering into the Social Media realm. Knowing that there is so much more out there than the previously mentioned triumvirate of social media tools, it’s easy to understand why I feel like a rookie.

Hopefully, my journey would provide insights into how publics actually use social media on a variety of scales. And maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.

We shall see.