Today, I attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting with a guest speaker whose expertise was in social media. Clearly, there is a lot to learn especially if you are a business. Conversations and community building has come a long way and just when you think you are tapped into this community something new comes along.
There is a whole lot of different names to go with this media world, some of which only made sense to me after he explained what they do. Slideshare, Digg, Ning, Scribd all were under my radar until listening to this speaker. I also learned where not to devote my time as a business owner, some things lean heavily to certain demographs and may not be suitable.
I’m not on Facebook, as I keep hearing conflicting information about the effectiveness and privacy issues. Outside of finding long lost friends is it worth my time? In fact, many times when I talk to people it is in the context of finding old buddies or ex partners where it appeals most. Now, I couldn’t do my job or be the friend I am without being a people person, but somehow I felt Facebook may just open me up to a whole lot of people I care not to know. Having said that, if there is a compelling reason to get my message out further and Facebook was the best avenue, I, like many others may go that route.
Did you know that Canadians are the biggest user of Facebook? I found out that people over 65 are growing in numbers as users of the site. (Guess they don’t have to worry about what pictures they put up after they retire)
Twitter, interesting. A colleague of mine says she has found it quite useful, I may need to explore it but again I’m undecided. I enter into all these areas with great hesitation and questions – Who is looking? What is the benefit? Do I need to know you or you me? Is what I have to say worth it? Is this just adding more to my under-developed but over-exposed techno mind? Thus causing a large amount of stress as I find the time and the inclination to be “socially” in touch. Tweet ….”in my office debating whether to tweet or not to tweet.”
Then we have to use social media measurement tools, now I’m using tools to track who is tracking me. My head is spinning, how am I going to facilitate, write, coach/counsel, have personal time with all of this? Apparently, everyone has time for their job, marketing, blogging, facebooking (?) , tweeting and being Linkedin.
Then there is “followers” now that would have been considered very cult like years ago but now we encourage and rejoice in the number of followers we have and we follow too. Sure we are not handing our flowers or shaving our heads and there is no compound except if you count this box we are all happily typing into everyday. It is a shared experience for sure, we are sharing a lot of personal things like one big happy family, just not our money. If you make more money from any of these sites it is all yours!
Yes, it was quite the learning experience for me today. Great to be informed, off to do more research on all the social media sites and will try to pick those that keep me connected but not too much. I need a life.