Do you have a role-model for Social Media?

by Todd Smith on December 22, 2008

I’m so new to social media (less than a year of blogging and one month on Twitter) that I’m still just getting my bearings. When I first started, I was clueless – just blogged for Google, if you know what I mean – trying to optimize my site for the Google search engine. I broadcast my photos and thoughts to my almost non-existent blog subscribers. Then I met Liz Strauss and got introduced to her wonderful understanding of social media.

Liz Strauss

It’s About Relationships

It’s about people!! It’s about relationships! It’s about conversation!! Wow, did she turn my world upside down!

When I first started reading her blog, I noticed that there were tons of comments on each post. And then I noticed that she often asks a question in her posts, as if to spark discussion. I chewed on that for a while and started trying it out here in this blog.

Broadcasting vs. Conversation

As I kept reading Liz’s blog, I slowly started grocking the idea that social media is very different than broadcast media. We’re all used to broadcasting: listening to radio, watching TV, and for the most part reading stuff on the internet, not to mention reading books, and magazines. It is almost impossible to converse with the person who wrote a broadcast piece.

That’s the way I thought of blogging. The comments section was kind of like a decoration at the bottom of my posts, or an appendix which could be taken out without much harm.

Social media provides an opportunity to open up discussion, to get to know others, to exchange ideas, and to create together. It allows relationships to form that last longer than the time it takes to read a post. Social media opens a world that is not available through broadcasting alone, both for bloggers and for blog readers. It gives a chance to forge friendships that can become the basis of truly great things.

A Cocktail Party vs. A Lecture

Each form of media has its purpose. Sometimes it’s wonderful to attend a lecture and listen to the flow of thinking of an expert. There is so much I learn that way online every day, and it fits into the category of traditional media broadcasting (even on the internet).

Social media, on the other hand, such as blogging, and Twitter, is more like a cocktail party to me. I get to meet people I might not otherwise get to know. I listen to their stories and get introduced to interesting ideas and products on their websites. In turn, people often lend and ear to what I’m saying and doing. Relationships are slowly forged and worlds open that were not even concieved before.

I’m Now An SOB!

Successful and Outstanding Blogger Award

You’ll notice my shiny new button on the blog. This is Liz Strauss’s creation. I’m honored that the person I wish to emulate thinks I’m starting to catch-on to the main idea of social media.

I look forward to expanding our discussions here, getting to know you better, and having lots of fun together.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

christy December 23, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Like you, I’m very new to the whole social media thing. My first toe in the water was Facebook. That’s now become a nice homely sort of place for me to keep up with people I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

As you may (or may not) have read, Twitching Grey Matter is recently reincarnated. I’m still feeling my way there, but I must admit that I love the comments I receive. It doesn’t matter that there are very few of them, it’s that someone not only took time to read, but also to say something about what I wrote. I don’t care if they liked what I wrote or not; it’s the engaging in conversation that’s cool.

I’m really very new to Twitter. Still getting used to it, but I have to say how much I’ve been enjoying our banter. Thanks for making me feel welcome!

Todd Smith December 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Hi Christy, I’m loving our banter on Twitter too! Silliness somehow comes across perfectly in 140 characters! 🙂

I agree, it’s fun to be the host of interesting discussions. My blog doesn’t get a ton of visitors, but I love it when the comments get going.

My favorite so far was last week’s post when I asked people to help me choose a frame for a photo. The result was better than anything I had suggested!

Many minds together can accomplish more than mine alone.

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