Suprises Around Social Media

I just finished writing my article for the October Explorer. It focuses on Twitter, Facebook and other social media that businesses and organizations are wanting to leverage to communicate with The Public.

Just who is this public and what does it want? The Public is starting to be perceived as an uninformed but thirsty for information entity. At the same time it is mindless and frivolous because The Public only watches YouTube for the fluff and stuff. It’s use of social media is to tell the rest of the world about doing its nails, walking its dog or whether or not it likes the food its eating at the new restaurant in town.

Now, I take a little exception to those generalities because I am part of The Public. I’m also making some discoveries about this “social media” that includes Twitter, YouTube and Facebook … just to name a very few. (Has anyone discovered “reddit.com“?)

I’ve picked up that Twitter is perceived as a mass of detail about the mundane and minutia of the many lives out there “tweeting”. YouTube seems to be the place to go to watch comedy, tragedy or any other unusual thing people thought were worth sharing. Facebook is the place to hookup with your past; share the pictures from your vacation and keep in touch with the friends and family you have “out there.”

At least that’s what I thought. However, I’d like to discuss some of the surprises I discovered in these three areas and then look at other places I discovered along the way. In doing so I’d then like to share what I’ve seen the users of these Web tools (yes, I think that’s what they are intended to be – Tools!) do to leverage them to their purposes.

The Twitter Surprise

Upon my initial foray into this social phenomenon I was overwhelmed with what was available. I couldn’t handle what I discovered and instead of attacking what was available I shrank away in discouragement and frustration. There’s too much information! How am I supposed to handle the mass of data? Aaaahh!

Sound familiar?

But I took a deep breath and listened to those around me who think this stuff is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The most profound change of attitude that helped me get over this flood of detail was to perceive it all as a conversation. Since I wanted to be a part of that conversation i decided to engage and see how others were engaging.

So, what about Twitter?

This is full of quips about what I ate and where I’m going but as I stuck with it I started seeing comments of a different nature. “Here’s an interesting article I just read…” “Did you hear about this cool event …?” “After reading … I thought it might be a good idea to …” As I clicked on the profile of the people writing observations and opinions I found them to be people who may be in business for themselves or are hoping to find someone who liked their string of comments and then be hired in turn.

They were building a consultancy or following to help further their business. They knew they had something to say — a voice — and wanted to share it so that someone else might really notice them, hire them, count on them.

So, how do they get found?

Well, search tools are the power behind these tools. Searching on topics of interest to me yielded an overabundance of comments and many turned into helps so I drilled down and learned more.

Twitter not only allowed me to do a search but it let me save my search. Now, any time I want to learn what else is available I can return and quickly learn what else has been said.

It’s like leaving the conversation at a party, returning whenever I want an not missing a bit of the conversation.

Next post: The YouTube surprise.

Last 5 posts by Janet B.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • TwitThis
  • blogmarks
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon

1 comment on this post.
  1. Amy Day-Lewis:

    This is great stuff. Will be anxiously awaiting the next installment!