Originally posted at eimaj.net on July 4, 2008.
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Since moving to Hamilton and starting a new job I’ve been getting the “So.. What is it you do exactly?” question quite a bit. Put simply, I participate in online conversations… Broken down to its core, social media is that simple.
I’ve read some very long winded explanations, watched some videos and read a few books, but it all boils down to the conversation. A lot of people reference tools that are used, but the tools simply enable us to participate and they are constantly changing and evolving. For example, just the other day Identi.ca was released. It is an open source clone of Twitter, the popular micro-blogging tool, and only two days after its release some have claimed Twitter is dead.
It is important to remember though, social media, like a conversation, is two sided. In order to participate you must talk and listen.
Think about a social network like Myspace. Let’s imagine a band you like sends out an email every day talking about how great they are. It would probably make you think a little less of the band, wouldn’t it? Nobody likes being talked at.
Now, what if that same band sent you a message when they were planning a tour and were looking for suggestions for good venues to play at across the country. They’re not just talking anymore, they’re conversing… This is what it’s all about and the Internet and online tools are making it more and more accessible.
If you are curious and would like to know more, I would recommend checking out the Common Craft Show. They have all kinds of videos about the various tools and elements of social media all explained in “plain english.” I usually like to direct people to Common Craft and hook them up with a few videos and then go off and do something else for a while.
On that note… here’s some links to videos, I have some birthday parties to attend. Have a great weekend!
- Common Craft in Plain English (by Zoe)
- Social Media in Plain English
- Blogs in Plain English
- RSS in Plain English
- Social Networking in Plain English
- Linkedin in Plain English
- Social Bookmarking in Plain English
- Online photo sharing in Plain English
- Wikis in Plain English
- Twitter in Plain English
- Podcasting in Plain English
- Zombies in Plain English