Friday, October 2, 2009

What role does social media play? Part IV

The role it plays will be personal

With all the articles, discussions and evolving platforms our there, we are all learning as we go.

Some folks are more advanced. Some are just learning what an RSS feed is. Many are in the middle. Try not to assume the levels of understanding/education in your audience. If the pitch/presentation/discussion is about the tool and not the content, you’re heading in the wrong direction.

There are thoughts that gender, age and learning style all play roles in the comfort and adoption of social media tools. Unfortunately generalizations take you down narrow paths. Grandparents text and teens do coffee meetings. We all want to be able to access our favourite sites regardless of being at work or at home because, chances are, those seemingly unrelated-to-my-day-job sites often are a source of information or inspiration that make us better at whatever we’re doing.

Sidebar….I wrote my master’s thesis on a typewriter! before inheriting a computer the size of a table top and now I can’t think/write on anything else but my iMac. (I once asked if there was a tutorial on how to use a mouse…I’m so ashamed…lol)

The point being that everyone wants and uses this technology. Just as we will justify one person’s expertise over another’s just because we like one person better, so folks will build business cases to get to the tools that help them tap into the greater flow of knowledge that is out there – regardless of on which site it might be found.

Which makes it personal. Personal because we are used to using it (imagine writing a calculus exam without that calculator today!). Personal because it means we can access information with ease to be successful in a task. Personal because it’s our link to the larger community of information and support. (see post June 09 It's not personal)

Which of course goes back to the big grey zone (see post Aug. 08) now created between the personal and professional.

More on the next post…

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