Social Media, Netwebbing, and Ephiphanies

"Anybody who is anybody has a blog now." That's what I told my girlfriend last week, trying to justify my own plunge into the blogging world. But it's about more than that. It's about meaningful dialogue. It's about connecting with the right people. It's about networking without the work. In fact, let's change the terminology all together. Let's call it netwebbing.

I've kept an eye on and loosely participated in social media (Facebook, blogging, Twitter, etc.), but I've never seriously considered its implications as a tool. Facebook feels like "just for fun." Blogging is often viewed as nothing but a public diary. And I've never really been around anyone who got excited about Twitter.

That all changed last Monday when I attended SocialMediaCamp Boston. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for a couple of hours, but that was all I needed. Erica O'Grady, you had me at Tweet. More about Social Media and why I think it's important later, but I'll leave you some items to stare at in the mean time. Think of this as a teaser. Just like a good Hardy Boys novel.

The Definition (from wikipedia)
"Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories, and understandings."

Putting a Tie on Zorro
I think that one perception of Social Media among my friends is that it some sort of out-of-control, grammatically challenged, vigilante that plays by its own rules and serves as a ridiculous representation of reality (imagine your neighbor patrolling the streets at night in a Batman suit constructed entirely of body paint). I'd like to argue with you, but you do have some valid points. For you, I'd recommend checking out a post by Social Media Club called "4 Missions, 4 Projects: Social Media Club Gets to Work." To summarize, here is a list of where they are concentrating their effort:
  1. Expand Media Literacy
  2. Share Lessons Learned Among Practitioners
  3. Encourage Adoption of Industry Standards
  4. Promote Ethical Practices through Discussion and Actions

G-r-r-r-reat Resources
I hope you enjoyed the Frosted Flakes reference. Anyways, Chris Brogan has a fantastic post that contains 20 Free eBooks you can dig your heels into. Granted, if you're not familiar with social media, this may not be the best place to start, but I found it interesting. That's what matters, isn't it? Either way, take a look at Chris' blog in general. He posts a lot of good stuff.

Finally, go look at some of my links on the right under "Colorful Friends". Mashable is the king of social media news and I've already plugged Social Media Club. Finally, even though TechCrunch isn't focused on social media, the way the tech world has gone recently, half of their articles end up having some sort of connection to the topic.

Enjoy and Cheers!

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