Social Media… everybody in the pool!

They are the buzzwords that everybody is talking about:  Social Media.  The pressure is on for individuals, organizations and corporations to join the rest of the social media swimmers.  The implication is that not joining the crowd risks desiccation and obsolescence.

The benefits of social media are discussed by Joel Postman in his book SocialCorp Social Media Goes Corporate.  It’s an interesting read.  Well, at least that’s the case with the first three chapters, (this week’s assignment for my “Social Media and Public Relations” graduate class at The College of Saint Rose).    The book focuses on the appropriate use of social media in the corporate world.  Postman describes “SocialCorps” as, “… companies that are learning to take advantage of the power of social media to reshape their relationships with customers and other important audiences” (page 3).  The methods are wide-ranging:  social networking, blogging, social bookmarking, video/audio/image sharing, wikis, and so on.  The specific tools available run the gamut including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia.  And that’s just a small sample.  It’s a lot for a corporation to learn.

While the book, and to some extent, the class focus on social media in the corporate world, that is not the world in which I am currently working/living.  I try very hard to apply my graduate experience to the real world, at least my version of  the “real world.”  So, how do I apply the knowledge from this book and class?  My hope is to apply it to this blog.

I’ll admit that it can be a bit intimidating at times, but I’m enjoying dipping my toes into the social media swimming pool.  What I’m realizing, though, is that it’s not so much a single large pool.  Rather, social media is a vast collection of kiddie, wading, Olympic, wave, indoor and outdoor pools.  They are all interconnected via lazy rivers, fast-paced water slides, and waterfalls.  It’s time to jump in with both feet.

Now, where did I put my life jacket?

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