Last night was a blast at the Bryght studios (I’m diggin’ the paint colour as it matched my shirt) for the Vancouver chapter of the Social Media Club’s first roundtable meetup. The “unconference” led by Chris Heuer, was a collective of creatives, developers, marketing types and more of all ages. The purpose being to bounce ideas off eachother about current issues surrounding social media and its literacy, ethics and standards.
Everyone at the event had a chance to introduce themselves, state their passion and why they were there. Roland Tanglao filmed each introduction but his own 😉 on his Nokia N93 cellphone, and uploaded the video on the Bryght blog with one click…and the video quality is rad. This is earth shattering for a technoneophyte like me whose cellphone’s coolest feature one year ago was Crab Catch!
There was definitely a diverse group of interests and personalities – even a few who blog professionally for various companies or sites, one being Dave Olson from Get Elastic, great to put a face to a voice!
I confessed that I was somewhat anti-social media (not that I don’t want to be social, I just haven’t caught the wave yet) and that I don’t use del.icio.us, mag.nolia, furl, digg or anything like that, and had abandoned 4 blogs in my sordid past. (Not including this one!) I am happy to say that I have a renewed “fire” for keeping this blog up and running, and that I have rethunk my purpose for it as well.
Initially I thought I needed to know my stuff before I could blog about something. Social Media Optimization is the 2.0 of SEO, so naturally I felt it was something I needed to explore–albeit wearing a marketing consultant hat. So I was prepared to become a guru before going on with SMOgger. But now I feel that social media is about people, it’s about users, it’s about communities, and can also be about businesses. I’m a person, user, part of a community and part of business, and I’d like to wear every hat.
In case anyone’s curious what blogs I abandoned, an example is recipedia, which was created as a place to dump good recipes from a book I borrowed from the library. My goal was to copy one recipe per day, which lasted for as many days as you see posts there. (Dude, check out my BLOGROLL!) “Edit-me” has to be the blog equivalent to the flashing 12:00 on a microwave. One day I swear I’m going to actually try some of that rippin’ good jerk chicken. But seeing as I’m used to eating straight out of a can, perhaps the time would be better spent blogging.
One of the hot topics that I feel deserves attention is social media literacy among the average user. My colleague Rick made us all laugh by sharing his father’s preferred method of “bookmarking” products on Amazon using sticky notes. I see a lot of Rick’s Dad in myself…I have access to an amazing intranet/project management platform called Basecamp with Image X, but I do sometimes find myself writing project hours on a scrap piece of paper, and I write URLs here, there and everywhere too. Since discovering “Command D” as a bookmarking shortcut, that has also been a way I have kept tabs on sites I might want to revisit. So now I have an incredibly long list of mish mash pages all uncategorized, and I’m too lazy to go into manage bookmarks and delete them.
I consider myself among the organizationally handicapped, practically paralyzed. So to me, the thought of creating a system of organization (or upkeeping a blog) is extremely daunting. But everything that I have learned about the Internet and computers has come by getting my hands dirty in it. So that’s what I’m going to do with social media, one tag at a time.
So my assignment this week is to sign up with a few different social media sites, and I will blog about my experiences, my frustrations, what makes me go “meh” and what gives me a stoke. Maybe documenting these things, I can become a walking (wheeling) study in social media usability, and give those who are driving social media some qualitative “market research” into the hamster wheel of a self-described social media wallflower.
Oh, and I did go home with a Social Media Club stickr 🙂