As many of you know, I’ve been inthis week, swamped with the ILTA09 conference, not just as an attendee, but also as a speaker. I was asked, many months ago, to be part of a presentation on social networking.
I’ve already mentioned that I thought the session went well, but wanted to write up a brief post about the basic point I tried to make there.
Social Networking is not something brand new to be scared of, it is the same behavior we’ve always engaged in, communicating, connecting, sharing, etc. It is, however, light years more effective than any way in which we engaged in that behavior before, and that has ramifications, both positive and negative.
On the positive side, it’s never been easier to connect to people. The barriers to entry online have never been lower, it takes very little technical knowledge to create a Facebook account, for example, and that has fueled an explosion in the number of people using the internet to network with each other. There are thousands of social networks that exist online, all it really takes is finding out where the folks you want to connect are spending their time, and then getting involved!
Of course, that efficiency also means that it’s never been easier to make a jackass of yourself, and have the whole world know about it. It also means that it’s never been easier for other people to do things that impact how others may see you. The example I gave, you might not be stupid enough to drunk tweet, but the people you’re drinking with might be that stupid and they might talk about you! Same damage done.
So, as you folks go back from the ILTA conference and try to talk to your firms about social networking, try to focus on the fact that it’s not some brand new scary thing. It’s networking, in a much more efficient manner, with all the benefits and risk that any networking holds!