Monday, March 24, 2014

Social Media. Is it the BEST idea?

Today I read an article in LinkedIn by NY Times best-selling author Joel Comm entitled "I AM LEAVING SOCIAL MEDIA".

This article is all about how Joel, an early advocate for the use of social media to promote business (even writing Twitter Power, the world's most popular book on the topic) decides to drop his use of social media entirely.

I found this attitude particularly interesting in light of our CRM implementation with a significant focus placed upon gleaning information from social media to improve and sharpen our communications with our various constituent groups.

His reasons are understandable; the social media space is owned by huge organizations that only exist to exploit their users' data, the signal to noise ratio is heavy on noise and is going the wrong direction, simple etiquette is now lost in these venues, information overshare is dangerous and too common, being a social media expert now means nothing, and finally, this entire market segment is now just a spam billboard.

He ends the article by saying, he's now changed his mind.  He can't quite.  He's addicted and it really isn't that bad anyway.

This makes me think that regardless of what people feel about social media, it will continue to be a force for some time for the same reason that Joel gives.  He just can't stop.  I am afraid that may not be the best reason but I think it's a real one.  I can personally go for months without logging into Facebook but I am still popping into LinkedIn several times a week.  I contribute to a departmental blog that we maintain for our user community here at SOL and I probably spend more time than I think on blog sites as well as Houzz and Pinterest looking for information on kitchen remodeling (the current topic of interest at the Bohl household).

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All that said.  If we as an institution (or just as individuals) are going to play in this space (Social Media), we all need to make sure that we are not the spammers or any other less than excellent form of content.  On our departmental site, we endeavor to present helpful, relevant, and timely info to provide our user community with the best information we have available that will actually contribute value to their lives.

This isn't a new idea but I want to say that as consumers of data drawn from social media, let's make sure ... dang sure, that we're also responsible citizens in fostering the positive aspects of social media by using good manners and providing good content.

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