Friday, May 1, 2009

Social Media – What’s The Big Deal?

The use of social media is skyrocketing. Online social networking sites are breaking records and crashing operating systems with the huge influx of users. “So what’s the big deal?” you might be thinking. "Why are online social media outlets so popular?"

My answer may surprise you. It’s the people. Granted, the technology is fun, but it still boils down to individuals. You, me and our need to connect.

Since the beginning of time people have gathered, mingled and interacted with others in the social culture of life. Then, just as now we learn, love and build relationships. We exchange ideas, share experiences, earn livings, and we seek and give guidance. We network, expand our circles, and cooperate for a greater good. In essence we live and express ourselves as individuals.

Social media helps us to do all those things but just on a larger and faster scale with more immediate results. When all is said and done though, it’s still all about people.

Let’s look at what are arguably the top social media outlets and how they relate to the people who use them.

Facebook – Mostly people you knew. It’s much like a reunion, with lots of old high-school and college classmates gathering and reconnecting.

LinkedIn – Mostly people you know. It’s like a Chamber of Commerce event with lots of current work colleagues, vendors, and clients.

Twitter – Mostly people you want to know. Similar to a cocktail party where you briefly exchange quips and small bits of information.

Blogs – A forum to express yourself and learn. You write about what interests you, what you think others will find interesting, and what will highlight your best features.

Social media satisfies our need to connect with people from the past, people from our current relationships, and people we’d like to know. It’s also a place to be heard, carve out a niche, and connect.

So, what’s the big deal? It’s no big deal really. It’s just people connecting in a different way.

No comments: