How to approach social media like a grown up

I have just come across this presentation made by Sacha Chua for IBM called “Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work”:

It was linked to from a Read Write Web article called “Why Gen Y is Going to Change the World” which is also worth looking at.

There are many people that feel uncomfortable operating in the public sphere of the web, yet it can reap such fantastic benefits.

5 thoughts on “How to approach social media like a grown up

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  2. Lovely presentation, thanks for link Jo – I think from people I speak to there are two main concerns against moving wholesale into using social media as an established business professional
    1) time it takes (whatever you say about this, it does take more time on top of what you already do in business – and gains can be a long time coming)
    2) I don’t want everyone to know about my personal life.

    People need to feel they can be empowered to create and use social tools to say whatever they want in a range of ways – but the personal and the professional blurring is an area of huge fascination – inevitably it’s not for the many.

  3. @Susi

    The time this is a valid point. When I’m training / mentoring / etc people on using social media tools I work on applying them to their existing practice in the least disruptive manner. As a basic example, if you’re already producing documents and emailing them to people then start putting them in a blog with categories. If you’re producing video as part of your activities start a YouTube account or similar. The biggest problem tends to be people getting too carried away but this tends to settle after a month or so.

    The personal life stuff I’d say isn’t such a problem and interestingly I think Joanna is a great example of this. I know her as a friend and I’m impressed and amused at how she keeps her online life separate from her personal life while still keeping the former very rich. This filtering is easier if you’re blogging about your work – you just treat it in the same way you’d treat any social interaction related to business. You’re still being you, just in a different voice.

    Actually, Jo, it’d be interesting to read something about how you approach this stuff.

  4. Hi guys,

    Thanks for the comments and apologies it has taken me a while to respond.

    I agree with Susi that developing social networks takes time. I can name a handful of people who have joined social networks and left within a week because they saw no real results.

    I guess, like anything that is about building relationships it will inevitably take a bit of time.

    I think this is compounded by the fact that when it comes to the online environment people expect instantaneous results.

    If you said to people “in order to build your reputation in your profession, you’re going to need to get out and about and meet people”, I think there would be an acceptance that this would take a bit of time and effort.

    Similarly, if you moved to a new town you would probably accept it would take a bit of time to make new friends and acquaintances.

    As social media is based upon getting to know real people, I guess the same sort of patience should apply.

    On the personal life stuff, I do like to think I manage to keep my private and online life pretty separate.

    I’d need to think about this in more detail, but I suspect it’s got something to do with most people assuming that the personal is exactly the same thing as the private, which is not true!

    I think I show my personality online, I sometimes express emotions and I may occasionally talk about things that are personal to me, but only on a level that I’d probably do with work colleagues and acquaintances too.

    I guess the difference is that online material never goes away and anyone can see it. I f I think about it, I suppose there is an element of caution I have when I write things that are more personal. I guess I must be aware of who the “audience” is to some extent…

    …more thought is required on this!

  5. Completely agree that personal and private are not the same. I discuss private stuff with no more than two or three people, if that. At the same time, I think my social-network presence is very personal. I believe this is important, because good relations are built on trust and you cannot trust someone who has no personality.

    One other think to consider about social networks is that people have varying definitions of what is personal/private, so one has to be careful when publishing things that involve others.

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