Often times when I have the opportunity to speak with groups about online communications or social media, I ask people what it is they are using and how. This helps me establish who it is I am communicating with as well as a way to help frame our discussion. Most of the people I do speak with are often nonprofit staff or volunteers who do not necessarily carry the title of “communications director” or “web manager” or even “blogger.” They are often people who wear multiple hats-managing programs, writing grants and organizing people and press conferences. At the center of each person I meet is a huge heart willing to do as much as they can to support their organization’s mission and create meaningful changes in the communities in which they live and work. Working in the nonprofit sector for over 12 years as either a volunteer or staff, I feel a close affinity to this experience. I remember as a student organizer, I was one of the last people among my friends who didn’t have an email account. Skeptical of the technology then, I resisted the idea of being on this thing called the Internet just to communicate with them. “What ever happened to the telephone?” I would say, or “What will happen to hand written letters?” I was a bit of a romantic then. But most of my fear came from the unfamiliarity of the technology and the thought of having to change the way I communicate with friends, family and even my professional contacts. I think about this every time I work with individuals or groups about this topic, as I embrace these new technologies today. I still can’t get my Dad to email me on a regular basis-even after coaching him for a number of months. So it came as a surprise to me one day when he called talking about how he has been reviewing his stock portfolios online and chatting with his online advisor! It occurred to me then that most users of the web (at least those who feel they have been left behind) felt more comfortable and willing to embrace these new technologies if it serves a practical purpose. They become more motivated to learn and use new technologies when they understand more clearly the impact of the results. My dad still does not email me, but he will call to keep in touch for sure… I don’t mind, I’m still remain a romantic about communicating.
National Main Street Conference
Communities are built through meaningful relationships
So what the heck is “Social Media” anyway? Primarily, social media depend on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words to build shared-meaning , using technology as a conduit. Source: http://www.wikepedia.org