14 August 2009

social media 101

Lately I've become increasingly intrigued by social media. Why do people use them? To what end?

I knew of Facebook from its humble beginnings as a school-exclusive site, so I've seen its development over time. (Fun fact: one of my college classmates actually dated Mark Zuckerberg back in high school.) Now I find myself not understanding Twitter, the new kid on the block - but I'm determined to get to the bottom of it.

As part of my self education, I tuned into an informative webinar hosted by Social Media Magic. It was a pretty straight forward presentation on the basics of social media - why you, too, should get on the bandwagon! The target audience was more for marketers out to build partnerships and a client base, but it was still interesting for me, as I'm hoping to find ways to get projects off the ground in the future.

Some of the more helpful hints:
  • Have a specific, narrow message with one core focus. Also known as the "sniper" approach.
    Self assessment: Very difficult for me, since I'm too curious and end up being all over the place in terms of interest. My initial intention was for this blog to be more architecturally focused...but then it ends up also being about food, travel, and other things. Ah well - I guess I'll learn to be a niche maker later.
  • Start with the "Big Three" and branch from there.
    Self assessment: Facebook is for friends. LinkedIn is for business connections. Twitter...well, as I said, I'm still trying to figure out why people want to know what someone else ate for dinner. But this leads to the next point...
  • Twitter can be a powerful search engine like Google.
    Self assessment: Now, this is something I can find value in. Looking at it as a way to search the most current conversations going on all over the world is actually a really smart thing. In my recent marketing/publicity endeavors - the MIT Museum vault project, the Veritas Forum - it's good to search out your audience. Hm hm hm...
So, who uses Twitter? Can you help me shed some light on that?