you know, with every commercial and tv show and movie i see these days, i’m reminded that i’m way on the winning side of the “social media is stupid/cool” debate. i signed up for twitter during the first (and penultimate) looptopia experiment and didn’t really pick it up again until about a year later.
but once i did, i was in. talking, following, tweeting, figuring it out. i was making fast friends, figuratively and literally. people didn’t really understand it and most thought it was strange. another thing that smussy did that was geeky and weird and just beyond them. but more and more people started to hear about it and watch others do it and i started to see more and more people, places and things start to figure it out; start to see them find the commodity in it — whether it be socially or commercially or a little bit of both.
and i started getting really serious about it. i started to see how important this was as a tool. for people building a personal brand. for people who wanted to reach out to other people with similar interests. for companies who wanted to get the pulse of their consumers. i started to use it as a hive mind, an instant news source and touchstone for popular culture. i started to find out who the “cool people” were in social media and music and internet and things that i thought were important. i found that i was getting more and more into it rather than less interested. this absolutely was *not* a flash in the pan or a passing phase.
and i started to use it as a measure of how savvy i thought a business or an individual was in terms of marketing or where they stood in “today’s world.” were they interested in moving up and out into a new audience and staying current? or when i mentioned these social media/marketing tools, did they shake their heads, shrug their shoulders in disgust, try to make *me* look like the foolish one? i started to be able to tell who was going in the right direction and who was going to be left staring at the floor, wondering why everyone else was going so much faster.
and now, everywhere i look — mainstream media, tv commercials, print ads, newspaper articles, interviews, marketing materials. there are references to people’s twitter profiles and blogs and facebook pages EVERYWHERE. it was like when movies first started putting http://www.movietitle.com at the bottom of a commercial or poster. what was this? what did it mean? it was intriguing, but didn’t have a lot of meaning. it wasn’t super compelling, because it didn’t have a lot of frame of reference for most people (including myself). but now, there’s twitter and facebook symbols on nearly every web page and blog that means anything or is going anywhere.
and that makes me happy. it means that all those months and years i spent “wasting time” and “dicking around” on the internet wasn’t for naught. it means that i had the foresight to see that networking, no matter what form it takes, is always good. it’s always good to share ideas and get to know people and build communities. it’s always good to foster relationships and engender partnerships and get silly once in awhile. it’s always good to exchange information and links and pictures and videos of things that interest, inspire and exhilarate.
i was inspired to write this upon seeing a link to this article on twitter. meta, meta, meta. have a great night!