First of all, a big THANK YOU to Matthew Yuill and Melissa Feeney and the WordCamp Toronto 2010 volunteers for all their hard work organizing WordCamp Toronto 2010 last weekend at Centennial College.
For a front-end, gaining-in- knowledge WordPress convert, I learned a lot at WordCamp. I appreciated Jeremy Wright’s keynote address about social media. Jeremy talked about some of the “failures” of social media – but really he was pointing out how we have cheapened social media. He mentioned
- SPAM problems – spamming is counter to SOCIAL media
- people having a mob mentality (we’re too influenced by who is saying what)
- the rise in Twitter Interns and how this changes social media from SOCIAL media to social MEDIA – we put the emphasis on the wrong idea
- An entitlement mentality – sometimes we’re just looking for the next handout
- Twitter Followership – we are still working for numbers – we’ve forgotten about the social part
Jeremy suggested some ways that we can filter all the noise so that we can focus on social media basics.
- If someone is talking all the time, they aren’t listening.
- Social media is all about ‘how can I help’
- Listen first, then get involved when it makes sense (then exchange business cards)
Then he gave some great SOCIAL media reminders:
- Listen more than you talk – don’t expect to get until you give
- No boasting – don’t paint the old as new
- Don’t steal – give credit to people (whether it is photos, text, ideas… anything)
I may have missed some of his other really important points. But I have to say that I didn’t miss his main point. I can’t stop other people from cheapening social media and turning it into “what can I get from it”. But I can look at my own social behaviour and ask myself “Am I making social media into social MEDIA or am I keeping it as SOCIAL media?”
On a more personal note, Jeremy and several other speakers made a similar important point for me. For WP newbies (and I kind of consider myself one of them), he stressed that we should just get started blogging … don’t step back and develop some big strategy – find something you enjoy – figure out what you want to say and then start saying it – work on strategy later.
I heard this so many times this weekend that I couldn’t help but think of the adage that when the student is ready, the teacher shows up (or something like that). So I am going to relax, blog about what jazzes me instead of trying to write blogs about what I think I should be writing about.
Thanks Jeremy for bringing me (us) back to SOCIAL media basics and thanks for speaking to me directly (even though we didn’t even meet f2f!).