Since the inception of social media and social networking as part of "Web 2.0", there have many that tell you how to get the most out of it. So what I want to look at is how it has helped you. I'll start by showing how it has aided me from time to time. Before I go down that road, lets do a quick breakdown of Social Media and Social Networking, although the true debate on the differences can be left to those "true" professionals.
What is Social Media and Social Network, my take?
The distinction between Social Media and Social Networking does not contain a defined line in the sand that delineates the difference. As the Web 2.0 movement has progressed, the blur factor has increased to the point that many refer to Social Media as the new media (old school news turned to online presence) side of the house, while Social Networking still has that feel of a large online party.
Not to spend too much time on this aspect of the post, but here is my quick take on these two engines of the Web 2.0 world. Should it be Web 2.0 still, I think it's somewhere around version 2.7.
First lets take a look at Social Media. This could be looked at as the business side or journalistic side of the house. Think of all the blogs, podcasts, wikis and so forth that contain information that other turn to. This blog could be considered to be part of the social media circle.
For Social Networking, this of the Twitters, Facebooks, Friendfeeds of the world. This is where the online communities come together to share the information from social media including there our takes on life and the world.
Now to the fun stuff.
How does Social Media and Networking help you?
In your day to day lives, I'm sure many of you turn to these social hubs for information, entertainment or just plain ole time suck. So my question is, Has it helped you out in a specific instance. To help spur your thought process, let me show you some prime examples from my life.
From Social Media
When my wife was pregnant with our twins, I turned to the blogosphere to detail the experience up to birth and shortly there after. At which time, I decided to go for a true website with photos, stories and notes. This was a great release for me during this time. The post at that blog made on December, 26th was the defining moment, where it gave me the greatest release. It allowed be to tell the story in my words at my time.
Moving forward, this blog in and of itself has turned into my own personal journal detailing many aspects of my life and thoughts. And for those that write, you know that this can free the mind that later allows it to process the "real" issues in the world without having those other thoughts clouding things up.
From Social Networking
By now, many have discovered the world of Facebook and found all those people that you never really talked to in high school or college, yet you still friend them. Well that's a story for another day, so let me stop now before I tangent off in another direction. So how has this helped me.
To start, I was "volunteered" to help lead the planning of my 20 year class reunion. While people have done this for generations and had successful gatherings, planning in todays world is a bit more complex. People move, families retire to Florida and some just disappear so there was the challenge for a few of my fellow planners. How do we find everyone. Well right off the bat, we turned to Facebook. We created a group and a fan page, we did hours of searches and in the end found nearly 160 of our 279 classmates. Final count may have actually been higher, but some that we found would never register or sign up for anything, so they were a bit harder to count. Without Facebook, I do not believe we could have gotten the word out as well, seeing as we all had full-time jobs and lifes even before reunion planning.
So this was just one example where the "social" services helped me out.
So here is your turn, please leave a comment on how the "social" services have help you? Did you land a job? Find love on online? Expand your knowledge base? Fill in the blank.
So until next time, may you web stay social without getting the bugs.