Our next SWIM session focuses on the blogosphere and we would like know a little bit more about Arkansas bloggers. If you are a blogger and live in Arkansas, please email Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will respond with a link to our short survey. Thank you.
Frustrated with Facebook a few nights ago, I de-friended some people. I cleaned house. I assumed that no one would notice. And I got caught. Lesson learned: if you are active in the social media world and you live in a relatively small market, then your absence won’t go unnoticed. I am now sheepishly re-friending. Please consider this my apology to all my de-friended friends. I will not blame you for not accepting me back now.
This experience has me thinking about privacy versus sharing in this age when social media participation has become expected and the societal norm. Are we sharing too much? Are we at a point where we expect people to share everything? Is it weird that I find myself thinking of my daily activities in 140 character updates throughout the day (“Ms. Adverthinker is frustrated by stiff shoes that rub blisters; Band-Aid Blister Block helps though.” “Ms Adverthinker is disappointed iPhone died, but excited about pretty pink cover avail for new one. Damn accessories get me every time.”)? I ask these questions when I find myself uncontrollably sucked into Facebook.
The risk we take in exposing ourselves in the online world is that we actually expose ourselves. It seems so simple to type a few words and click a few buttons. But the impact of these small actions can be large. We are sharing our lives with the world. The world. Admittedly, in a market like Arkansas the world might be a little smaller: everyone who is online knows each other, even if they have never met. We are all friends without actually being friends. And I feel like I know everything about their lives.
Although I might not want to know everything about their lives, I just can’t help but read, watch and dig a little deeper. It is human nature to be voyeuristic and social media allows us to feed this desire. But it is easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by other people’s lives: What does the cryptic status update mean? Who is that person in this picture? Why are they sad? Why are they happy? Who are they talking about? Who are they quoting? What does it all mean?! So I started thinking that I didn’t need to know everything about all of my friends.
Because I have very little self control and can’t quit Facebook cold turkey, I decided to taper cessation of the habit by cleaning the friend house. Maybe I overreacted. Or maybe I didn’t take it far enough; I left the door open by not canceling my account (much like cutting up your credit card when you have the number memorized: it doesn’t stop you from spending).
As an active resident of this new social media world, I should have known better than to think a person can do anything online and have it go unnoticed.
Just a reminder that we have our second SWIM lesson this Friday night at Satellite Cafe in the Heights. Join us at 5 PM in person or online (we will be streaming live again). Blake’s Think Tank and I will be talking about high impact interactive campaigns. If you miss us on Friday you can catch the archived video and podcast on Monday over on the SWIM site.
We had a good turnout for our first SWIM last Friday:
I have finally spent some time trying to understand Tumblr and how I might use it. I kind of love it. Lance Turner has been a fan for a while. I thought maybe I already had too many places to share, but it turns out there are a lot of things I bookmark and like, but aren’t really relevant for Ms. Adverthinker, Facebook, Twitter, or my other blog (soon to be revealed). Tumblr seems like it will be a catch-all for all that other stuff (to those that care, of which I think there are few).
Tumblr is a blogging tool that is easy to use: you don’t have to know CSS to change the link colors to pink (of course) or even have to know how to use any kind of basic word tool. You just click a button representing the type of content you want to post and Tumblr makes it exceptionally easy. I have tested the Tumblr application on the iPhone, and it too, is ridiculously easy. For those just starting out with blogging, this is the perfect tool.
I am still experimenting with content, but you can check my Tumblr page out here. So far, I am only following two others on Tumblr: Lance Turner and Robert Blake (I particularly like his post: The Men and Woman You Should Be Following on Twitter).
I made the point last night during SWIM that I think the media only started adopting social media at its fervent rate upon the use of social media by the Obama presidential campaign.* His campaign used social media comprehensively and did it right. Obama as president hasn’t let the social media advocates down: he proves that social media isn’t just for getting elected with the launch of White House 2.0.
By far, the best part of White House 2.0 is the Official White House Photostream on Flickr. Social media is “about” a lot of things, but for President Obama it is about conveying his personality and bundling his messages up in that personality under an assumed premise that if we like him as a person, we will like what he has to say as a president, too. That is what these photos seem to say. And social media is good for that purpose. We see him laughing; it seems genuine; we believe everything is going to be okay. Our photogenic president appears serious when it is appropriate, accessorizes fashionably for events, and exudes confidence (or ego) in his overall presentation.
In addition to the Flickr stream, on Friday the White House announced an official Facebook page, MySpace page and Twitter account. There are also video postings by the White House on YouTube, Vimeo and iTunes. All of this was announced as an effort to be more transparent and to engage the public. And, they are allowing comments on all of these sites. What I am not seeing in all of the comments are responses from the White House. It makes me wonder if they are monitoring all of this feedback and providing a real two-way communication, or if this is simply another way to “push” information under the guise of engagement. If they are not responding yet, I predict they will be soon: this White House knows how to use technology, the Internet and social media.
* While I recognize that many journalists and some media outlets had already recognized its power, for the rest of the slow-to-change media bunch, Obama’s success with social media was the turning point. And now they just can’t stop talking about it.
Our first SWIM (Stone Ward Interactive Meetings) event was held on Friday night. We talked about all things social media and generally introduced the topic in this kick-off of our eight-week program. The video, presentation, audio and photos are all now up over on the SWIM website. Check it out. We will be back this coming Friday, May 8th at 5 pm to talk about interactive campaigns that have impressed us in the past several months. The location will be announced early next week, and remember, you can watch online live, too.
Thank you to everyone that attended the event, both live and online. And, thank you for submitting your questions and comments. See you all on Friday at 5 pm.