On Tuesday morning I attended the Social Media 101 session at Social Media Week Vancouver. Organized by Langara college and set at the W2 Media Café (where the Creative Mornings happen), the session was meant to be an introduction to social media in general.
Mary Chatterton: Introduction to social media
Mary offered a good introduction to some ideas and principles related to social media. She described the phenomenon as a conjunction of
- People’s desire to connect
Social media is a web 2.0 thing: while web 1.0 was static and just meant to have people “visit”, the web 2.0 is more about participation and content generation by the general public and not just web copywriters. She presented some statistics and numbers related to different social media platforms and discussed the importance of Digg.
Mary told us about how social media is blurring the line between our private and our public selves, as we share private things with the public and public things with our private networks. She argues that it creates a way to become accountable for who we are (or who we say we are).
The beauty of social media is that it enables worldwide collaboration and lets you introduce yourself to the world. Social media is paving to way to a more individual-driven, participating web 3.0 (see here for more about the web 3.0).
Doug Bourgoyne discussed the three main elements you need for a social media strategy:
- Objectives (quantitative and qualitative)
- Channels (which social media platforms will you use?)
- Voice (what kind of personality do you want to project?)
Sylvia Tan emphasized how social media isn’t a selling platform. You should think about the benefits to your followers, not how much money you can take from them.
Dave Macdonald focused on his work with social media at the organizational level. You need to adapt the tools you have to your situation and find out what’s meaningful for your organization.
Irwin Oostindie talked about how the W2 Media Café tries to use social media to promote social inclusion and make more functional citizens. He (rightly) noted that putting everything online (like government services) has the effect of isolating those who don’t have Internet literacy–or even Internet access at all.
Most of the panel was basic stuff but still a good reminder of some stats and facts that we often forget. It’s a shame I can’t go to the Social Good summit as I would love to hear more about social media as a social inclusion tool–there seems to be fascinating implications here.