As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Social Media

I digress from the Coast Guard for a moment to reflect on a hot topic right now in the world of communication - the use of social media to build relationships, hold conversations and foster interaction. As a communications graduate student at the University of Georgia where social media is actively being taught, I am beginning to understand and break ground in this vast topic.

Social media (or new media, digital media, Web 2.0, or whatever you want to call it) is the use of online collaborative multimedia to share a message. Social media is not just about blogs and Facebook but any sort of microblogging, wiki, social bookmarking, social networking, aggregator, slide sharing, video sharing, photo sharing, and podcasting tool.

Social media has empowered word-of-mouth communication. The Internet has opened up a new world for communications giving voice to the individual and reducing the control of organizations and traditional media. It is no longer about one way communications through press releases and news broadcasts but about two way communication through listening, interacting and engaging in the conversation.

Using social media requires a shift in perspective away from how traditional media is handled. Social media focuses on…

- Dialogue instead of monologue
- Community instead of audience
- Conversation instead of messages
- Transparency instead of spin
- Reputation instead of position power
- Participation instead of regulation

Published in 1999, the Cluetrain Manifesto is a 190-page book detailing how the Internet is changing business. It has some great points that can be easily and quickly reviewed using this slide presentation.

A much more enjoyable and lighter read is David Meerman Scott’s book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. It really opened my eyes to the power and possibilities of social media.

I look forward to continuing my journey, exploring the new world of social media. It can be a bit intimidating but also very rewarding.


Sue said...

Thanks for highlighting the key points and useful tools for getting around in this new world of technology. I have found that social media is a GREAT way to interact and connect on a global level. Education really is key in doing so and you've done a superb job of pointing out some steps a neophyte can take to make navigating the digital world a little bit easier.

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