When it comes to blogging, I enjoy saying that I’ve been blogging before it was called blogging. Thanks to the Internet Archive I know that I’ve owned my own domain since 2001, and I’ve been keeping an online journal of sorts since middle school. Also, I just read a few of these old entries and it’s official: I was the biggest dork in high school (I can’t believe I colored my hair orange.)
For someone that was ahead of the online writing/blogging/confessing wave, I still wouldn’t consider myself a, “Social Media Guru.”
Last week I was invited to participate in the Washington Women in PR‘s Annual Media Round table, and it went pretty well. I was invited to speak because of my background as a blogger and writer, so does that make me an expert?
I’ve noticed a lot of people I encounter on Twitter and other social networking sites are often self proclaimed “gurus” and “experts.” It seems like everybody is a social media guru now, like the latest person to follow me on Twitter.
Social Media is the new black, it’s changing the way we communicate, do business, and order pizza. However as much as we know it’s changing our world, we are still trying to fully understand the forces behind it and how we can best take advantage of it. Being an expert on the topic has quickly become the fastest way to attract attention to yourself.
However just because you send Twitpics and you have 1,000 fans on Facebook doesn’t mean you are a Social Media Guru. As Mashable says, even Social Media Gurus make mistakes, and I’m really happy to see I’m not the only one who gets annoyed when another “Guru” asks me to follow them on Twitter just so they can spam my timeline with a billion gazillion links to articles on social media.
Constantly retweeting links to articles on social media doesn’t make you a guru- it makes you a human RSS feeder.
One of my favorite social media stats is that 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity. Wouldn’t it be funny if Twitter ended up being nothing but celebrities and “social media gurus” online talking about nothing but themselves and/or social media? Twitter would be would be the best website nobody is actually using.
So if you look to my sidebar you see that I’m on Facebook; I send tweets; I blog; and I occasionally upload videos to YouTube. For some people that maybe enough to earn them their self-proclaimed guru status. However that’s not what I’d like to think about myself. The word Guru has numerous definitions that include, teacher, leader, and expert. You won’t find posts on my blog describing new ways to you use iPod to open garage doors; so I guess I’m not a teacher. I do feel like I have advanced knowledge on using social media- but I don’t have all the answers. Gurus are often asked to help people with their problems, hoping that they have the all the answers. I know I don’t, and I don’t know if there is anyone out there that does.
I consider myself a Social Media power user, I am passionate about social media and I enjoy using it to connect with all sorts of different people.
I guess you could say I want to put the social into Social Media.
I want to use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends, I want to use Twitter to stay connected and send messages to my blog buddies, and I want to upload videos to YouTube so I can have an online home for my projects for everybody to see. While I still struggle over why I really blog, I know that it is a platform for documenting my memories, thoughts, and opinions. While I hope my friends and family enjoy reading it, I do know that it is out there for the entire world (or anybody else that is interested.)
So will I ever be a guru? I don’t think so but…
there is that last definition, leader. Will I be a social media leader? I’m not constantly thinking of how one can stretch the limits of social media but as someone that’s passionate about using it to truly connect with people (both online and offline), you could say I am leading by my own example- using social media while learning on my own the dos and don’ts of the new frontier.
What I know about social media is that it’s allowing us to share, connect, and honestly, show-off. I love social media because it’s made maintaining relationships easier, however it hasn’t boiled it down to a simple click. I love meeting new people and making new friends, and social media has become a tool in the process, not a silver bullet. If you had to ask me, the secret of social media is realizing it gives you easier access to people but it doesn’t take away the work one needs to build community, rapport, and trust.
So you can take my thoughts as they are but remember, I’m no Social Media Guru.