/ Blogging, Social Media, socialnetworks.

It’s 1:32 am, I’m sitting in front of my laptop trying to figure out why we’re so dedicated to my “social” crowd, why we cannot go to the bed without a clear idea of a new post for tomorrow, why hundred of thousands of people connect every day for helping one each other, sharing content, new insights, different approaches, exchanging experience or enhancing their knowledge, for instance. Why there’s so much information it could barely be handled, why we’re so puzzled for this thing called Social Media. Is it hate? addiction? Fads? devotion? I think it must being love, if so, why? I wonder why should we love Social Media?

human media - isra garcia

Well, these aren’t easy questions to answer if you don’t see the Social Media side of Social Media, which is being easily explained on my earlier post: Social Media With Ease.

Having said that, let’s focus on why we should love Social Media.

“Business facts” about why we are crazy in love with Social Media

  • Making connections we can partner with in future projects
  • The possibility to offer concrete solutions as for individuals as businesses, through social media
  • Bringing the buzzword “Social Media” to life in ways that truly make sense (and make a tangible difference to the bottom line)
  • The wide array of people Social Media exposes us to.
  • A common way to unify, work with and across disciplines (marketing/communication/advertisement)
  • Helping new businesses get up and going with an Internet presence and seeing them increase revenue and ultimately cut costs
  • Allows us to use platforms for carry out effective communication and set up a strategy for every area of social media.

On the other hand, we also can talk about reasons less “biz orientated”.

“All to all” communication

One of the aspects we should love Social Media is the ‘all to all communication’ – which I deeply explained in Social Media with ease – I consider it’s the basic definition behind social media concept.  Unlike traditional media which work under the concept of communication “you to all”. The Tools that social media offer us make possible to store and distribute content created in nature by several people, this content allows interaction, participation, collaboration and redistribution by others. I think it has a lot to do with sharing content.

Getting social

We should also love Social Media for the fact of “getting social”.
Let me explain it, Getting social does not just mean having a MySpace page a Linkedin profile or a Facebook account – it is far beyond that. Getting social is really the defining difference between the future and the traditional marketer.

In the past, it was all about providing information to your readers – the communication was a one-way street. Social media is all about the folk and giving them a voice – therefore making it a two-way street.

Let’s define the different ways of being social

There are different types of social media and each category has different focus (with some overlap in functionality):

  • Social Networking is probably the most widely known Web 2.0 term. From MySpace to Facebook, LinkedIn, and other similar sites, the focus of social networking is to connect you with others – your friends, people with similar interests, potential employers, and then give you the opportunity to find more connections as your profile grows.
  • Social Bookmarking (like del.icio.usFurlMa.gnolia) sites allow you to organize your favourite sites, tag them for keywords, and keep them all in one place. Very handy. However, what makes these sites social is the ability for you to share them with others.
  • Social Recommendation sites combine the best of social networking and bookmarking to create user-generated recommendation sites. Sites likeDiggNetscape and StumbleUpon encourage users to send items they like and then give others the opportunity to vote on them. There are also a large crop of smaller niche sites like BizzBitesSk*rt, BabblzBUMPzee and such that are evolving to cater to the specific needs of certain audiences.
  • Social Content sites include Flickr, YouTube, and wikis to name a few. These are sites where users create and manage content from photos to videos, information on a topic, and everything in between.
  • Other sites such as MyBlogLogTechnorati, and Blog Catalog give users the ability to network, bookmark and recommend all under one handy roof.

Of course we could talk about the variety of tools that social media offer us:

Communication

Blogs: Blogger, LiveJournal, Open Diary, TypePad, WordPress, Vox,
ExpressionEngine, Xanga
Micro-blogging: Twitter, Plurk, Tumblr, Jaiku, fmylife
Social networking: Bebo, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut, Skyrock,social media platforms
Hi5, Ning, Elgg

Social network aggregation: NutshellMail, FriendFeed
Events: Upcoming, Eventful, Meetup.com

Content sharing

Wikis: Wikipedia, PBwiki, wetpaint
Social bookmarking (or social tagging): Delicious, StumbleUpon, Google Reader, CiteULike
Social news: Digg, Mixx, Reddit, NowPublic
Opinion sites: epinions, Yelp

Multimedia

Photo sharing: Flickr, Zooomr, Photobucket, SmugMug, Picasa

Video sharing: YouTube, Vimeo, sevenload

Livecasting: Ustream.tv, Justin.tv, Stickam
Audio / Music Sharing: imeem, The Hype Machine, Last.fm, ccMixter, Awdio, Spotify

Reviews and opinions

Product reviews: epinions.com, MouthShut.com
FAQ Communities Yahoo! Answers,
WikiAnswers, Askville, Google Answers

Entertainment

Advertaiment: Cisco Eos
Virtual worlds: Second Life, The Sims Online, Forterra
Game sharing: Miniclip, Kongregate

Others

Information aggregators: Netvibes, Twine (website)

Share, share, share and people will Believe in you

Another aspect we’ll fall in love with, is sharing information with our network, friends, colleagues, customers or even people we bump into in the online world. Social media has changed the tide of the entire communication world, we’d better not keep the information for yourself. I say this just because, we’ll not be able to hold it under our influence for a long. This is how social media is changing the world, letting flow the streams of information among the different communication channels, aiming at a common benefit. Honestly, I do think no matter who we share with… if you really possesses knowledge why not share why the folks? Let the world know what we know and we’ll be rewarded with a very deep sense of self-fulfilment, improvement and satisfaction, there’s no competitive advantage which lasts forever.

First listening, for later on, sharing and giving, will grant you with a respected voice that people will definitely listen. Consequently, the audience will start to believe in you as an authority in your field.

Relationship and networking

Fortunately, and in part thanks to social media, I’ve been able to Connect and Establish professional relationships with fantastic and very interesting like-minded people, from around the globe. we’ve exchanged contents, resources, data, ideas,etc. I’m very grateful to them for it because, I’ve learnt how people see things from a different perspective, not to mention knowledge and experience have I acquired, thanks to them too. At the end, I’ve realised that the more people you exchange views and approaches the more you enhance your knowledge.

Surely, you’ll find authentic, sincere, genuine and helpful people always ready to give you a hand or even offer a guidance in a step you’re willing to take.
To name a few:

  • Establishing partnerships
  • Introducing suitable business contacts
  • Referring you to their clients
  • Trying to find a job in a foreign country

My take

Next January I’m going to take a break and travel to the States to expand my views in Marketing and social media and, studying how things approach from there -I do reckon it’s a must-do for every marketer, if she/he want to have a global perspective of the market and having an idea of what is coming – Therefore, I am looking for new prospectives and approaches for the time I’ll be in The States- it’d be great, if I can find a part-time job, so I can combine with my studies -.After, when I finish my studies, I’d like to find a full-time job because, I would like to get as much experience as I can in The States.

As a result I started to contact with my network explaining them the situation… Amazingly, almost everybody I contacted with, have offered me different opportunities that went from introducing me to people who is looking for similar profiles as mine, to arranging interviews for when I arrive at the States. Furthermore, there have been people as Pat Beaird, Gary R CookDianna Harrold or Orietta Ramirez (to name a few), who I’d like to say thanks for the effort they put on helping me in every step I took.

This has taught me one more time that human being is simply marvellous; we never know who are we going to find in our way and how this interaction can change our path, though what I’ve already find out is, every person you meet, every relationship you make or every contact you add to your network, definitely will play a role in your life. Now perhaps you’re asking, to what extent they’ll play a crucial role?… well, it depends on the degree of engagement you build with your social crowd.

I’ve to admit that human interaction is what I love the most of Social Media.

As you can see we couldn’t say just about one thing about why we should love about Social Media. Certainly, I feel very lucky doing what I like to do. Although, my mother can not brag about it in the hairdresser

Do you love Social Media? Why?  Should we embrace it? Or reject it? What’s your view? And yet, that’s part of the game. Let us know what works. Fair?