The power of the communication tools that we have at our disposal continuingly blows my mind away. Even as an active producer and consumer when i see what is labeled 'social media' working its magic i still tend to grin and shake my head.
According to Wikipedia, Social Media describes the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.
So it is no surprise that a social media enthusiants from the Bay Area who is traveling through China with a family group of over 22 people, took the time and had internet access to post about Factiva's upcoming Social Media Roundtable . You may say that perhaps i am a bit over board with this stuff but what i think is cool and indicative perhaps of how more and more of us are communicating is my response>>
This of course is a true story...
I was sitting in my car in a parking lot in Alameda, my husband had a gig at a local dive and i didn't want to drive separately so i grabbed my iPod (loaded with a backlog of podcasts and videocasts) and my BlackBerry on the way out the door and decided to sit in the car while the band setup-honestly i chose to stay in the care more to avoid the extra pints of beer then anything else!
With access to my RSS feeds via my mobile Bloglines application i figured i would catch up on the blogs i monitor. As i was browsing i read Jeremiah Owyang's post about the upcoming Social Media Roundtable- i started typing a very eloquent comment on his blog thanking him for spreading the word- but when i clicked submit i received an error. So i looked around and saw that i had my camera with me which i typically use to record the gigs.
The result- is my video comment to Jeremiah- the video got a bit dark once i uploaded it to YouTube because it lost some quality and i was in a fairly dark parking lot- but the message is clear- i have multiple ways to communicate and i have the power to choose which one i want to use based on what is available to me at that time or what i feel is more effective.
The power is evident that blogs have because while i was recording the video- two email responses came through my email from people who are interested in attending the roundtable.
Over the last few months i have been at conferences where people who have teenage children mention that their kids tend not to use email as a means of communication with their peers. They point to IM (Instant Messenger) and Blogs a la MySpace and i am also seeing a whole lot of video responses on sites like YouTube. A video response is when someone posts a video response to an existing video that has been uploaded. A new survey out by Parks Associates shows that teenagers are less likely to communicate via email than any other demographic. It goes on to say that as they get to college and into the workforce they will be forced to use email- but what is becoming obvious is that will definitely not be the ONLY WAY to communicate with their coworkers, clients, and peers.