My 1st step into social media…

26Sep08

So, here goes.  I have been involved in public policy and public relations for my entire professional life.  Here in Washington, I’ve worked for Porter-Novelli, the first social marketing firm; for Burson-Marsteller, a leading international public relations firm; for the Food and Drug Administrations; and for other organizations involved in issues typically related to public health  (anti-smoking, food safety, adverse drug reactions).

In the last six years, I’ve been consulting.  And more and more of my clients (including my favorite pro bono work — my sister’s audiology practice in West Newton, Massachusetts) — could really benefit from social media.  I live for Google, I have a website, and having teenage children, I’m familiar with Facebook.  But now, I’m determined to really understand social media.  So, for the last few days, I’ve been reading online everything I can find.  I’m a member of www.marketingprofs.com, and have found some terrific information on that site; I’ve just found an article citing the top 50 blogs on social media; and tons of other blogs, articles, websites, webinars, whatever. 

Right now, my head is exploding with information — Technorati, feed burner, Google Blog Reader, RSS — the list is endless.  And I have a tiny sense of what it means.  But it finally occurred to me that the only way I would really understand it is to just jump into social media myself and experience it.

I tried figuring out what my blog should be about and that’s when it hit me.  Most of the social media blogs are written by social media experts.  And they do a great job explaining things except they no longer see the world from a neophyte’s view.  So, here’s my effort to learn about social media, and maybe help others along the way.  I’ll tell you what sites I’ve been to, what I think I understand, what I know I don’t understand, and what steps I’m taking to get a handle on this.  Please, wish me luck!

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