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Look around at the “more”

Look around at the “more”

To all the self-selecting social media fanboys and fangirls who think their world of marketing, SEO, PR, digital design and the like is the zenith of what social media is about. Wake up people! The word you’re looking for is nadir. Look it up.

It’s not all of you, but it’s enough of you to count.

All too many people, events and conferences that focus on social media are this way; pointless echo chambers of self-congratulation and worship of social media identities. Of celebration of non-words like “monetization”.

There are so many more things, far more interesting than marketing, advertising and PR and the bits that hang off them in the “industry” that social tools and the culture that goes with it can help with.

Education. Both here and in less fortunate places than Australia, social tools can be used to aid learning, to empower students and teachers, to introduce new kinds of pedagogy to a world where the 19th Century classroom model is no longer relevant.

Empowerment. Giving voice to the voiceless. Allowing the victims of crimes like cyberbullying to fight back. Bringing about real, tangible change and increasing awareness in the politics and practicalities of so many issues.

Politics and government. Enabling and facilitating conversations between politicians, public servants and the public they serve. Opening previously closed bureaucracies (purdah during elections notwithstanding, but that’s another story), ensuring politicians and governments can no longer suppress dissent.

Changing the way business works. Enabling the people in those businesses to work smarter not harder. To share more easily. To understand the meaning of their work and not just pump out more widgets.

Time to step outside your little world, look around and see what else is there.

Stephen Collins
trib@acidlabs.org
3 Comments
  • Michael Rees
    Posted at 15:44h, 08 April Reply

    I agree wholeheartedly. A business can use socmed for personal employee empowerment, the improvement of business processes, and creating flexible virtual teams of employees that respond to changing circumstances on a daily basis. Internal use of socmed within a business is not getting the attention it needs.

  • Jasmin
    Posted at 21:12h, 08 April Reply

    Cool – is there a conference for that?

    (heh)

    So, are you saying you would rather be seeing Tweets from Social Media conferences, events and tweeps along the lines of “what if we used blogs to….” “we can learn this from….” “this helps to….” instead of “check out this cool link..” “best social media tips..” “what company X did wrong with their wiki” etc?

    Oddly enough, I’ve moved from an eLearning role where I was looking at how to use social media for informal learning, to a Digital role where I’m looking at how we use social media (and digital in general) to make money. Good thing I discovered what online community meant, saw how people were using social media for social good and found great glee in web2.0 before it all became social media marketing 😉

    I hope I can introduce what I am learning in the corporate world into more humanitarian causes, and vice versa. I’d like to think the two can co-exist and help one another. The types of conferences you elude to might actually benefit others working for social good in the long run – if the content is geared towards creating a better experience for everyone. (I liked the sound of Problogger’s talk this morning at ConnectNow f’rinstance.)

  • Reemski
    Posted at 22:00h, 09 April Reply

    Glad someone else has noted it…was really getting to me today to the point where I unfollowed some people…

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