Tune In to the Social Web


I often find myself describing the “social web” to my friends.  Many are interested and wonder what I mean.  I go on to describe it with a simple analogy.

The social web is like a engaging radio station, but imagine you have never purchased a radio.  The signals are moving around, there is great music, stimulating talk, and even some good educational content.  Until you get a radio and tune to the station, you will have no idea such interesting and engaging content is out there.  Buy that radio, tune in and presto! You discover a whole world of knowledge and conversation out there that had been passing you by.

The social web is much like that.  Through the combination of tweets and blog posts, there are exciting conversations taking place.  Most likely, you would really get value if only you knew they were taking place, listened in, and were confident in how to add your voice.

I was with a friend the other day who is searching for an high level business development position as a result of the, all to common, “corporate restructuring” of this day.   He is doing all the right things, making phone calls, attending networking events, and polishing up his resume, but he wanted to talk with me about twitter.  How would he get started and what should he do?  I gave him a short but simple tutorial, starting with my radio station analogy.  You see, he wants to join into the conversation about opportunities within his industry.  He wants to plug into the inside story on developing startups in his field and learn of trends and opportunities out in the market.  He just needed to get familiar with the new medium.

I took him through the basics:  get a nicely cropped photo for Twitter, turn off the protected tweets, start following a few interesting people.  I even told him to look for hash tags in his industry and then seek out and follow those interesting people tweeting with those tags. I think he is well on his way to get in on the conversation.

I have seen this repeated many times.  It is rewarding to bring others into the conversation and help them “tune their radios” to the right stations.  There is the blogging Mom who is now joining the conversation, the budding theologian sharing his thoughts through blog posts and tweets, and the computer network professional who is building his business through a reputation for good work ethic amplified by engaging blog posts and tweets.

You don’t need a fancy website, a custom domain name, or even Facebook to do this.  You just need to dive into the deep end of the social web, join into the tweet stream, and maybe even blog a bit.  There is a big world out there with hundreds of millions of interesting people.  Why don’t you just “tune your radio” to the right station and then join us in the social web.

Next thought…Building your personal brand on the social web.  Stay tuned.

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Filed under community, conversations, how to tweet, microblogging, social web, twitter, web2.0

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