So, social media. It can be pretty confusing, right? After all, one person tells you one thing about it while another person tells you the complete opposite not 5 minutes later. And then the day after, you have someone else telling you it’s something in-between the previous two explanations! No wonder social media is so confusing. So what does it mean?
To be honest, social media is exactly what you want it to be. You want it to be a way of finding cool and interesting websites that you would never have found before? Sign up to Stumbleupon. You want to know what blogs are popular? Get yourself a Technorati account. History of all the comments you’ve ever left? Backtype. And the list goes on.
For me, however, the true meaning of social media can be found in the way that people who would normally be business competitors offer support, knowledge and different expertise to those who need it.
I’ll give you an example. On my Twitter account, I’m probably connected to around 40 or so people from the PR and copywriting industry, whether it’s through me following them or them following me (or both, even). Now, in the “normal” business world, they would be competitors so you’d think the last thing we would want to do is help the other out.
Yet instead, Twitter sees any request for help or advice answered almost immediately, and often with information that would offer a distinct advantage if kept private. Now to me, that’s social media at its finest.
Yes, we’re all in business and we all want to succeed, but gone is the “at all costs” attitude of the last decade and beyond. With the Internet opening up a whole new world of commerce and potential customers, there really is enough to go round for everyone. And people are realizing that.
Not only that, but people are also encouraging others to succeed and offering up the tools with which to push for that success. You can’t get much more of a truer meaning of social than that, media or otherwise. Perhaps we should get the leaders of the world into social media? After all, they could use all the help they can get.