The Social Media Goes Gonzo Blog Carnival

sm-goes-gonzo

Welcome to a first for me (and many others, it would seem). The Social Media Goes Gonzo blog carnival was suggested to me by fellow blogger and provider of invaluable information Kilroy_60.

Host of numerous carnivals himself, this is the first social media one and he asked yours truly if I’d be interested in hosting it. So, here we are.

The idea behind the carnival is to take you on a journey through the social media blogosphere, and introduce you to people that you may never have read otherwise.

Since I’m making this up on the fly (oh the fun!) I can only hope it comes out okay – don’t be too harsh on me! So, without further ado, we’re off!

Let Me Take You On A Journey.

Much has been made of how impersonal social media can be, due to its inherently online bias. Yet where else can you celebrate 500 Twitter followers with a cake? Of course, making sure you read the Fine Print can help avoid cries of “You left me, you really left me!” when you lose Twitter followers. Although you could always try out another 9 social media sites for local networkers if Twitter causes too much pain.

And that’s the great thing about social media – the whole web is your home page so you’re never truly alone. This opens up a whole new way of virtual socializing as well as networking. From talking to journalists on Twitter to taking on things like the dollar challenge to help kids in Colombia enjoy a better education, our voices are being heard like never before and making anything possible.

Of course, not everyone is convinced. There are still questions like, “Okay, social media rocks – but is it good for business?“. It’s a fair question but one that can be answered fairly easily – yes, it is. If you’re willing to listen. This will help you avoid 6 common mistakes companies make in social media.

A slightly more difficult question to answer is why cheating is okay in social media. Let’s face it, no-one likes cheaters – but are there lesser cheats than others? Perhaps – you decide. After all, the life we live comes from the choices we make.

Interactivity is another area that both individuals and businesses can benefit from with social media. Did you know, for instance, that it’s helped product ambassadors help solve customer issues immediately? Of course, offers of help are just one facet of social media – many are simply happy bragging about their Gettysburg trip to their online buddies. Personal and professional – it’s all there. The connecting factor is the sociability of it all.

Yet with all this socialness, are we in danger of opening up just a little too much? Or is that the point? What is too much information in social media anyway? I guess it boils down to if you are worried about numbers or people. If it’s numbers, information isn’t really important – but if it’s people, it opens up yourself that little bit more and helps build that all-important relationship.

relationshipsAfter all, at the end of the day, relationships are what social media is all about. It’s why you have people so passionate about stopping the automated messages on Twitter, as it feels so impersonal. It’s why we all help in growing bolder Twitters so they can enjoy the experience more. We want to be social; we want to build relationships.

A great way to do this is via a blog, and it can be fun as well. From just starting out and raising a baby blog to the other end of the age scale and discovering what Johnny Cash can teach us about blogging, bloggers are fostering relationships every day with their readers. Bloggers can share milestones, like a blog’s first year in the blogosphere; they can share advice on finding your identity, like offering 5 tips to stand out online if you are John Smith.

Discussing the state of the blog with your readers is another great way to foster your relationship with them. Asking what they like, what they’d change – it’s letting them be a part of it. And being a part of something helps you solidify your place in the social media universe and that of your blog – and if you’ve already invited your readers to jump on board, it’ll be a place already filled with friends.

Business blogs are becoming more popular too for their ability to build company/customer relationships, and not just in traditionally office-based occupations either. For instance, the combination of heavy equipment and social networking may seem strange at first, but should it be? There are all types of businesses, so shouldn’t there be all types of business blogs?

And that’s the beauty of social media – there are no boundaries because of “tradition”. Instead, it’s adaptable to what you’re already doing. You don’t need to say, “Goodbye SEO, hello social marketing” if you’re a search engine specialist; instead, use both together to strengthen results. Scholastically, social media can connect professors and professionals to further mindsets between the two. Flexibility is its strength.

It’s true that, to some, social media is a language of its own – like anything, it’s not for everyone. But if you’re even just the slightest bit curious to learn more about that thing called social media, you can be sure there will be plenty of hands to guide you along the way. After all, just like this blog carnival has been, it’s a journey we can take together.

My sincere thanks to everyone who made this maiden voyage of the social media goes Gonzo blog carnival possible: Michael Litman, John Carson, Allen Taylor, Jonathan Crossfield, Rachel Marek, Matt Churchill, David Miller, Julie Schwietert Collazo & Francisco Collazo, Teresa Hall, Shannon Cherry, Justin Goldsborough, Kari Rippetoe, Drew Gneiser, Tim Jahn, Vision Runner, Jared O’Toole, Marc Middleton, ASM Development, Andy Klebacka, Kilroy_60, Hjortur Smarason, Zoe Westhof, Anthony McCune, Jacki Brown, and Sam Bradley.

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