Discussing Social Media with… Amani Channel
A little while back, I sent out a request via Twitter asking if anyone would be interested in being interviewed for a discussion on social media. With the medium meaning so many different things to so many people, as well as how it can be used, I was interested to hear the views of the people I connect with.
My original plan was to run a “round table” style of blog post – raise the questions and then have a mix of views as the responses. However, the answers I received back were all excellent, and showed why social media is the mix of interesting people and views that it is. So, I decided individual posts would be far more effective in an on-going series of interviews.
Sharing his views today is Amani Channel, Senior Producer at Visual Eye Media, a full-service video relations company providing media consulting and professional High Definition video production for individuals, non-profits and corporations. My sincere thanks to Amani for taking the time to reply and share his views. To connect with Amani, or find out more about him, please visit his My Urban Report blog.
If someone was to ask you for your definition of social media, what would it be?
Social media is interactive nature of the Internet that allows individuals, businesses, and organizations to engage in conversations (communicate), and build relationships. It includes blogs, wikis, communities, and sites like Twitter.
What is your reason for using social media?
I use social media for a variety of reasons. I use it to stay in touch with family and friends. I use social media to share information about news, and events that are of interest to me, and I use it to promote and build business relationships.
Do you feel that social media is being used to its maximum effect?
Social media is very time consuming, and can be overwhelming. I do my best to maximize my presence, and personal brand. Some people do a great job, others just add chatter. I believe those who engage in industry specific conversations, share timely links, and focus on community building, will have positive results.
What social media tools or applications do you use? Why these ones in particular?
I use Twitter, which feeds my MySpace, and Facebook status updates, and Twitter updates are on my My Urban Report blog. I also use video extensively with my blog and blip.tv, and tubemogul is very useful especially for mass distribution. I also have a blog on my video production company website – however, I don’t update as frequently as I should.
Back to Twitter, I have two separate accounts. One for Visual Eye Media and one for My Urban Report. I try to keep my tweets relevant to my brands. For urbanreporter I try to focus on sharing urban news links, and personal updates. For Visual Eye Media, I try to focus on social media, and online & video production information.
Where do you see the future of social media, both in general and for you?
Many of those currently engaged in social media are early adopters, and we certainly have a heard start on others who are just getting involved in social media. I hope to continue to use social media to inform, educate, and build my brands.
Are businesses effectively using social media? If not, what can they do to improve?
As a journalist, I find that many news organizations are doing a poor job of using social media. Twitter is a great utility for reporters to build followers and keep online users up to date with news developments. Many corporate news organizations have tight rules about reporters use of social media. Also, I haven’t seen many popular brands on Twitter though many independent, and small business owners are catching on.
As far as improving a social media presence, I would say roll up your sleeves and jump in. You can’t understand social media unless you try it.
What do you feel are the best and worst features/uses of social media?
It seems we’re approaching a saturation point in terms of social media. Between my blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blip.tv, YouTube, it’s hard to be engaged in all sites (and it seems more are popping up each day). I like the transparency, the community building, and communication that social media allows.
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