Communications 2010

Social media, is it everywhere? Everybody has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed or a blog (ha, ha, you’re reading mine), or at least it seems that way. And where’s it all headed? It seems like the buzz around social media grows exponentially by the week. Is it justified? I believe it is. But I will say this, anytime something gets as much attention as social media is getting right now, everybody wants to be part of it…That will tend to bring out the good and the really dumb.

I believe its just 1 big inter-connected web. Somebody noticed you on LinkedIn updates on Friday morning and followed it. Your LinkedIn Profile takes that somebody to your web page, your web page contains your blog, which might have something of interest to the reader. Since that reader found something in common or of interest, they decide to follow you on twitter and so on. It might not work just like this, but you know the theory. So is this just mindless wasted time or are we really developing relationships and communities that will help each other, support each other and in the long run, alter our life patterns? That’s a big question right now.

There’s a million answers to that question, and they are all different. A good example is Facebook Communities. I watch my son’s generation who are all either at college or in post high school jobs. He knows where anybody he ever knew and cared about is, where they are going to school or work, probably their status and much more. He doesn’t make a concerted effort to do this, they are all just part of an social community that uses Facebook as its central information hub (it’s life to them). It’s amazing to watch these communities and many like them grow. It tells me that our methods of communication are changing big time, like it or not.

This brings me to the next point, we’ve got to help each other. The whole social media and Internet communications movement can be very complicated. In some respects we have given up the very organized 3 network and 2 newspaper model of information and entrainment for a wild west type, unorganized mass of media and information we’re all trying to wrap our arms around. The trade off is that under the old system, we had to listen to what “they” were saying, telling us, selling us and we did not have much of a choice. Now, even though its wild and unorganized, we can tune into, listen to and read what we want to. We are in more control of what reaches us than ever before, but we need to help each other understand where we are going.

There are more and more “Social Media” experts out there every day. Listen to them (I don’t know if you need to pay them), and listen to what your sons and daughters and neighbore are doing. You don’t need to go overboard and be super connected, just take small steps if you feel confused. It will all make sense slowly but surley.

Our strategy is to try to use some of these tools to communicate with our customers and friends. Help them solve a printing or communications problem, maybe share  an aspect of our lives with them and hope they do the same with us. I’ll tell you this, canoeing and photography are as important to me as printing, and printing and graphics are very important in my life.

I think it’s pretty exciting to be living in a time when we are experiancing the type of change that the digital revolution is bringing to us, but a lot of people are still uneasy with it. Be patient, help them out, and remember we don’t have any choice. The times are changing fast and we are all going down this road together. So as time goes on, we’ll try to write more about Social Media and Internet Communications, because its very tightly tied to our business also (like it or not).

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