About 100 people showed up. Brad and Howard did a good job. They even helped me understand a couple things.
I don’t say that to be arrogant. It’s just that I have tried lots of things and read lots of things and talked with lots of people involved in social media. In fact, I’ve realized that I talk regularly with some of the brightest and most experienced people in social media (including some social media gurus).
When the floor was opened for conversation, the first guy to speak didn’t have a question. He pitched the value of networking, talked about how much leverage social media people can have by getting involved in networking groups, and offered his business card. After that, people had real questions. I realized that I knew most of the answers, had played with most of the social networking platforms being identified. I wanted to say, “here’s why you would use that. Here’s what you could say that way. Don’t go there.”
Even as I was thinking through those things, I thought, “Why do I really want to get into those conversations?”
Like many people who have used social media tools, I have built experience that could be helpful to other people. I have ideas of what may work and not work for a variety of organizations. In fact, I could probably help nonprofits in particular. In fact, I have one such group asking me to be part of a marketing committee.
But I am not a social media guru.
I’m not talking about the self-identified kind, the person who is selling themselves by proclaiming their expertise while not using technology. No, I’m talking about people who have made a discipline of knowing how to use social media effectively regardless of the message. I love them. I read them. But I’m not one of them.
When it comes to social media, I’m a social media chaplain. When I’m doing what I love to do, social media is a tool, not a subject. It’s the method, not the goal.
People. God. Confusion. Clarification. That’s what I’m about.
Or what I ought to be about.
Trouble is, it’s fun to be a guru. It’s fun to get caught up in the conversations about the means of communication. And I do like communication conversations. I love saying, “what if you tried that. If you shot it this way, and then said this…” You can help people be effective that way. You can impress people that way.
You can get distracted that way.
This is where the last sentence goes, the catchy phrasing that ties the pieces together. But there isn’t one yet. Social media the method and social media the goal are easy to confuse. And depending on your calling, there isn’t one right order.
I still working to remember mine.
Of course, so are you.