A lot has been written about social media - probably more than you have the time or desire to read. Lots of claims are also being made that you can make big money using Twitter and Facebook, or how people find jobs on LinkedIn. Right now I'm not sure how much is hype and how much is real. I'll wait to reserve judgement. All I know is there's a reason it's called "social" media.
I have a passion for cupcakes. They're on my top ten list of things I really like, along with writing, photography, coaching, the original Star Trek episodes - though not in that order. During one of my times on Twitter I clicked through to a blog post about these beautiful cupcakes. A baker had created them with a very tiny replica of a tea set on each cupcake. They looked too good to eat, though I found myself wondering how much work went into such delicate creations. http://asianmommy.com/asian-zone/cupcakes-with-an-asian-flair.html
Excited by my find, I tweeted about the cupcakes then went back to my regularly scheduled work. Later that evening I saw that the cupcake tweet had been retweeted, and now I had a new follower - a cupcake blogger. In addition, one of my followers (who I'd known from a coaching class) commented about how pretty the cupcakes were.
What's my point? For a few moments we'd all connected over something that may seem terribly unimportant in the scheme of things. It wasn't about business or anything deep or serious; it was about cupcakes. For me, that is what the "social" really means. Interacting without an agenda and without having every post lead to a financial return on investment...taking a few minutes out of a busy day to connect with other people.
It's the "just being human" moments that (for me) give social media its importance. If I'm going to take part in this web 2.0 world (or whatever they are calling it these days) then I don't want to forget the human factor.
Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. Her fiction work includes a short story collection and a novel, available on Amazon.com.
For more information, visit http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com.