…aka Social media for dummies!

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There are times when we go to meet prospective clients (even existing clients) and try to explain the relevance of social media PR over and above the much-needed conventional PR…and we suddenly hit a wall. We try to explain Twitter in the easiest possible manner and we still hit a wall. So, let me try to demystify – no, not the intent on why a brand should be present in the social media – but, a few key tools of social media. I’ve obviously glossed over the nuances in order to make this simple and fun. Plus, the reason why Orkut is on top, is because that is the case, in India – Pluggd.in’s Ashish says so!

Orkut
– You are in a room.
– The room has many windows.
– People known to you – a lot of them – peek from each window.
– They look at what you’re up to, in life.
– One of them says he likes actor/ singer/ cause/ brand/ company/ whatever.
– You agree and speak to him regularly on that topic.
– You share other interests with other people too.
– You show them your holiday snaps – they love it and say something in return.
– You show them your family videos and they talk about it with you.

Facebook
– You are in another room.
– It has got a lot more windows and holes on the walls too.
– Many more people from your life’s history peek from each of those windows and holes.
– You have a chance to either shut the hole/ window or open it fully.
– You show them your holiday snaps – they love it and say something in return.
– You show them your family videos and they talk about it with you.
– You share with them what you’re doing right now and they comment – apparently happy at the privilege.
– One of them is a fan of an actor/ singer/ cause/ brand/ company/ whatever.
– You join his fandom and have a conversation with him.
– You have parallel conversations with many others on their interests too.
– You indulge in random, pointless activities like poking one, wishing another on her birthday and generally bothering yet another.

Twitter
– There is a room.
– And you get out of that room, armed with a loudspeaker.
– You’re speaking through the loudspeaker.
– The world outside the room has a lot of people listening to what you utter through the speaker.
– You’re also a man (woman) of few words – 140 characters, to be precise.
– The people outside the room can speak back to you and you can listen to them.
– Despite the multiple chatter and terrible noise, you somehow manage to have a conversation with a few, but others can hear that conversation too.
– On some occasions, when privacy is critical, you’re able to drive all others into the room and have a one-to-one conversation with one person.
– You also get the power to stare at multiple people in a very focused way that you’re able to concentrate on what they saying.
– You’re also – for some unexplained reason – very, very worried about how many people are listening to you.

Groups/ message boards/ discussion forums
– You have strong feelings about an actor/ singer/ cause/ brand/ company/ whatever.
– You get inside the room (we’re still in the same place, remember?) and put a board outside the room that from this point onwards this room will  be used to discuss only that actor/ singer/ cause/ brand/ company/ whatever.
– Passersby who are interested in the actor/ singer/ cause/ brand/ company/ whatever, enter the room and discuss relevant stuff with you.

Blog
– You’re still outside the room.
– With the loudspeaker.
– You get on the roof of the room and start shouting some of your opinions.
– On things and stuff, to put it mildly.
– A few onlookers shout back and you do too.
– You’re also very particular about the brand of loudspeaker you use, since it seems to help you shout better.

RSS
– Some of those onlookers seem interested.
– In listening to your other opinions too.
– They ask you to shout in their ear, specifically, as and when you decide to shout.

Del.icio.us
– You like something.
– You say so.
– Nay, you shout it out.
– To a lot of people.

Digg
– You like something.
– You say so.
– Nay, you shout it out.
– To a lot of people.
– And they judge whether what you like made sense to them.

Flickr
– You take a photograph.
– You show it to a lot of people.
– They tell you what they feel.
– Sometimes they showcase your photograph in between the times when they shout.

YouTube
– You make a video.
– Or, happened to see a piece of video.
– You show it to a lot of people.
– They tell you what they feel.
– Sometimes they showcase your video in between the times when they shout.

Second Life
– You’re bored with your life in the real world.
– You escape to a world on internet.
– And attempt to do whatever you do in the real world, online.
– Somehow, not many people think that’s an interesting idea – after the initial euphoria.

Photo courtesy: Lansing Public Library, Lansing Illinois via Flickr.

Comments

comments

8 thoughts on “Social media for the web -1, web 0 and web 1.0 generation

  1. I like this !!! demystified …. for sure !! Hope you dont mind, I am going to share this with my students in an Intro to Computers course? thanks Karthik.

  2. What do you think of yourplates.com ? We just launched a few days ago and are on the PR train right now. We ahve branded all license plates as email addresses so that we may all leave messages for each other and send messages using this method.

  3. It’s a coincidence, but I came across CommonCraft’s Social Media in Plain English just yesterday. And yes, I recalled this post of mine – while CommonCraft’s approach is much broader, in terms of setting the context and backgrounds, mine was a real client need. Have to explain to prospective clients on what exactly Facebook is. In that sense this is a dumbed-down version, compared to CommonCraft’s far superior ideation.

    On Orkut, the list is not in any particular order – just took Orkut first since its leading in India.

  4. Very Interesting!!
    Though I was not aware of some of the sites mentioned here.

    Very Convenient way of making a layman understand the social networking sites and differentiate.

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