Need a minute? Or ten?

11 April, 2011 § Leave a comment

The worst places to be are in front of an audience and in front of a charging bull. Perhaps I’ll address the bull in another post, but today I’m deciding what to say in front of an audience. It can be nervewracking. It can be grueling. You can be left on the spot, with everyone staring, until you squeak out the correct (you hope) response. If you’ve seen a Twix commercial lately, you’ll know what I mean. Except I want the whole audience to start munching Twix bars to give me a few more minutes to talk.

This Wednesday I’m presenting part of my Capstone project at the Honors Capstone Conference at my university. And I am numero uno on the lineup – while the judges are still full of caffeine.

Still, I only have 10 minutes. Only 10 minutes to explain what social media even is. How it works. How it’s being used today, and how we’ll be using it tomorrow. To make it a little easier, my project is focused on 3 elements: crowdsourcing, online branding/identity, and how it’s affecting information democracy. And to make it even easier, I’ll share a 30-second thought here first, as virtual practice for Wednesday.

If I only had 30 seconds while you chewed your Twix, I would tell you that social media is not overwhelming. People often think you have to climb straight up to the high dive and plummet into every social network and online platform that comes along. But you might not realize you’re already wading in the kiddie pool – using email or a social network without even thinking about it as social media.

You do not have to dive into everything. Ease into the platforms and tools that make the most sense for your life, because ultimately, social media exists to spice things up, to spread them out, to connect and engage you, to do many things, but not to make your life more complicated. (Maybe think of it as a hot tub, not an Olympic swimming pool?)

Can you sum up social media in 10 minutes? If you only had 30 seconds, which examples would you share?

Now excuse me, for some reason I’m craving a candy bar…

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