I’m a social media penguin. Are you?

I’m a social media penguin. Are you?

Are the words “mashup,” “tweetup,” “feeds” and “tagclouds” meaningless to you? When it comes to social media, there’s a growing throng that stays on top of the latest and greatest technology and websites. That’s not me.

In a roomful of social media experts, you’ll hear a lot of “geekspeak” and “technotalk.” If you’re not part of that group, it’s like a foreign language. During the Intellipedia Unconference last May, social media expert Chris Rasmussen even brought a sign with this photo to raise up high when he needed to remind people to stay away from such talk. That way we “regular people” in the room could be a part of the discussion too.

I think of myself as a “social media penguin.” Let me explain…

In Runner’s World magazine, 90% of it is dedicated to being the best you can be, winning races, cutting a minute off your mile pace, etc. Then there’s a monthly article by an author named John “the Penguin” Bingham. He’s proud of the fact that he “waddles” through races. He’s not out to win — he just truly enjoys running and takes advantage of the benefits running brings to enhance his life.

I’m like John when it comes to social media. As I mentioned in my last post, I don’t jump on board with tools until I see how they will benefit me or my clients personally. I take my time and make sure there’s truly going to be value. Otherwise, something new and neat could just end up being a timesuck.

So for those of you “regular people” who feel lost around all the technical geniuses, I’m there with you. Precisely because I don’t have a technical background, I feel that helps me speak in plain English to folks about Web 2.0 tools. When I see something good that can specifically help you do your job, we’ll talk about it. If not, we won’t.

To quote John, “Waddle on, friends.”

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2 Responses to “I’m a social media penguin. Are you?”


  1. 1 MediaMarc March 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for this post. I’m in IT and I try to make an effort not to talk all that “geek speak” to clients. Many techies subconsciously get gratification on talking over peoples heads. It gives them the illusion that they are smarter or superior to non-technical people which is nonsense, it is simply your profession and that’s it. Similar to a lawyer speaking “legalese”, my fellow IT people are just blabbing “computerese”. Technology is only about the people who are served and entertained by it.

    Thanks again,
    Marcus

  2. 2 chrishemrick March 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for your comment, MediaMarc. I’ve heard a lot of people say the same thing!


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