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Are we becoming social media experts?

Another week and still no new post from Managing the Gray. Instead of going on a tangent of my own about how this “social media expert” isn’t adhering to some basics of blogging, I found a rant Chapman did himself and would like to share it with you all.

In response to several emails asking, “How do I become a social media expert?” Chapman posted a video message. He seemed pretty frustrated with the question because as he says, social media is really no different than become an expert at anything. As we are in a social media class, I guess trying to learn this very thing, I thought it would be interesting to examine his response and see if it measures up to how we are learning to be such so-called experts.

 His advice consists of the following:

-work hard and keep yourself up-to-date

-just like anything else, you have to practice it

-if you’re in it because you think it’s hip or cool or it will be easy- then get out

-be passionate about it

-make it a part of your life, your job and then push forward

 I think as a class we are on our way to becoming experts. The most a class in social media can do though, is give you the basics and introduce you to everything in the hopes that you will continue use of it outside of the classroom. With presentations from people who work in the field of public relations (such as Ben Boudreau, Harold Simons  and others) we get to see how important social media is becoming in public relations and just how interesting it is. If you’re ever going to be passionate about social media, this class will do it for you. If after taking this class and you’re still indifferent to it, then perhaps you will never become a social media expert. At the end of this term I don’t think we will all be experts, but I think we will have solid foundation to go out on our own and pursue social media without fear and reservation. 

My question for you all is: do you think you’ll pursue social media further after this course ends? Do you hope to become a social media expert?

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June 8, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Hi Tracey,

    I really enjoyed this post! Lately, with all of the presentations going on in class, I’ve really started to think about how I will use social media in my career.

    Truthfully, I almost feel as though there will be no choice whether we hope to become social media experts or not. With the way social media is taking over the communications world, I think we will almost all HAVE to become social media experts in order to stay afloat.

    After taking this course, I KNOW I will be pursuing social media further, and I’m excited about that! As for the people who chose not to take this course, they will be pursuing social media further too. They just may not know it yet.

    Hilary

    Comment by Hilary | June 8, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Tracey,

    I agree with Hilary – this is a great post. This topic definitely something to consider – whether or not we are, or can be, experts in social media.

    I think becoming a social media expert is easier said than done. In fact, I’m not sure that even the “experts” can ever truly be experts, especially in an academic sense of the word. My reasoning is this: social media is something that is constantly changing, and is changing at an exponential rate. What we knew 5 years ago is no longer relevant, and our realities from even 3 months ago may be completely different. The explosion that is social media makes it almost impossible to predict exactly what will happen – for example, a little over a decade ago, could any of us, or even our parents, have predicted something like the iPhone when we were fascinated with technology like Nano Babies or Dinky Dinos? What I’m getting at is the fact that even if one is an “expert” in social media today, his or her expertise may expire in a sense in the near future.

    Truly being an expert means constantly having to reassess one’s knowledge base. It would mean, in some cases, practically having to erase years of analysis and observation from one’s memory in order to accomodate the constant influx of relevant change and knowledge, all without knowing exactly where this is headed.

    I realize that this may sound somewhat pessimistic, but that’s not my intention – I think that in order to accomodate all of the current change and the change ahead, we’ll have to force ourselves to change the way we think and process knowledge. Humans are creatures of habit, so as both humans and aspiring professionals, we will have to make a conscious effort to become both more open-minded and more adaptable to change.

    I think Chapman’s advice is valuable and is something we should all keep in mind. From what I gather, his message says that we should EMBRACE social media and really make an effort to integrate it into our lives. Otherwise, we run the risk of being “left in the dust” that is technology/Web 2.0.

    Comment by Laura Hawkins | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  3. I completely agree with all three of you.

    I absolutely hope to become a social media expert. I find social media fascinating, the power it can have and the opportunities is presents for building strong mutually beneficial relationships is almost overwhelming. (Excuse my PR speak, but I truly feel that way) I have been very interested in this subject for about a year now, and this class is presents the information in a new and exciting way.

    I agree, the guest speakers really drive home the importance and practicality of social media in the PR industry. I will definitely pursue social media further after this course ends. I am going to “fake it til I make it” too, and present myself to future employers as an enthusiastic, social media keener. I may not be an expert now, but someday I hope to feel confident enough to know what I’m talking about when it comes to social media campaigns. I think the client project is a huge step in that direction.

    But didn’t one of the guest speakers warn us against ever calling ourselves an expert? I believe they did. I think it had something to do with the speed of change that comes along with trying to learn social media. Once you think you know it all, something new comes along, something unknown and frustrating and then you are back to square one all over again. Laura you spoke to this point brilliantly.

    But if you are passionate about social media and you work hard at it (like Chapman said) then I think we will all be fine.

    Go team!!

    Comment by kbslice | June 9, 2009 | Reply

  4. You’re right, kb. Ben and Kimberly warned against trying to become experts. I also think — and hope– the class has given you the tools to be able to think about all of these things with your analytical glasses on.

    Comment by doctor d | June 19, 2009 | Reply


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