Social Media: Blogging, Podcasting, Vlogging and the Like…

One of the most interesting parts about living in Arizona is this sometimes well underpromoted group of technology and marketing minds that have come from all over the country and are now trying to apply their years of experience and mindshare into a market that is sometimes well behind the times. When I say “come together” I mean it in the truest sense of the word. I’ve never lived in a marketg (and I’ve lived in many) where your competitors are actually sometimes your customers, and usually, your friends. People here in the “Valley” seem to have this true understanding of entreprenuership, and take it to heart. We actually care about each others success and honestly try to help. It’s fascinating, really.

Last week was a great example of this. The meeting of the first “Social Media Club” here in Phoenix took place. The room was filled up after a simple posting on the AZIPA list, which is another example of what I’m speaking of here today. Present were my competitors, my clients, colleagues, and friends from years of working here, ready to share their ideas on this “new” (I love that it’s NEW when I’ve been seemingly “blogging” since 1995) concept. It was interesting to see those that already utilize social media, and those that are seeking to utilize it, come together in a casual and open setting, with no rules, or much structure, or a high price tag.

So, the question that arose, and that will be addressed next week is “what is social media?” A great definition came that encompassed the concept that social media is simply taking different applications of technology that are more widely available, but sometimes utlized in different formats than originally intended, to communicate with a larger audience. Some thought it was specific to consumer communication, while others thought more along the lines of the technology itself.

So, what is it? In my agency, we blanket certain tasks/engagements as “Social Media” within our accounting system. That would include blogging, podcasting, vlogging, video emails, viral campaigns, and anything surrounding advertising or infiltration of social sites such as myspace or flickr. But, what do you think?

Let’s take the most obvious: blogging. We utilize blogs for many things. We use them for corporate communcations, consumer outreach, political fielding, media relations, public relations, and to help with our search engine rankings. So, where does it really fall?

My first “blog” was really an online diary that I used to have to write three times a week when I worked as the spokesperson for love@aol. Technically, these days, that would considered a blog. It had the ability for users to post comments, leave messages, and the readership was consistent and amazing. Who knew that OVER ten years later, people would be doing the same thing for “fun.”

So, shoot me a note. Chime in. Is social media only myspace communication? Do you thinnk it’s only for bloggers? Podcasters?

And, if you’re in Phoneix, We are now planning our second meeting to be held on December 14, 2006 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Foundation for Blind Children’s Facility located at 1235 E. Harmont Drive in Phoenix. I hope to see you there!

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