Saturday, July 12, 2008

Getting Into Social Media While Having Been There All The While.

This weblog started off as an experiment to teach myself more about web 2.0 technology and as a means of educating myself in other areas of interest. Its impact on me has grown over time having opened up arenas of inquiry that I would not have considered in the beginning.

There has not been a predetermined pathway nor has there been any effort to keep to any pathway in particular. Different aspects of Web 2.0 have been tried, with some being let go and some retained.

One new pathway that this weblog has been pursuing implicitly up until now is social media. Implicitly, because it was not the original intent of this weblog to focus on connecting socially to other users. My admitted bias has been toward ideas. Ideas, however, only have life if they are communicated, and the source of new ideas are other people, so slowly I was drawn into social media. It has been to my benefit, but that would be getting ahead of myself. At first it was with a great deal of skepticism, but over time the potential of web 2.0 tools as a means of bringing about beneficial paradigm shifts has become more real for me. Implicitly, as well, because I have only recently created a social-media tag for this blog or my tagging systems. I have dealt with the subject, but only recognized it as having an ancillary and secondary role. Now it seems a great deal is being written lately about it in the blogosphere on Social Media and its supposed promises, limitations, and in some cases, its dark side.

The dark side come to those who put too much of their personal lives into their blogs find themselves virtually viscerated by the unfeeling masses. I have a greater appreciation for authenticity because of what I have learned through this weblog, but authenticity is different from personal confession. I choose to keep my day job/so called "real" life separate from this effort for a number of reasons. I have provided a photo of myself because hiding behind an avatar seems inauthentic, but that does not mean I have to share personal details or need to know that of others. I can be judged by my ideas and writings. Next comes its promise, mostly made by those in marketing and its limitations made by those who though they are riding the train and in many cases fueling the train ask themselves if by chance someone should warn others as to the possible consequences of the train going faster than we might be able to handle. A number of posts sit in Blogger limbo waiting to be completed on various aspects of this subject.

The ability of this weblog to provide pathways to new learning experiences has grown over time. A greater appreciation of various arenas of study, such as various perspectives on economics, design and marketing has occurred. This weblog makes making connections and seeing interrelationships ever more apparent. These interrelationships are now becoming more complex. Encapsulating a myriad number of ideas, organizing those ideas and now communicating those ideas to others, while others are doing the same with you, is all placed under the label Social Media.

What this all reflects is some concerns raised by some with more experience and creditability in the world of Web 2.0 that has to be contrasted with the growth that this weblog has seen regarding the expanse of connections spanning the globe and the depth of intellectual connections based on the insightfulness and breadth of ideas.

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