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You Need To Be A Social Media Evangelist

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I had never heard of Dan Grover until I found THIS POST on Techmeme this morning. To make his point Dan uses the example of a recent Read Write Web post that ended up being ranked high by Google under the search term “Facebook Login“. Guess what happened; tons of people clicked that search result and landed up on Read Write Web instead of Facebook and were baffled. They left comments asking why they couldn’t log in to Facebook, several were upset.

Dan explains that “noobs” have no idea how the internet works. He is right. He states most high school and college computer courses are a joke. He is right. It is a fantastic post and you should read the whole thing right now then come back.

Now if you went and read the post you are probably starting to see why this is relevant to social media, bloggers and podcasters.  Dan mentions that people can’t fathom how Twitter works because they have no idea how blogs work yet, what they are or why people write or read them. He is right again and this is the soap box I find myself on day after day after day.

This is the very beginning of this communication revolution. For all the hype and yes all of the amazing documented successes of new media we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the potential of new media. How could we when most of the world doesn’t even comprehend what it is or how it works?

In fact many of those noobs are suspicous or openly hostile to new media.

So if you are like me and you have seen how powerful new media is and can be. If you think these communication tools can make our world a better place then start teaching those noobs how to use it and how it works every chance you get. Become an evangelist for new media within your industry whatever that may be. Don’t get caught up in geek speak when your talking to people who don’t fundamentally understand what you are talking about. Without them we will never get where we are going.

If you are a blogger with any level of success you probably get asked to speak at events now dont you?

People have this weird misconception that you are an uber geek. Guess what, compared to them you are. Accept it. Get out there and talk to people and explain what new media is to them in as simple terms as possible. Give them real examples of how it works and how it could work for them.

Now unless you are speaking to a crowd of geeks I guarantee you at least half the room is lost five minutes in to your talk. Even those that are pretending to understand really don’t. Every talk I give make sure I include two points.

First, New Media is the simultaneous reinvention of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and movies all at the same time and it is happening right now.  That is an awesome concept for someone to get their head around. You can bet most people don’t believe it when I say it so I make sure to reinforce it as much as possible to let it sink in.

Second, nothing I say that day is going to help them understand it fully. They are going to have to experience it first hand. They have to start reading blogs, leaving comments, finding podcasts, watching YouTube, searching for things they are interested in joining the conversation.

I think if I can make those two points then I have done my job. Get them curious and learning, and pretty quickly they are going to be sucked in just like I was and if you are still reading this post most likely just like you were.

If you want to avoid making some common mistakes as a new media evangelist check out Chris Brogan’s talk at BlogWorld last year.


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