Hey did you feel that? That subtle shift? That was us moving into a new section of the tech bell curve, the section where more of tech moves from the early adopter section and into the mainstream.
No, I’m not really talking about Facebook. To me Facebook is like the California Roll of social media, it’s easy to get into and there is no of the raw fish to scare the sensitive away. I’m not talking about blogs either, blogs have become shorthand for web-publishing now. What I’m thinking about is pushing social media to the next level. Going beyond just joining LinkedIn, but actually using it. Instead of just “having a Twitter account” to “using a Twitter account” for information, business intelligence, and networking.
Then there is cloud computing. Not just having a Gmail account, but connecting it to Google Docs and other Google services. Maybe giving DropBox a try to share files or trying an online backup service.
As I read on GigaOM how businesses can step into social media—10 Tips for Becoming a Smarter, Social Business Person – GigaOM—and on Techcrunch how businesses should/are getting into cloud computing—The Coming Tornado: Cloud in the Enterprise—I knew these two posts had to be related. That there was some tie-in that I was missing. That something came to me, oddly enough, just looking at my Twitter feed in TweetDeck move by. I wondered if you had to teach a semi-reluctant, but tech-savvy business person social media or using cloud computing, which would you pick?
This week I’m going to teach the last class for the term with my BCIT class (my life in the real world class), go to an early organizational meeting for Social Media Club Vancouver, and on Saturday teach people how to use WordPress. That’s a pretty diverse, but very social media heavy, teaching load. I wonder would Social Media Club be able to get more businesses to use social media if we got them to just use the cloud first.
My thinking is that the cloud is easier for businesses to get used to. I think it’s easier to swallow using Google Docs within your team than sending out a Tweet to the whole world. How to ease into social media? I might start with Yammer or maybe a stealth Twitter account to see how you can gather news and info that is more than when people are at Starbucks.
I’ve found that lots of people are a little skittish of the whole Twitter thing, so here is how I would start off:
- If they don’t have a website, start one, but with WordPress.
- Take that domain, and get them going with GMail/Google Apps for domains.
- With Gmail, WordPress, and Google Apps slotted in, using Google Docs, Gtalk, Google Reader, and WordPress for web publishing are the tools and habits to start building.
- Next would be either Yammer or Twitter. That depends on how folks have taken to all the above.
- With those fundamentals down pat, it’s Twitter, Facebook and whatever other social media tools that make sense are on the docket.
Too easy or too fast? Should they head right to Facebook? What’s your take?