Social Media – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Part 3
If you've been following along in this series, you know that we've looked at the use of social media for making connections and for promoting the tasks and goals of groups with shared interests. In this article, we are focusing on the use of social media for learning new skills and methods. Most serious users of these services are using this medium for teaching, training, and educating their "fans" on new skills or opportunities, and this is an excellent way to be both a receiver of information, and a promoter of information wherever you are following A passion or a business plan.
The use of internet, and now social media, has led to an amazing volume of information that is readily available to the consumer. Much of this information is free, and in order to get the word out on better or different ways to do things, this information has to be distributed . Social media is frequently used for this purpose. Articles, blogs, newsletters, eBooks, white papers, manuals, etc. Can all be promoted and distributed easily and quickly through various sites to a particular set of followers or fans. This makes the medium highly effective for the distributor of the information, richly rewarding for the receiver, and mutually beneficial for drawing in new ideas and participants who are focusing on new skills, new opportunities, and new services that fill their needs.
The downside to this method of distribution is that some resources can easily be overlooked because they are being distributed by a "small fish" in the social media circle, or because their follower base is small. This means that many users of this medium for skill development training have to wait long periods of time before their methods are not or shared by others. For the person seeking out new methods, this often means that they have to spend some time doing internet research to find more unusual methods and locate these "small fish." While this is not an insurmountable problem, it is worth noting that the use of social media as a distribution method can be a lower process than paid advertising. Results can be phenomenal for both the distributor and the seeker, but it does take a little bit of time to create awareness and a "market" for the information.
There is abuse of this distribution method, too. That's the "ugly" side of this use of social media in this context. The abuse falls into the category of a distributor who pushes out so much redundant or excessive information, repetitive posting of the same information, etc., that the followers or fans feel that they've already heard it all. This type of distributor is only selling a tool or service rather than trying to listen to their followers. It's like having a one-sided conversation where someone never allows you to interject your opinion. No one likes conversations like this, and there before social media users need to be sensitive to a few simple rules, which we will look at in an upcoming article in this series.
If you are seeking information or skill enhancement, then chances are you've encountered someone using social media to help you in this area. If you have services to offer or methods to teach, social media is a good way to get the word out. Either way, be patient, seek to be a person of integrity in how you distribute or share your information, and by all means, if you find a "small fish" with good information, help them to share the word too, through the use Of your social media contacts – this is one of the best ways to increase skills and knowledge for everyone.