Do you think that social media is at the height of its popularity? I had to wonder when Google+ was introduced if social media could take on yet another forum but I continue to be astounded at just how thirsty we all are for more ways of connecting in the virtual hemisphere.
My recent favourite way of procrastinating is Pinterest. Pinterest is a unique forum that allows you to post, comment and file various images. You make up your own filing system or you can use the suggestions Pinterest has - style, my dream home, men’s clothing, women’s shoes, the list goes on. My graphic designer friend, Jason, said he thinks it is a forum that a lot of women use... either way, if you want something different to do on a cold winter night, check it out. You will probably find some of your friends are already using it. I noticed that it was difficult to join at first and am guessing the Pinterest folks are either ironing out some wrinkles or they want to make it a little exclusive. You can put yourself on a waiting list or ask someone to invite you. I wanted to join and did both and was signed up within a week.
Perhaps the least talked about form of communication when comparing social media platforms and yet one of the most useful is YouTube. It never fails to amaze me how social media gurus talk about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and yet leave out YouTube. It is invaluable and I think it is the forum I would most miss if it were not around.
If you are ever not sure of how to use Facebook, make cookies from scratch or build a bar in the basement, then check it out! It’s incredible. I think there are so many different topics on there that it’s like a virtual, visual encyclopedia. I just looked up Costa Rica beaches and wished I didn’t.. Wow...beautiful and set to music too! (see below)
Then if you want to broadcast yourself, set up a webcam and go for it - of course it will be administered for approval first as we don’t all want to see someone dancing naked! So don’t get wild and crazy but I had fun and you can find me under HIVgirl1 I also used it as a forum to tell my story a year or so ago.
When it comes to campaigning on an issue, I think Twitter is amazing because it is so rapid but you can watch the news articles and personal video footage of demonstrations and interviews on You Tube too. I am hoping to have my abstract on “Campaigning for AIDS-related topics via Social Media” chosen for the World AIDS Conference in Washington this year because I find social media invaluable as a campaigning tool but you really should have a strategy too.
Finally, Valentine’s Day has to be the most popular day on YouTube - I had a hard time even getting on YouTube that day. It’s great to be able to pick a song or visual or even make a Valentine message yourself and send it over the airwaves to your loved one. I expect I will be doing the same thing at Christmas for my family in England, Spain and California.
Lastly, the original enjoyment I got from YouTube is still the same - just to sit down, watch a favourite musical artist and enjoy their songs.
Have a happy virtual social media week and let me hear about your favourite virtual media forum and why it is so appealing.