I was recently interviewed by Alexa Lee of The Daily Universe, Brigham Young University’s student newspaper, for an article she was writing about twentysomethings who are successful at using new media as business ventures. I have provided a sneak peak of the article below. (Please note: This is the last of a three part series – Read part one and part two.)
What do you recommend for those trying to break into and incorporate web 2.0 and other technologies?
I have three tips that can help both individuals and organizations be successful in adopting these new tools:
First and foremost, don’t try to do everything and be everywhere right away. Start off small, perhaps by setting up a Facebook profile. Once you’ve really mastered one platform add something to your “regime” and then once you have a handle on the two, add another component, and so on.
Be consistent across all platforms. For example, pick one picture to represent you online and use that anywhere you are asked for a picture. Choose one form of your name – don’t go by Billy in one place and William in another. In essence, you are building an online identity. (This is easier for organizations – they should already have a brand identity established.)
Be aware that everything you put on the web can be found, so be on your best behavior at all times. That may seem like common sense, but when we’re typing on a computer and not talking to a person, we forget how much of our online activity is public. There was a recent case where a Ketchum VP insulted his Fedex Client through a Tweet and consequently tarnished his personal reputation as well as that of his firm. (A summary of the incident can be found here.)
Why does new media matter?
We used to have a physical water cooler around which we shared news, caught up on the latest gossip, and provided recommendations. With today’s distributed workforce and the resulting dispersed personal and professional networks, that activity has shifted online and the conversations we have are being facilitated by new media. In order to participate in the conversation, in order to provide your input, in order to raise awareness about you as a person, the organization you represent, or the cause you fight for, you have no choice but to use these new tools.