Zen And The Heart Of Social Media : People

"Social media is about people"

This is the first principle of understanding this stuff.

Social media is created and used by people.

People who work in organisations. People who work in companies. People who work for themselves. People who make and break the rules. People who manage budgets. People who write strategies. People who manage people.

Without people social media is value-neutral.

It’s a tool which provides a way of augmenting and embellishing current operations so they are quicker, cheaper, better.

For some organisations it’s a set of services which provides a plethora of opportunities for their employees to develop skills, practices, transparency and trust. It also offers new ways to communicate with other people who are their clients, customers, members etc.

For others it’s seen as a space that requires rules and governance to curtail use and access. Policies are created which block or filter any interactive sites, budgets are routed elsewhere and new ways of collaborating are never explored—it’s email all the way.

Both approaches are still created by people though.

We encourage some of our clients to create internal development sessions like "social media Tuesdays" (it can be any day) : one lunchtime every month where everyone presents on a new platform they have found and discuss the possible benefits which could be gained.

Work with people and not the systems to sow the seeds of change.