What is Social Media?

13 02 2010

The internet and coffee

Imagine going to your favorite coffee shop by yourself, like the one I’m in right now, The Tahoe House (www.tahoe-house.com) in Tahoe City, CA.  ( I highly recommend it for the food and the atmosphere.)  You know what it’s like when you get there at that perfect time when it’s really quiet and you can get your favorite table?  You coffee house junkies know what I mean.  You sit down with your favorite beverage and pull out your book or computer and settle in for who knows how long.  As you sit there you see people come and go as the place fills up and becomes a buzz of background noise.  You love the energy of all those people and yet your still all by yourself, alone in your own little world, oblivious to everyone around you.  And then it happens, you hear someone say something that perks your ear and all of a sudden you become aware of there conversation and all of the conversations around you.  A dozen or more tables, all with their own conversations.  One is about work, one is about love and one is about skiing for the day.  Across the room is a father and daughter having a snack while talking about little girl stuff and next to them are a couple of people doing scrap-booking.  That is what social media is like.

Social Media is a bunch of individual conversations happening all around you but online and not in a single building.  Just like in your favorite coffee shop.  There are over 150 million individual conversations happening on the web right now and it is growing every day.  Some are happening on Twitter and some on Face Book but these are only a few of the places that online conversations are happening.  So the next time your in your favorite coffee shop notice how many different conversations are around you and remember how that is a small reflection of social media today.

I’d love to hear if this helps you have a better picture of what social media is and what your favorite online place is to have a conversation.

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