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A Cocktail Party For The Ages: The Social Web, News and Business

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by David Garland in David's Blog

cocktail-party-groupI’m a big social media fan. I was first on Facebook in 2005 after my college, Washington University in St. Louis, was one of the first few schools added. Back then it was called “The Facebook” (wow did I just date myself?!)

Did I think I would one day use it for business? No.
Did I think it would evolve into what it is now? Nope.

I really use Facebook for everything. Having fun. Uploading and sharing photos. Making connections that go deeper than an email and more lasting than a quick conversation. Promoting my business and other people’s businesses. Sharing funny stories. Stalking..I mean checking up on people.

Twitter and I became friends in 2008. I was not an early adapter but was still in pretty early. Twitter is great fun, allows for making connections, quick conversations, building relationships, sharing and more (mixed in with annoying network marketers, fake experts, porn bots and auto-direct-messaging-people-who-are-annoying).

I’ve spoken a lot in the past year about utilizing social media for business. The basics. Do’s and Don’ts. My formula (there is really no correct formula so I share my experiences. Case Studies Ideas. Thoughts. Etc.

I really view social media and the social web as a cocktail party. One without a dress code (but still etiquette). One filled with people with great information…and also filled with people with (nicely put) less than great information. The barrier of entry doesn’t even require a ticket. You just walk in the door (sign up).

Some people are good looking. Some people are not good looking. Some people are friendly. Some are not so friendly. Some are truthful.

Some are full of crap. And this can be relative as well sort of like your friend that half the world hates and half loves.

When I think of this party, there is always someone(s) who is the life of it. Sharing stories. Sharing information. Promoting themselves (not overly) and others. Introducing people. Asking questions. Answering questions. Being helpful.

And unlike a real life cocktail party, the life of the party doesn’t have to be the crazy outgoing person. You can be quiet and reserved. Or loud and obnoxious. Just be you.

Often I’m asked about the future of journalism (since I am one), the social web, and news. I usually make it a point to ask people the question, “Where do you get your news  from?”  Newspapers (Mom and Grandma…shout out to you!), blogs, TV, Google, Twitter, whatever.

Let me throw this one at you. I would argue the future of news lies with your friends and your network. Sharing. Recommending.

Finding that trusted person. Sure there will be an original source, but the power of social media is going to control who wins and loses in the news game.

What do you think?

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