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This Social Media Thing

As my maternity leave ended and I prepared to return to work (not that being on maternity leave is a total picnic – nobody spits up on me at work, or emotionally manipulates me into playing “here comes the airplane” at 3am) – I anticipated a lot of change.

Indeed, everything from management strategy to recruiting tactics to employment legislation has shifted over the last year, and all of this change was naturally bringing with it new approaches, strategies and understanding.

And frankly, after a year of talking in my “mommy voice” and discovering that I have a disappointing and very large capacity for hating children’s television — yeah, I’ll send Dora on a voyage of exploration; as long as it’s one way! – I welcomed the opportunity to encounter the new, changed landscape of work.

But…what I didn’t realize, was how much technology – and in particular social media — has influenced the workplace in so many different ways.

Twitter, Rypple, LinkedIn, blogging, “digg”ing things, Facebook as a recruitment tool, online surveys through Wufoo (I can’t believe I just typed that). These are my new social media friends. They’re here to stay. And now it’s up to me – for the first time in my career – to play catch-up with workplace technology and learn how I fit into this new social media world at work.

Honestly, it’s a bit of a daunting task. Almost as daunting as dodging mashed carrot from your son who just won’t eat WHY WON’T HE EAT I MEAN I’M TRYING TO FEED HIM AND WHAT MORE CAN I DO WILL YOU PLEASE EAT THE CARROTS PLEASE CAN WE MAKE A DEAL HERE, HOW ABOUT SOME DORA…

(Sorry. That happens every now and then. I’m sure it will pass.)

The point is, as strange as some of these social media tools and terms may seem (wufoo?),they can also be overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to take in. There’s a lot to make sense of.

However, just as quickly as I’m learning to have meetings on dim dim, I’m also learning that these social tools are actually fun, helpful and surprisingly easy to use – once you get the hang of it, and simply stop fighting the movement.  I feel ridiculous saying wufoo but it’s a great tool and it makes my job easier.

So if you’re finding the whole social media blitz overwhelming, my advice to you is to take a deep breath, go at your own pace, ask for help when you need it, and take it one day at a time.

Heck. If I can master the fine art of mashed carrot dodging, I’ll OWN this social media thing in no time.

12 thoughts on “This Social Media Thing”

  1. Great post Michelle! I’m a big proponent of motivation and engagement when it comes to the tools we use at work. The shift we’ve seen in the past few year has resulted in more people finding and using helpful tools that make their jobs easier, regardless of whether or not their companies endorse them.

    These tools are often referred to as “social” because they can help people accomplish a task in an intuitive and even fun way. That’s why people keep coming back to use them.

    You certainly shouldn’t feel ridiculous for loving Wufoo. Quite the opposite. Business results are the name of the game and exploiting any edge you can get makes you the smart one!

    Thanks for the post.

    On a personal note, I also totally agree that Dora can be a hugely powerful motivator for the little ones 🙂

  2. Great post Michelle! I’m a big proponent of motivation and engagement when it comes to the tools we use at work. The shift we’ve seen in the past few year has resulted in more people finding and using helpful tools that make their jobs easier, regardless of whether or not their companies endorse them.

    These tools are often referred to as “social” because they can help people accomplish a task in an intuitive and even fun way. That’s why people keep coming back to use them.

    You certainly shouldn’t feel ridiculous for loving Wufoo. Quite the opposite. Business results are the name of the game and exploiting any edge you can get makes you the smart one!

    Thanks for the post.

    On a personal note, I also totally agree that Dora can be a hugely powerful motivator for the little ones 🙂

  3. Michelle Ventrella

    Thanks for laughing ‘with’ me and for your comments!

    David, your comment about these tools being used in an intuitive and fun way certainly resonate with me. The actual and potential applications of the new ‘social media’ seem limited only by one’s own fear of change (and perhaps by a slow connection). I appreciate the support and encouragement.

    So, in the wise words of Dora: “Vamanos!” 😉

  4. Michelle Ventrella

    Thanks for laughing ‘with’ me and for your comments!

    David, your comment about these tools being used in an intuitive and fun way certainly resonate with me. The actual and potential applications of the new ‘social media’ seem limited only by one’s own fear of change (and perhaps by a slow connection). I appreciate the support and encouragement.

    So, in the wise words of Dora: “Vamanos!” 😉

  5. Truly, many times these social tools actually make our job easier and easy to use once we invest some time in it. But it’s worth & fun too. Kind of addiction!!

    Thanks for the post Michelle!

  6. Truly, many times these social tools actually make our job easier and easy to use once we invest some time in it. But it’s worth & fun too. Kind of addiction!!

    Thanks for the post Michelle!

  7. Thanks Ravi – I’m still on my social media journey! I agree that you can get to the point where it’s hard to stay off of it! I appreciate your comment.

  8. Thanks Ravi – I’m still on my social media journey! I agree that you can get to the point where it’s hard to stay off of it! I appreciate your comment.

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