One of the (many) things I'm doing these days is exploring the social media space in a lot more detail.
I've actually been a part of numerous Internet-based communities over the years so I know a great about social media already . I also keep up with the latest news, trends, and studies.
Still, if you're not working on something full-time, you miss out on a lot of stuff -- like when you read the news article or blog post about the study instead of the actual study itself. So these days I'm doing some more research.
Among the many cool things I've found is this bunch of presentations on social media on Slideshare.net.
There are some that give you an overview and lots of information about social media:
- A good one to start with is Social Media & Marketing: Evolution or Revolution by Alex Wong
- One of the most comprehensive is this presentation called Social Computing: The Impact of Emerging Technology on Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Strategy: by Forrester's Brian Kardon
- Another good Forrester one is on European Social Computing by Rebecca Jennings
- Here's one by Nedra Weinreich on using social media to promote health and social issues called Next Generation Social Marketing
There are some presentations that talk about social media from a marketing and branding perspective:
- This is short one by Francois Petavy on User Generated Content and Brands
- Here's a more comprehensive one, again by Forrester (do you get the impression that Forrester is doing a great social media job itself?), this time by Charlene Li called Big Brands & Facebook: Demographics, Case Studies & Best Practices
There are some that give practical advice on using social media:
- Here's one from Mike Stopforth on 10 Lessons Learned from Social Media Campaigns
- This is a really comprehensive presentation from faberNovel Consulting on Social Network Websites: Best Practices from Leading Services, which was the topic of some research that faberNovel conducted in 2007
And then there are some that talk about social communities:
- Here's one by Emanuele Quintarelli on How Web 2.0 Will Change the Way Business Gets Done
- This is the one by Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester again) called Online Community Best Practices that Laurel Papworth had some issues with
- And, if you're into open source and more technical communities, here's a comprehensive one by David A. Eaves called Community Management: Open Source's Core Competency
There are many more, of course -- just click on one of the tags to see more on that topic -- but these are the ones that I found most useful (so far).
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 When I sat down to think about it, I realized that I've been an active Internet community member for over 13 years! Here are some relevant milestones:
- I got very active on Usenet back in 1995 when the Internet first became affordable to the general public in Pakistan (ah, the good old days of Windows 3.11, Winsock, Netscape 2.0, and 2400 baud modems!)
- I started my first mailing list in 1996
- Also in 1996, I became very active in network gaming, IRC, as well as many other mailing lists
- My first stint as a server administrator, webmaster, and message board owner/moderator came in 1997
- By 1999, I was training people on how to use the Internet and was giving presentations to the local ACM chapter on computer network security basics [94kB PPS file]
- In 2004, I created my band's website and message board (which was a really fun community to grow, by the way)
- Also in 2004, I started evangelising content management systems and other web-related technologies to the development sector; in fact, here's a presentation I gave on open source content management systems [503kB PPS file]