The Flavours of Social Media

Since my last post was on addiction, I wanted to draw on the experience I acquired as a scooper and double dipper at my first job. Although forced to wear the unsightly combination of pink and brown, I enjoyed my first, albeit shortlived, employment experience. Now, the pay was shite, but the fringe benefit, conducting R&D to acquire a taste for each of the 31derful flavours, was worth it, at least for a few months. This "research" helped me "develop" recommendations for customers but, unfortunately, caused me to expand more than my horizons.

As I see it, my near-addiction to ice cream at age 15 has coloured my view of social media, and my point in assigning a flavour is to give you an idea of what to expect. This way you can pick yer poison...

Please bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive. There are more than 200 social media sites. These are the biggies.

Flavour: Pralines and Cream
You can't go wrong with pralines and cream, and this was a top seller in my day. Twitter is a great way to connect with like-minded people. It's also a wonderful place for seeing activism in action, learning something new and finding great bloggers. Now some people (Fidel) think that it's only people tweeting about "shaving their backs" and "plucking their nose hairs," but you have a choice in this. And there is no better place for breaking news. Just ask CNN. And here you will find an abundance of writers, activists, artists, craft enthusiasts, feminists, journalists, bloggers and photographers. This is a great place to find killer links and get your social yayas out. Down side: you'll find a lot of salespeople, marketers and social media "experts," but remember, you don't have to follow them back.

Flavour: Jamoca Almond Fudge
What could be better than coffee, chocolate and almonds. I've just stumbled upon Stumbleupon, and I love it. It's particularly good for people who are visual. This social medium works on the premise that if you're looking for something on the net, you may have to sift through a lot of junk before you find it. Stumbleupon is like a curating service. In my profile, I checked off a few areas I was interested in: photography, crafts and art. Then I hit Stumble. If I liked what I saw, I gave it the thumbs up, if not, the thumbs down. This site keeps track of your likes and gives you more of the same. The good news: you can share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. I have found fabulous sites here that I would not have found otherwise. This is the site that my father will absolutely adore. Have a look at the quick tutorial before you get started.

Flavour: Vanilla
I have found this to be the least social of the social media, but it's the best one for professional networking. If you're looking for a high-paying executive position look no further. In addition, this is ideal for finding specialists in particular fields. It's also a great place to ask questions. Two years ago, I was doing research on BPA and received a lot of helpful information from professionals working in biotechnology. But be forewarned. This is for professionals, so you'll want to put your best face forward. Be professional and keep the silly stuff for Twitter and Facebook.

Flavour: Spumoni
Through Facebook, I have connected with relatives and friends whom I have not seen in years, like aunt Bonnie, cousin Tina, and Andrew from grade 5. And in some cases, it's easier to get ahold of some of my friends here than by phone. But there's a lot of things on Facebook that I just don't understand, just like those little green candies in spumoni. And then there's still that issue of Facebook owning all your personal information. But they changed all that...Right? Okay, so I'm not a fan...yet.

If I've missed an important aspect of any of these four social media, or you take issue with the flavour I've assigned then drop me a line. I'd love to find out more.


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