Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Wallflower in Bloom

Will Social Media make me a more social person? Is it possible to be both an introvert and extrovert at the same time? Through both my personal and professional experience with social media I would have to say yes. While some may consider me a wallflower, I consider myself a wallflower in full bloom. My comfort level in speaking with people that I don’t know is certainly higher in the online world. Of course it is easier to communicate with others knowing that you have complete anonymity online. In the online world I can easily initiate conversations with others that have similar interests to me, based on what I learn about them online prior to engaging with them.

It becomes easier to develop a real connection based on a common interest and therefore the chance of me being rejected is much less then I may have in face to face encounters. I also find the more comfortable I get in reaching out across the web through various sites like Twitter and Facebook the more social I want to become.

Social media allows me to pick and choose how and when I engage with someone. I can make the engagement as long or as short as I like. When having a face to face conversation we can’t walk away once that person has reached there 140 characters, even though we may want to.

This is not to say that I want to discontinue my real world engagements or that I favor one over the other. There is no substitute for relationships and reputation built up over time through face to face interactions and each enhances the other — neither can survive very well in a vacuum. My point is that we can certainly complement these relationships and build from them.

Social media and social networking can introduce you and help you to connect with individuals that you may not have had an opportunity to meet otherwise. It can bring value to both your personal and professional lives and expose you to face-to-face events that that you are otherwise not exposed to. Relationships developed online can become the basis for real-world business relationships; and can also serve to refresh, enhance and extend real-world business relationships that already exist. After all what we are talking about are people interacting with people.

Social media and or networking (whatever you want to call it) has simply given us a new pervasive way to connect with people and, in doing so, has provided us with new and different means to socialize, connect and make friends. But this can also transcend into something truly valuable in the world of business.

Social media and social computing can deliver significant and quantifiable results within the business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2C) and business-to-employee (B2E) contexts. Building customer loyalty and retention, offering more efficient self-service, and bridging communication gaps among staff and partners: Social media and behaviors enrich these experiences. Social media moves us further towards openness.

So let’s get Blooming!

What are you, introvert or extrovert? Take the test. http://www.ipersonic.com/ I came out as a Spontaneous Idealist (SI), in case you were wondering.

To learn more about how we are in Bloom at Open Text visit here?