What Were Your First Steps

Let’s do a post inside the comments post today. I’ll ask some questions, and then let’s talk about it in the comments. Fair?

What were your first steps into social media?

Who were your early people you admired and followed?

How did you get started?

If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?

What will you do in the next few months with social media?

(Let’s see where this goes).

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  • Anonymous

    I was a member of Task Force Delta at the Army War College in the late 70′s… ( http://freespirits.chosenones.net/showthread.php?t=1345)Dr. Bob Parnes (my hero) had a system we used called ConferNet. It worked better than a lot of messaging and social network platforms used now. 200 of us were on a think tank (connect fees $1000 USD a month paid for by Uncle Sam) and thermal print terminals (no screens) …It was a blast and a lot of great ideas came out of it…

  • http://www.speljamr.com Tim Finucane

    What were your first steps into social media?

    Blogging, Podcasting, and MySpace.

    Who were your early people you admired and followed?

    Fellow music podcasters.

    How did you get started?

    Got a mixing board, a mic and Soundforge audio software to start podcasting. Created a MySpace page to promote the podcast(http://radio.speljamr.com). Just added one more social networking site to my list every so often. While not currently podcasting, I do remain active on social networking sites, especially twitter and Facebook.

    If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?

    Take baby steps and get a feel for each site/service. Not every social networking site will be what you are looking for. For example, I have little use for SecondLife, but make extensive use of twitter and Facebook.

    What will you do in the next few months with social media?

    Continue learning and eventually using it to promote some ventures I’m working on.

  • http://culturefishmedia.com lonnie

    I was a member of Task Force Delta at the Army War College in the late 70′s… ( http://freespirits.chosenones.net/showthread.php?t=1345)Dr. Bob Parnes (my hero) had a system we used called ConferNet. It worked better than a lot of messaging and social network platforms used now. 200 of us were on a think tank (connect fees $1000 USD a month paid for by Uncle Sam) and thermal print terminals (no screens) …It was a blast and a lot of great ideas came out of it…

  • http://www.speljamr.com Tim Finucane

    What were your first steps into social media?

    Blogging, Podcasting, and MySpace.

    Who were your early people you admired and followed?

    Fellow music podcasters.

    How did you get started?

    Got a mixing board, a mic and Soundforge audio software to start podcasting. Created a MySpace page to promote the podcast(http://radio.speljamr.com). Just added one more social networking site to my list every so often. While not currently podcasting, I do remain active on social networking sites, especially twitter and Facebook.

    If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?

    Take baby steps and get a feel for each site/service. Not every social networking site will be what you are looking for. For example, I have little use for SecondLife, but make extensive use of twitter and Facebook.

    What will you do in the next few months with social media?

    Continue learning and eventually using it to promote some ventures I’m working on.

  • Sonny Gill

    What will you do in the next few months with social media? My experience started back in high school where I first joined Friendster. Have a huge base of friends and connections from there and thus moved on to myspace, facebook and so on, all the way down to Twitter and the newer apps that are out now. I’ve evolved immensely throughout the years and have my peers and friends to thank for that.

    The early people I followed were mainly close friends and people I met from school and socially. I did not have many admirers as my use for social networking at the time was strictly personal. Although, as I’ve grown now into social media, my admirers would have to be Jeremiah Owyang, Maki (doshdosh), Chris Brogan;) and Garyvee, to name a few. They each, in their own right, have given me much motivation and understanding of the social media world.

    My advice – understand what and whom you’re trying to target and get your hands dirty in all the different social mediums out. Within a few months, you’ll realize which niches work best for you & your goals and continue to communicate and evolve those networks. This growth will eventually lead to you having a solid community of your own.

  • Sonny Gill

    What will you do in the next few months with social media? My experience started back in high school where I first joined Friendster. Have a huge base of friends and connections from there and thus moved on to myspace, facebook and so on, all the way down to Twitter and the newer apps that are out now. I’ve evolved immensely throughout the years and have my peers and friends to thank for that.

    The early people I followed were mainly close friends and people I met from school and socially. I did not have many admirers as my use for social networking at the time was strictly personal. Although, as I’ve grown now into social media, my admirers would have to be Jeremiah Owyang, Maki (doshdosh), Chris Brogan;) and Garyvee, to name a few. They each, in their own right, have given me much motivation and understanding of the social media world.

    My advice – understand what and whom you’re trying to target and get your hands dirty in all the different social mediums out. Within a few months, you’ll realize which niches work best for you & your goals and continue to communicate and evolve those networks. This growth will eventually lead to you having a solid community of your own.

  • http://www.crapmonkey.com Travis

    First Steps (outside my day job that is):
    Went to Eric Rice’s Podcast Roadshow in 2005 at Pike Place Market, the weekend after Gnomedex (the big podcast coming out party Gnomedex).

    Early Podcasts I followed, Admired:
    Todd Cochrane, Bre Pettis, Adam Curry, Local Seattle Podcasters (who are no longer podcasting).

    How I got started:
    Used a blog service (Live Spaces), it didn’t support podcasts so I wrote the RSS in notepad and used Feedburner to enhance it. Just started doing it using freeware audio tools of the time and crappy Mic. Eventually started a wordpress blog.

    Advice for newbies:
    Stolen from Nike: Just do it. Don’t research it forever – learn it by doing it. Go to meetups and social events where social media folks are hanging and sharing info. Make mistakes… make lots of them. I guess that’s the same advice I’d give to log time veterans.

    What will I do in the next few months:
    Good question. Try to make more content. Do a little more video content. Experiment a bit with blog services, SEO, etc.

  • http://www.crapmonkey.com Travis

    First Steps (outside my day job that is):
    Went to Eric Rice’s Podcast Roadshow in 2005 at Pike Place Market, the weekend after Gnomedex (the big podcast coming out party Gnomedex).

    Early Podcasts I followed, Admired:
    Todd Cochrane, Bre Pettis, Adam Curry, Local Seattle Podcasters (who are no longer podcasting).

    How I got started:
    Used a blog service (Live Spaces), it didn’t support podcasts so I wrote the RSS in notepad and used Feedburner to enhance it. Just started doing it using freeware audio tools of the time and crappy Mic. Eventually started a wordpress blog.

    Advice for newbies:
    Stolen from Nike: Just do it. Don’t research it forever – learn it by doing it. Go to meetups and social events where social media folks are hanging and sharing info. Make mistakes… make lots of them. I guess that’s the same advice I’d give to log time veterans.

    What will I do in the next few months:
    Good question. Try to make more content. Do a little more video content. Experiment a bit with blog services, SEO, etc.

  • http://howardspot.com Howard Levenson

    Chris,

    Been using LinkedIn & Plaxo as networking tools for several years. Like most others mentioned, I’ve also been on various BBS, Compuserve, AOL, etc before blogging was a word.

    Now I’m more involved as it’s becoming more mainstream as the agency I work for, as well as my client, is finally starting to take social media seriously as a marketing platform.

    We recently have been reaching out to bloggers for various campaigns. Additionally, we’ve been attempting to reach out to folks in various large and niche social networks through widgets, applications, social ads and product pages/brand channels on sites that offer them.

    Personally, I’ve been micro-blogging for some time and just started blogging – and have been trying to get my name out there as a knowledgeable person in the space. I’m also considering starting to do a webcast through BlogTalk Radio. I met Alan (CEO) at PodCamp NYC and was very impressed with their system.

    I’ve been following you, CC Chapman, Joe Jaffe, Greg Verdino, Ann Marie Mathis and have diligently been sniffing around for good info using Hashtags, RSS and any other source I can find… There’s just so much info out there to look at – some good, some not so good.

    Thanks for taking the time to ask about others experience in the social media space. Great to see what everyone is doing.

  • http://howardspot.com Howard Levenson

    Chris,

    Been using LinkedIn & Plaxo as networking tools for several years. Like most others mentioned, I’ve also been on various BBS, Compuserve, AOL, etc before blogging was a word.

    Now I’m more involved as it’s becoming more mainstream as the agency I work for, as well as my client, is finally starting to take social media seriously as a marketing platform.

    We recently have been reaching out to bloggers for various campaigns. Additionally, we’ve been attempting to reach out to folks in various large and niche social networks through widgets, applications, social ads and product pages/brand channels on sites that offer them.

    Personally, I’ve been micro-blogging for some time and just started blogging – and have been trying to get my name out there as a knowledgeable person in the space. I’m also considering starting to do a webcast through BlogTalk Radio. I met Alan (CEO) at PodCamp NYC and was very impressed with their system.

    I’ve been following you, CC Chapman, Joe Jaffe, Greg Verdino, Ann Marie Mathis and have diligently been sniffing around for good info using Hashtags, RSS and any other source I can find… There’s just so much info out there to look at – some good, some not so good.

    Thanks for taking the time to ask about others experience in the social media space. Great to see what everyone is doing.

  • http://www.twitter.com/angelcityblues Siobhan

    What were your first steps into social media?
    - University e-mail and bulletin boards, supplanted by a zillion AOL “50 Hours Free!” discs back in late 1996. The best, and certainly the one that captured the most of my imagination, was Derek Powazek’s seminal fray.com.

    Who were your early people you admired and followed?
    Rebecca Blood, Adam Curry, Jeffrey Zeldman, and the aforementioned Derek.

    How did you get started?
    - In the business, I started at Disney, as a lowly production coordinator for the Disney Channel new media group. Since then, I’ve done a ton of time in interactive ad agencies, then spent a happy year and a half at Revver, and am now at Social Project. *waves at Mr. Knell above*

    If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?
    Don’t force it. Let it grow. And, as Dr. Robert Sutton so eloquently put it, don’t be an asshole. In a business built on reputation and trust, being an asshole might work for a select few big names, but for the rest of us, it’s career death.

    What will you do in the next few months with social media?
    Use it! Evangelize it! Help build a product that people love and use, too.

  • http://www.twitter.com/angelcityblues Siobhan

    What were your first steps into social media?
    - University e-mail and bulletin boards, supplanted by a zillion AOL “50 Hours Free!” discs back in late 1996. The best, and certainly the one that captured the most of my imagination, was Derek Powazek’s seminal fray.com.

    Who were your early people you admired and followed?
    Rebecca Blood, Adam Curry, Jeffrey Zeldman, and the aforementioned Derek.

    How did you get started?
    - In the business, I started at Disney, as a lowly production coordinator for the Disney Channel new media group. Since then, I’ve done a ton of time in interactive ad agencies, then spent a happy year and a half at Revver, and am now at Social Project. *waves at Mr. Knell above*

    If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?
    Don’t force it. Let it grow. And, as Dr. Robert Sutton so eloquently put it, don’t be an asshole. In a business built on reputation and trust, being an asshole might work for a select few big names, but for the rest of us, it’s career death.

    What will you do in the next few months with social media?
    Use it! Evangelize it! Help build a product that people love and use, too.

  • http://www.nextlevelexecutives.com/ Mike Langford

    My First Social Experience:
    I got my start with LinkedIn like many people I am sure. I looked at it as a great way to stay connected with friends and colleagues.

    Who I Followed at the Outset:
    I have been very lucky to have a great friend and mentor in Ian Karnell of One To One Interactive. In many cases I have followed his lead. More recently I have followed Aaron Strout of Mzinga and Pete Caputa of PC4Media.

    How I Got Started:
    I started becoming active with a podcast for a financial advisory firm, Course Pilot Financial. My interest has lead me to start a second firm, Next Level Executives which is helping business people integrate their offline and online networking efforts.

    Advice for Newbies:
    Find some networking buddies and agree to work it together. It is super easy to get discouraged if you feel no one is listening or reading your posts.

    What is My Next Level:
    I am building a robust network to help people promote and grow their small businesses via offline social events and online community. I am hoping to learn for the thought leaders in the field on how to best serve the growing ranks of solo-preneurs adopt social media.

  • http://www.nextlevelexecutives.com/ Mike Langford

    My First Social Experience:
    I got my start with LinkedIn like many people I am sure. I looked at it as a great way to stay connected with friends and colleagues.

    Who I Followed at the Outset:
    I have been very lucky to have a great friend and mentor in Ian Karnell of One To One Interactive. In many cases I have followed his lead. More recently I have followed Aaron Strout of Mzinga and Pete Caputa of PC4Media.

    How I Got Started:
    I started becoming active with a podcast for a financial advisory firm, Course Pilot Financial. My interest has lead me to start a second firm, Next Level Executives which is helping business people integrate their offline and online networking efforts.

    Advice for Newbies:
    Find some networking buddies and agree to work it together. It is super easy to get discouraged if you feel no one is listening or reading your posts.

    What is My Next Level:
    I am building a robust network to help people promote and grow their small businesses via offline social events and online community. I am hoping to learn for the thought leaders in the field on how to best serve the growing ranks of solo-preneurs adopt social media.

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  • http://jenuinejen.com Jen @ JenuineJen

    I am a relative newcomer to social media. I started blogging last year in May. Earlier in the year I signed up on LinkedIn and Twitter. I have enjoyed it immensely but still feel like I have so much to learn.

    I encourage as many business professionals as I can to join LinkedIn. I especially do this is I learn they have had the same job for 4+ years. The way to get a job is so much different now than it was just a few years ago. Nobody uses paper resumes anymore. LinkedIn is one of the best tools to keep your resume up to date, to have live references, and to build a professional network.

  • http://jenuinejen.com Jen @ JenuineJen

    I am a relative newcomer to social media. I started blogging last year in May. Earlier in the year I signed up on LinkedIn and Twitter. I have enjoyed it immensely but still feel like I have so much to learn.

    I encourage as many business professionals as I can to join LinkedIn. I especially do this is I learn they have had the same job for 4+ years. The way to get a job is so much different now than it was just a few years ago. Nobody uses paper resumes anymore. LinkedIn is one of the best tools to keep your resume up to date, to have live references, and to build a professional network.

  • http://solopracticeuniversity.tumblr.com Susan Cartier Liebel

    I don’t really remember how I got started in Social Media. Probably my first foray was on a listserv called Solosez. Then I started to get invitations to various social media. Then I started commenting on blogs and decided to start my own to further my business http://buildasolopractice.com

    Through the community I established I began to participate on LinkedIn, Facebook. I eventually started to enjoy Facebook. But then I discovered Twitter and it’s my favorite.

    More importantly, after becoming a self-study student on social media, education, professional networking and building community these past two years, I have decided to take what I do professionally and create my own social media network for law students and lawyers and am constructing Solo Practice University. The construction blog can be visited at:

    http://solopracticeuniversity.tumblr.com

    and it lets those who are interested track the progress while explaining the philosophy and what those who ‘attend’ can expect from participating in this new educational and professional networking forum.

    Thanks for asking this great question.

  • http://solopracticeuniversity.tumblr.com Susan Cartier Liebel

    I don’t really remember how I got started in Social Media. Probably my first foray was on a listserv called Solosez. Then I started to get invitations to various social media. Then I started commenting on blogs and decided to start my own to further my business http://buildasolopractice.com

    Through the community I established I began to participate on LinkedIn, Facebook. I eventually started to enjoy Facebook. But then I discovered Twitter and it’s my favorite.

    More importantly, after becoming a self-study student on social media, education, professional networking and building community these past two years, I have decided to take what I do professionally and create my own social media network for law students and lawyers and am constructing Solo Practice University. The construction blog can be visited at:

    http://solopracticeuniversity.tumblr.com

    and it lets those who are interested track the progress while explaining the philosophy and what those who ‘attend’ can expect from participating in this new educational and professional networking forum.

    Thanks for asking this great question.

  • http://www.twitter.com/underelvis Kevin Morel-Fontaine

    I started my social network experience on my school’s forum. As soon as I knew I would study there, I posted on the forum in order to try to meet people since that school was in the opposite part of France and thus I didn’t know anybody there.
    Then I created a personal profile on Myspace, then a music profile. Myspace had really been a good start and tought me to like html/css. A few months later I discovered Virb which will probably always be my favourite social network (Twitter excepted) as its interface is very clean, simple, user-friendly.
    Almost a year ago I’ve been hired by a company based in Boston to manage their social network, so social-networking surrounds me all day long. From Myspace to Flickr via Virb, VynilPulse or thisnext, we almost use them all. Coming to the US also allowed me to discover Twitter which is probably the best concept ever… I also extended my personal social network to Tumblr, Weheartit, Linkedin, Pownce and Brightkite. I have to say that the social media world is getting better and better as it gets simpler. Although, he “dark side of the moon” lies in the fact that with more and more social networks / communities coming into the world, we are more than ever part of the “immediate consumption”. I mean, for example, I signed up for more than 10 new concepts in the past few months! This may explain why lots of these new “social networks” don’t want to be considered as such…
    Hence an advice I could give to someone starting out would be to get an aggregator (such as socialthing for example)! It becomes difficult to pay the same attention to all the social networks one could sign up for!

    Anyway, I now work on an interactive audioblog based on the micro-blogging concept. So this is what I am going to do in the next few months with social media. (By the way if anyone would like to help…).

    I guess one could say that I enjoy the experience :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/underelvis Kevin Morel-Fontaine

    I started my social network experience on my school’s forum. As soon as I knew I would study there, I posted on the forum in order to try to meet people since that school was in the opposite part of France and thus I didn’t know anybody there.
    Then I created a personal profile on Myspace, then a music profile. Myspace had really been a good start and tought me to like html/css. A few months later I discovered Virb which will probably always be my favourite social network (Twitter excepted) as its interface is very clean, simple, user-friendly.
    Almost a year ago I’ve been hired by a company based in Boston to manage their social network, so social-networking surrounds me all day long. From Myspace to Flickr via Virb, VynilPulse or thisnext, we almost use them all. Coming to the US also allowed me to discover Twitter which is probably the best concept ever… I also extended my personal social network to Tumblr, Weheartit, Linkedin, Pownce and Brightkite. I have to say that the social media world is getting better and better as it gets simpler. Although, he “dark side of the moon” lies in the fact that with more and more social networks / communities coming into the world, we are more than ever part of the “immediate consumption”. I mean, for example, I signed up for more than 10 new concepts in the past few months! This may explain why lots of these new “social networks” don’t want to be considered as such…
    Hence an advice I could give to someone starting out would be to get an aggregator (such as socialthing for example)! It becomes difficult to pay the same attention to all the social networks one could sign up for!

    Anyway, I now work on an interactive audioblog based on the micro-blogging concept. So this is what I am going to do in the next few months with social media. (By the way if anyone would like to help…).

    I guess one could say that I enjoy the experience :)

  • http://www.digitalmarketing.in Netra Parikh

    Hello

    Let me start with, that i never started with any blog then or now to be into Social Media.

    I have always combined social Media thru Networking site be it busiess Networking site ( initially like Linkedin, Xing Ryze or Ecademy )or later joined popular sites like Mysace,Orkut, Facebook Twitter or many more to understand the network & social media better.

    Also getting popular i India these days is various Barcamps across the country.

    Many Internet- Savvy Indians are now finding a business Partners or landing Business deals thru all the above so called social media. Infact Barcamps are getting popular,be it for small-time enterprenure or a top CEO.

    Well, as for my personal experinces, thanks to these sites, me & the Company (Pinstorm.com) found clients as well as employees.It also gets ecoomical to hire thru these sites since it reduces cost ad you get someone you ca Trust.

    These sites are getting hugely popular i India, thou its already popular iternationally.In nutshell, its a new age
    way of doing business. Its faster, there are more choices
    avilable and its economical.

  • http://www.digitalmarketing.in Netra Parikh

    Hello

    Let me start with, that i never started with any blog then or now to be into Social Media.

    I have always combined social Media thru Networking site be it busiess Networking site ( initially like Linkedin, Xing Ryze or Ecademy )or later joined popular sites like Mysace,Orkut, Facebook Twitter or many more to understand the network & social media better.

    Also getting popular i India these days is various Barcamps across the country.

    Many Internet- Savvy Indians are now finding a business Partners or landing Business deals thru all the above so called social media. Infact Barcamps are getting popular,be it for small-time enterprenure or a top CEO.

    Well, as for my personal experinces, thanks to these sites, me & the Company (Pinstorm.com) found clients as well as employees.It also gets ecoomical to hire thru these sites since it reduces cost ad you get someone you ca Trust.

    These sites are getting hugely popular i India, thou its already popular iternationally.In nutshell, its a new age
    way of doing business. Its faster, there are more choices
    avilable and its economical.

  • http://masterful-marketing.com Debra Murphy

    My first steps into social media was LinkedIn. I was invited to join in 2004 so I did but let it languish for a bit. Then I realized I had to start blogging so I created my first blog for B2B marketing in January 2007 and my second in January 2008 for small business marketing and personal branding.

    Getting into social media was not a conscious effort of “I think I’ll get into social media” but one of survival as a marketing coach & consultant. I believe my early educators were CC Chapman, Joseph Jaffee, Mike Sansone, Drew McLennan and started listening to Marketing Voices podcast with Jennifer Jones which led me to Jeremiah Owyang. Of course, they pointed to numerous others and the rest, they say is history.

    My advice is: 1. start with a blog, read other blogs, comment on other blogs intelligently and learn the culture; 2. Create your profiles completely on LinkedIn and Facebook (including a real picture of you as it makes you human). 3. Investigate Twitter, start following those within your domain expertise and add value to the conversation. These will help form relationships. 4. Keep an eye out for those social networks that benefit the business you are in as not all will be appropriate for you. 5. The more involved you are, the more value you will see from your efforts.

    I’m now experimenting with audio and video to understand how to best use it for my business and to also help clients understand the value for theirs. Although I’m constantly learning about social media and its use for marketing, I like to try things for myself to learn them.

    Great post Chris!

  • http://masterful-marketing.com Debra Murphy

    My first steps into social media was LinkedIn. I was invited to join in 2004 so I did but let it languish for a bit. Then I realized I had to start blogging so I created my first blog for B2B marketing in January 2007 and my second in January 2008 for small business marketing and personal branding.

    Getting into social media was not a conscious effort of “I think I’ll get into social media” but one of survival as a marketing coach & consultant. I believe my early educators were CC Chapman, Joseph Jaffee, Mike Sansone, Drew McLennan and started listening to Marketing Voices podcast with Jennifer Jones which led me to Jeremiah Owyang. Of course, they pointed to numerous others and the rest, they say is history.

    My advice is: 1. start with a blog, read other blogs, comment on other blogs intelligently and learn the culture; 2. Create your profiles completely on LinkedIn and Facebook (including a real picture of you as it makes you human). 3. Investigate Twitter, start following those within your domain expertise and add value to the conversation. These will help form relationships. 4. Keep an eye out for those social networks that benefit the business you are in as not all will be appropriate for you. 5. The more involved you are, the more value you will see from your efforts.

    I’m now experimenting with audio and video to understand how to best use it for my business and to also help clients understand the value for theirs. Although I’m constantly learning about social media and its use for marketing, I like to try things for myself to learn them.

    Great post Chris!

  • http://www.addto10.com Brent

    I hate to say this.. but guy kawasaki when he came out with that email app waaaaaay back in the day, i think he was the first person even on twitter that i sought out and “friended”

    but i’ve always had a blog of some sort… first just updated html, then various platforms.. including ones that shouldn’t be used for blog platforms ever(i.e. nuke-php)..

  • http://www.addto10.com Brent

    I hate to say this.. but guy kawasaki when he came out with that email app waaaaaay back in the day, i think he was the first person even on twitter that i sought out and “friended”

    but i’ve always had a blog of some sort… first just updated html, then various platforms.. including ones that shouldn’t be used for blog platforms ever(i.e. nuke-php)..

  • http://www.cortneysellers.com CortneySellers

    Interesting post and comments! I’ll have to tell my story a bit later due to massive storms, but I *will* be back!

  • http://www.cortneysellers.com Cortney

    Interesting post and comments! I’ll have to tell my story a bit later due to massive storms, but I *will* be back!

  • http://www.geekmommy.net GeekMommy

    What were your first steps into social media?

    - I have a hard time defining that… yes, I was BBSing back in the 80′s, on Usenet in the 90′s, blogging & on livejournal in the 00′s… but I didn’t really identify what I was doing as “social media” until I started spending a lot of time on Twitter.
    It’s kind of weird, in that I was doing all of those things but never perceived them as anything other than ‘playing on the internet.’

    Who were your early people you admired and followed?

    I’ve always been horrible about that. I’m too scattered to regularly read blogs. Partly, the reason I spent 7 years on Live Journal was that it’s “Friends List” enabled me not to have to think hard about that, or set up RSS feeds or anything.

    As for those who I admired & followed on Twitter, that’s a different story…
    Firstly, Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang – without whom I doubt I’d have stuck around twitter long enough to see it’s beauty. After that, @susanreynolds, you, @pistachio, @scobleizer @shelisrael @queenofspain – I could go on a long time.

    How did you get started?

    I’m still not sure I am “started” – because I don’t really know that I’ve found my footing anywhere outside of twitter.

    If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?

    I wouldn’t say just jump in… I’d say read a bit first – see who you like, then figure out why you like what they’re doing. Are they specializing? Are they interactive? Are they using multiple services or just one?
    Find what appeals to you first, then pursue it.

    What will you do in the next few months with social media?

    Now that’s the big question, isn’t it? I’m still trying to answer that for myself.

  • http://www.geekmommy.net GeekMommy

    What were your first steps into social media?

    - I have a hard time defining that… yes, I was BBSing back in the 80′s, on Usenet in the 90′s, blogging & on livejournal in the 00′s… but I didn’t really identify what I was doing as “social media” until I started spending a lot of time on Twitter.
    It’s kind of weird, in that I was doing all of those things but never perceived them as anything other than ‘playing on the internet.’

    Who were your early people you admired and followed?

    I’ve always been horrible about that. I’m too scattered to regularly read blogs. Partly, the reason I spent 7 years on Live Journal was that it’s “Friends List” enabled me not to have to think hard about that, or set up RSS feeds or anything.

    As for those who I admired & followed on Twitter, that’s a different story…
    Firstly, Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang – without whom I doubt I’d have stuck around twitter long enough to see it’s beauty. After that, @susanreynolds, you, @pistachio, @scobleizer @shelisrael @queenofspain – I could go on a long time.

    How did you get started?

    I’m still not sure I am “started” – because I don’t really know that I’ve found my footing anywhere outside of twitter.

    If you were going to give advice to someone starting out, what would you tell them?

    I wouldn’t say just jump in… I’d say read a bit first – see who you like, then figure out why you like what they’re doing. Are they specializing? Are they interactive? Are they using multiple services or just one?
    Find what appeals to you first, then pursue it.

    What will you do in the next few months with social media?

    Now that’s the big question, isn’t it? I’m still trying to answer that for myself.

  • http://www.tiny-thoughts.com tinythoughts

    i started my first blog on aol homepage. picking up html was easy. i created the blog mostly to write about my life, so my then boyfriend in germany could keep up-to-date with my life and pregnancy without having to call all the time. it didn’t take long till i had strangers writing to me telling me they enjoyed my page. so i would wrtie back and ask how they found me, how often they read, etc. which we can now have stats for. at the time, there was also a great avatar world like secondlife, but nobody seems to remember it. i think it was called tikki island. i used to meet my boyfriend on there and we could chat and actually talk to each other with audio back then. chat rooms were also still the big way to connect with people back then, whether is was on some yahoo game or even on oprah’s site. i have come a long way since then, but now wish i had gotten more involved on building social media services. but i didn’t begin working in this area so strongly till last year. my present blog is over 5 years old now, but i rarely write anymore. i now tend to keep things to staying connected and writing in little bursts. yay for micromedia like twitter and pownce. i especially love to follow the people i know in this field. and it still amazes me who i know. such wonderfully talented people.
    in the next few months, i will be concentrating a lot on lifestreaming, since this is the new focus of my job, but i hope to more effort into my blog again, including audio and video, and a lot more love.
    i try to suggest the right services to people for their needs.

    great questions and awesome answers from everyone.
    good stuff.

    :-)

  • http://www.tiny-thoughts.com tinythoughts

    i started my first blog on aol homepage. picking up html was easy. i created the blog mostly to write about my life, so my then boyfriend in germany could keep up-to-date with my life and pregnancy without having to call all the time. it didn’t take long till i had strangers writing to me telling me they enjoyed my page. so i would wrtie back and ask how they found me, how often they read, etc. which we can now have stats for. at the time, there was also a great avatar world like secondlife, but nobody seems to remember it. i think it was called tikki island. i used to meet my boyfriend on there and we could chat and actually talk to each other with audio back then. chat rooms were also still the big way to connect with people back then, whether is was on some yahoo game or even on oprah’s site. i have come a long way since then, but now wish i had gotten more involved on building social media services. but i didn’t begin working in this area so strongly till last year. my present blog is over 5 years old now, but i rarely write anymore. i now tend to keep things to staying connected and writing in little bursts. yay for micromedia like twitter and pownce. i especially love to follow the people i know in this field. and it still amazes me who i know. such wonderfully talented people.
    in the next few months, i will be concentrating a lot on lifestreaming, since this is the new focus of my job, but i hope to more effort into my blog again, including audio and video, and a lot more love.
    i try to suggest the right services to people for their needs.

    great questions and awesome answers from everyone.
    good stuff.

    :-)

  • http://techie-dad.blogspot.com Michael

    I suppose Facebook was my first foray into social media, but my true first jump was Twitter just shy of a year ago. I’m still not sure I “get” social media, but I’m starting to understand its value proposition, raison d’être, etc. Building relationships with “internet friends” has been interesting, and has since gotten me interested in light blogging through Utterz and a personal blog I started a few months ago.

    Great question!

  • http://techie-dad.blogspot.com Michael

    I suppose Facebook was my first foray into social media, but my true first jump was Twitter just shy of a year ago. I’m still not sure I “get” social media, but I’m starting to understand its value proposition, raison d’être, etc. Building relationships with “internet friends” has been interesting, and has since gotten me interested in light blogging through Utterz and a personal blog I started a few months ago.

    Great question!

  • http://www.guinevere.ca/ Guinevere

    My first steps would have been around 1999/2000 when I was encouraging clients to allow their guests (in tourism based businesses) to upload photos from vacations spent at their resorts directly to the resort’s web site. That was quite early to suggest such a thing and every resort I helped get that started still does it today.

    I started my 1st blog in 2003. I LOVED the immediate, non-formal method of communication it allowed and started encouraging clients to blog about their own organizations as well.

    My biggest social media project has been launching showmeyours.tv, which is MuchMusic’s social media site.

    To this day, I integrate some type of social media (whether it be blog comments, photos or videos) into all of the shows I work on.

  • http://www.guinevere.ca/ Guinevere

    My first steps would have been around 1999/2000 when I was encouraging clients to allow their guests (in tourism based businesses) to upload photos from vacations spent at their resorts directly to the resort’s web site. That was quite early to suggest such a thing and every resort I helped get that started still does it today.

    I started my 1st blog in 2003. I LOVED the immediate, non-formal method of communication it allowed and started encouraging clients to blog about their own organizations as well.

    My biggest social media project has been launching showmeyours.tv, which is MuchMusic’s social media site.

    To this day, I integrate some type of social media (whether it be blog comments, photos or videos) into all of the shows I work on.

  • http://angryasthmamama.blogspot.com Aimee Kessler Evans

    I started my first blog in 2004, when I was told I should document my kids’ asthma attacks. At that point, Steve Rubel and Debbie Weil were definitely my inspirations.

    I have to say, though, that my first pre-blog social media forays involved Firefly and Tripod, as well as the forums on BowieNet…that was back in 1995 or so. They may not “count” but they were definitely online communities, and I made of lot of friends on those sites with whom I communicated via (non-integrated) IM and (Integrated) email. Not *so* far off from where we are today….

  • http://www.icarusconsultants.com Maverick_NY

    I suppose I first started in social networking 10 years ago with AOL im as a way fo keeping in touch with friends and family around the world. Then it sorted of drifted as we all moved onto different platforms and isps so email became the rage.

    4 years ago I joined Ecademy and LinkedIn, didn’t do much on either for 9 months and finally decided to make a concentrated effort at it, to good business effect, especially on LinkedIn. I started my first blog (http://oncochat.typepad.com) and used it as a showcase for my consulting work in the biotechnology field. I now have several other fledgling blogs to share interesting information with others in the industry. They don’t comment much, but they do send me emails and ask questions.

    Last year I played around on Facebook; it’s useful for keeping in touch with those old im friends and buddies, except we now chat over Scrabble. The thing I liked most about it (other than the Scrabble) was the news status feeds about what people are doing and where they are; you get snapshots of their lives over time. It makes me feel more inter-connected in the busy hurly-burly of life.

    Last month I signed up to Twitter and Friendfeed, Google Reader, Twhirl, Alert Thingy, Seesmic etc and suddenly, the world of technology and communication becomes more alive, more real and more rich. I’ve followed tweets, pictures, even Robert Scoble’s qik video live from Yosemite, which was absolutely fascinating… I wanted to be there but seeing it streaming on video on my iMac screen was just awesome.

    Now, I follow @scoble, @techcrunch, @laughingsquid, @pistachio, @sciencedaily, you and a few others. The immediacy of it, in real time, right now, is fascinating and in many ways, more interesting than the 2D forum formats of other sites. There aren’t that many commentators in the medical and science field but these are early days yet.

  • http://angryasthmamama.blogspot.com Aimee Kessler Evans

    I started my first blog in 2004, when I was told I should document my kids’ asthma attacks. At that point, Steve Rubel and Debbie Weil were definitely my inspirations.

    I have to say, though, that my first pre-blog social media forays involved Firefly and Tripod, as well as the forums on BowieNet…that was back in 1995 or so. They may not “count” but they were definitely online communities, and I made of lot of friends on those sites with whom I communicated via (non-integrated) IM and (Integrated) email. Not *so* far off from where we are today….

  • http://www.icarusconsultants.com Maverick_NY

    I suppose I first started in social networking 10 years ago with AOL im as a way fo keeping in touch with friends and family around the world. Then it sorted of drifted as we all moved onto different platforms and isps so email became the rage.

    4 years ago I joined Ecademy and LinkedIn, didn’t do much on either for 9 months and finally decided to make a concentrated effort at it, to good business effect, especially on LinkedIn. I started my first blog (http://oncochat.typepad.com) and used it as a showcase for my consulting work in the biotechnology field. I now have several other fledgling blogs to share interesting information with others in the industry. They don’t comment much, but they do send me emails and ask questions.

    Last year I played around on Facebook; it’s useful for keeping in touch with those old im friends and buddies, except we now chat over Scrabble. The thing I liked most about it (other than the Scrabble) was the news status feeds about what people are doing and where they are; you get snapshots of their lives over time. It makes me feel more inter-connected in the busy hurly-burly of life.

    Last month I signed up to Twitter and Friendfeed, Google Reader, Twhirl, Alert Thingy, Seesmic etc and suddenly, the world of technology and communication becomes more alive, more real and more rich. I’ve followed tweets, pictures, even Robert Scoble’s qik video live from Yosemite, which was absolutely fascinating… I wanted to be there but seeing it streaming on video on my iMac screen was just awesome.

    Now, I follow @scoble, @techcrunch, @laughingsquid, @pistachio, @sciencedaily, you and a few others. The immediacy of it, in real time, right now, is fascinating and in many ways, more interesting than the 2D forum formats of other sites. There aren’t that many commentators in the medical and science field but these are early days yet.

  • http://www.WhyBuyUsedCars.com Eric Miltsch

    …first steps: Just reading as much as possible – about different strategies & styles, but also just reading a lot of individual blogs. After a while you just start to identify with those that “get it” & those who don’t…

    I started off following Jeffrey Gitomer & Seth Godin – still do…

    Got started by diving head-first and launching a blog for our company…then just kept the momentum going by adding valuable (relative term) content to the regulars: BlogCatalog, Digg, Delicious, Twitter, Technorati, etc..

    The best advice is to be sure this is what you love – the rest comes easy b/c it’ll take time & patience. Whatever you’re content is, become the best authority on that content.

    Next up for my efforts – more video & more tweets. And more fun.

  • http://www.WhyBuyUsedCars.com Eric Miltsch

    …first steps: Just reading as much as possible – about different strategies & styles, but also just reading a lot of individual blogs. After a while you just start to identify with those that “get it” & those who don’t…

    I started off following Jeffrey Gitomer & Seth Godin – still do…

    Got started by diving head-first and launching a blog for our company…then just kept the momentum going by adding valuable (relative term) content to the regulars: BlogCatalog, Digg, Delicious, Twitter, Technorati, etc..

    The best advice is to be sure this is what you love – the rest comes easy b/c it’ll take time & patience. Whatever you’re content is, become the best authority on that content.

    Next up for my efforts – more video & more tweets. And more fun.

  • http://twitter.com/worleygirl Amy Worley

    Sometime around 1997 I was working for the Kauffman Fellows Program at the Kauffman Foundation…it’s a fellowship in the venture capital industry. They were recruiting by doing a big roadshow visiting business school campuses around the country and they were actively trying to recruit more qualified women to the program.
    I did some research online and found WITI…Women in Technology International. They had a listserve for the members. I did some research and then sent them a message about the program and got some fantastic response. Only about 10-12 Fellows are chosen each year, and that year one of them came from that WITI communication and follow up.
    Ever since them I’ve been motivated by the combination of human networks and technology to help bring people together in mutually beneficial ways.
    Now I participate in several social media activities. In particular, I’m a Twitter addict.

  • http://twitter.com/worleygirl Amy Worley

    Sometime around 1997 I was working for the Kauffman Fellows Program at the Kauffman Foundation…it’s a fellowship in the venture capital industry. They were recruiting by doing a big roadshow visiting business school campuses around the country and they were actively trying to recruit more qualified women to the program.
    I did some research online and found WITI…Women in Technology International. They had a listserve for the members. I did some research and then sent them a message about the program and got some fantastic response. Only about 10-12 Fellows are chosen each year, and that year one of them came from that WITI communication and follow up.
    Ever since them I’ve been motivated by the combination of human networks and technology to help bring people together in mutually beneficial ways.
    Now I participate in several social media activities. In particular, I’m a Twitter addict.

  • http://dresramblings.com Andre Natta

    My first foray into social networking was CollegeClub (I can’t believe I remember that – or the fact that it’s still around)… I dabbled but didn’t really take it seriously until I really got into my last job here in Birmingham and was allowed to take part in the active social scene in town.

    I started <a href=”http://dresramblings.com”Dre’s Ramblings (now in the process of finally being built as a self hosted site) in early 2005 as a way to keep in touch with friends outside of town to let them know what was going on in my life. I also did it because someone told me that all I did was ramble to hear myself speak – so I wanted to make sure I had somewhere that the conversation could actually be had.

    I eventually picked up a MySpace and Friendster profile to do the same thing – encourage a conversation with friends and potential new ones. I was barely reading blogs at the time and really just found social networks interesting and intriguing because of a class I took when I first returned to college. The conversation in that class revolved around the city square (public space) and its future. Everything I’ve done online since I’ve started writing has revolved around the interest of how technology and social networking could strengthen existing relationships and encourage more interaction of people.

    My blog began to focus more on the issues affecting the city I currently live in (Birmingham, AL), leading me to put the Ramblings in a state of suspended animation while I started The Terminal in 2007. I used sites like Gothamist, Pegasus News and Gapers Block as references with the hope of driving a conversation in a community that desperately needed it to occur. I felt this way as a result of my interaction with people during my days as a Main Street coordinator in town (2 1/2 years).

    The results have been interesting. I’ve expanded my comfort zone with behind the scenes technology and try to use new tools whenever possible to continue to expand that conversation (most recently Twitter and Facebook). I’m also organizing a WordCamp in Birmingham for late September this year so that users in the Southeastern U.S. can get connected without feeling the need to travel, strengthening the physical social interaction that social media and networking encourages.

    I’d tell people that they need to be comfortable with what they write and not to force it. They need to enjoy doing it and to not be afraid if their focus changes. Most of what we do is common sense, even if most people don’t think so.

    I’ve restarted the Ramblings, going back to its original purpose (especially since I’ve been able to make so many friends through this chance to write whenever I want to). I’m hoping to take The Terminal to the next level, taking advantage of all of the latest tricks out their to engage more people into conversations about social issues that must be dealt with as Birmingham awakes from a slumber with so many exciting projects. I’m also wanting to demonstrate just how powerful a tool social media can be for economic development as we need to get people to dream big and do even more to make those dreams a reality.

  • http://dresramblings.com Andre Natta

    My first foray into social networking was CollegeClub (I can’t believe I remember that – or the fact that it’s still around)… I dabbled but didn’t really take it seriously until I really got into my last job here in Birmingham and was allowed to take part in the active social scene in town.

    I started <a href=”http://dresramblings.com”Dre’s Ramblings (now in the process of finally being built as a self hosted site) in early 2005 as a way to keep in touch with friends outside of town to let them know what was going on in my life. I also did it because someone told me that all I did was ramble to hear myself speak – so I wanted to make sure I had somewhere that the conversation could actually be had.

    I eventually picked up a MySpace and Friendster profile to do the same thing – encourage a conversation with friends and potential new ones. I was barely reading blogs at the time and really just found social networks interesting and intriguing because of a class I took when I first returned to college. The conversation in that class revolved around the city square (public space) and its future. Everything I’ve done online since I’ve started writing has revolved around the interest of how technology and social networking could strengthen existing relationships and encourage more interaction of people.

    My blog began to focus more on the issues affecting the city I currently live in (Birmingham, AL), leading me to put the Ramblings in a state of suspended animation while I started The Terminal in 2007. I used sites like Gothamist, Pegasus News and Gapers Block as references with the hope of driving a conversation in a community that desperately needed it to occur. I felt this way as a result of my interaction with people during my days as a Main Street coordinator in town (2 1/2 years).

    The results have been interesting. I’ve expanded my comfort zone with behind the scenes technology and try to use new tools whenever possible to continue to expand that conversation (most recently Twitter and Facebook). I’m also organizing a WordCamp in Birmingham for late September this year so that users in the Southeastern U.S. can get connected without feeling the need to travel, strengthening the physical social interaction that social media and networking encourages.

    I’d tell people that they need to be comfortable with what they write and not to force it. They need to enjoy doing it and to not be afraid if their focus changes. Most of what we do is common sense, even if most people don’t think so.

    I’ve restarted the Ramblings, going back to its original purpose (especially since I’ve been able to make so many friends through this chance to write whenever I want to). I’m hoping to take The Terminal to the next level, taking advantage of all of the latest tricks out their to engage more people into conversations about social issues that must be dealt with as Birmingham awakes from a slumber with so many exciting projects. I’m also wanting to demonstrate just how powerful a tool social media can be for economic development as we need to get people to dream big and do even more to make those dreams a reality.

  • Barbara Jean Walsh

    I was first intrigued by social networking in 1979 when I was at a Unitarian-Universalist summer camp on Star Island in the middle of Cass Lake in Minnesota. Our discussion topic for the week was futurism, and since it was a very rainy week, people stayed inside the lodge to hear our speakers who told of as such things as modems and “chats” and zwicky boxes and the wonderful book “Network Nation” and EIES . Wow! I was working as a county librarian in Nebraska, and it was a taste of things to come. Of course, we were also told that dolphins would be in the U.N. by now, but I’ll settle for what we did get. I patiently waiting through 1200 baud transmission to send manuscripts across the country and thought that was great. As soon as I could get email, I had it and joined mailing lists to my hearts content. One small group, that we started 10 years ago, is still in close contact. A yahoo group that I set up for my church in Missouri about that same time is still functioning. (I moved to Florida 5 years ago.) And now I am seeing some of those folks show up on my Facebook friends. We’ve come a long way.

  • Barbara Jean Walsh

    I was first intrigued by social networking in 1979 when I was at a Unitarian-Universalist summer camp on Star Island in the middle of Cass Lake in Minnesota. Our discussion topic for the week was futurism, and since it was a very rainy week, people stayed inside the lodge to hear our speakers who told of as such things as modems and “chats” and zwicky boxes and the wonderful book “Network Nation” and EIES . Wow! I was working as a county librarian in Nebraska, and it was a taste of things to come. Of course, we were also told that dolphins would be in the U.N. by now, but I’ll settle for what we did get. I patiently waiting through 1200 baud transmission to send manuscripts across the country and thought that was great. As soon as I could get email, I had it and joined mailing lists to my hearts content. One small group, that we started 10 years ago, is still in close contact. A yahoo group that I set up for my church in Missouri about that same time is still functioning. (I moved to Florida 5 years ago.) And now I am seeing some of those folks show up on my Facebook friends. We’ve come a long way.

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