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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Media Corner: Zakira on Twitter

As you get acquainted with using new media tools, whether it's for your own pleasure or for professional reasons, do you ever find yourself getting frustrated? Do you get furious over Facebook as you manage your profile and look for good apps? Do you dig yourself into a hole on Digg, or get red-faced mad over comments on Reddit? Are you positively twitching with what's-the-point-of-Twitter ennui?

You're not alone. As we continue to explore and develop our work in new media, it seems increasingly common for users to experience a level of pain and frustration with learning to use the hot new thing. We know there's something valuable there, like the light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes you just get lost in the fray.

I asked my colleague, Zakira Beasley, Newswise Vice President for Business Development, to share some of her thoughts and feelings about getting oriented in the unfamilar world of micro-blogging on Twitter. She writes:

It’s week two for me and Twitter. Definitely more frustration than fun.

So what am I looking for? An understanding of what the challenges are for communications professionals. Discussions around problems and solutions, what does and does not work in this new world.

What am I finding? Not sure. Brief comments, many of which I can’t decipher or are responses to a thread I’ve not followed. Links to interesting articles, especially about social media, but then I get a phone call or an email needing response, and I forget where I was or why that was important.

Perhaps it’s my age, remembering floppy disks and C:> while working for a political consultant in 1984. I moved on to non-profit administration work, then a business degree, and many years in management for a computer software training company. Hmm, on reflection I see there have been so many “new worlds”, and it’s always taken time to learn, understand and apply.

So I’ll stick with the frustration a while longer, at least as long as Thom’s patience lasts. And I’ll keep looking for those kernels of connection, for something to share that was valuable to me, or made me smile, and I’ll pass those along. Maybe you’ll enjoy them as well.

I think Zakira's parting words there, "looking for those kernels of connection," are the heart of what drives us to master new media. A few successful interactions is sometimes all it takes.

Stick with it, Zakira, I'm sure you'll get there! And we'll do our best to keep you posted on our progress.


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