I taught a class today on how to build a WordPress Blog. I would like to say I did a great job, and most times I do, but I only had a short time slot, and I did not fit everything in. What I did do is educate people about why they would want to build a blog. About why anyone would want to build a blog, and what it does to elevate one’s web presence.
We talked about social media and networking. I explained to the people in my audience that, yes, social media and networking groups were a good thing to do, but there is more. You need to say hi to your neighbors, go to your churches or other organizations, and get involved. Talk to people, get interested in what they do, and then let them know what you can do. Facebook, LinkedIn, Tweeting and such are good activities to do to raise your visibility on web searches for key terms. What you also need to do is get people to want to be your Facebook Friends, and your LinkedIn Colleagues, and your Twitter Followers, and you can’t always accomplish that by electronic forms of social interaction.
When I teach a class, formal or informal, I always learn something. Today, what did I learn? I learned that people are hungry for knowledge, and not just to use for their career advancement. They want to understand all these changes flying full speed ahead all around them. They question, what the heck is all of this good for? And you know what, it made me stop, and become thoughtful, and I tried to give them a good answer. Now–don’t get confused–I can give them a great answer, full of justification for my cause, my vocation of social media if you will; that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about someone who has asked me a question in a thoughtful way, not a challenging, make-me-buy-your-product way, and I answer back in an equally thoughtful manner.
One gentleman in the group said to me, “Cindy, to what end are we blogging?” The sales and marketing person in me had a snappy comeback on the tip of my tongue, but instead, I stopped, I thought for a moment, and I asked him to address that question to the class. Because, you see, blogging, as I use it as a tool in my business, is a way to impart information, and to raise your overall status on search engines. But that is not why people began to blog. They began blogging as a means of expressing themselves or trying to change opinions. Some bloggers got so much attention that mainstream media outlets bought their blogs and made them wealthy. Some blogs became such a focal point for certain types of products that people now pay to advertise on those blogs. I circled back around to him a bit later and said all of these things, and I also said, be open. Blog and see where it takes you: maybe it won’t help you get that perfect J.O.B. you were searching for, but maybe it will take you somewhere else. And maybe that will be better than any job you have ever imagined.
See, social media can change lives, and not just when people gather to protest a cause, but also when someone cares to share their thoughts and resources. Social media can change YOUR life. It has changed mine.
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