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Blogs | Media AWAKEN

What First in Social Media?

A question that I get all the time is “How do I get started in social media? There are a million blogs out there, which ones should I start with?” Since I frequently tell people basically the same answer, I figured I should probably blog about it (although, if they are a complete newbie, they probably aren’t reading my blog, so perhaps I’m launching this into the echo chamber, but nevertheless, here we go…)

One of my favorite first stops on the getting your feet wet highway is the Common Craft Show. This site has a myriad of intro/how to/in plain English videos. One of my favorites is Social Bookmarking in plain English. Last summer, my mom asked me what delicious is and why she would ever want to use it. After tripping and stumbling over my tongue for a few moments attempting to figure out how to explain it to her, I turned on my computer and showed her this:

After watching it she said, “ok, I get it” and then she actually started using it! My goal this summer: get her on Twitter.

Now onto blogs:

There are quite a few quality blogs out there. All of them require a newbie to comb a little, but there are definitely nuggets of gold to be found. A few good places to start are Chris Brogan’s blog, for microblogging (aka Twitter) Laura “Pistachio” Fittons’s blog, Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel is also great. I recently blogged about a list that Viralogy put together of the 10 best marketing blogs by Gen-Yers. If you are interested in affiliate marketing and how to make money from you blog, and about blogging in general definitely check out Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger. If video blogging (or vlogging) is your thing, then Steve Garfield is your man.

Now, before I hurt any one’s feelings for leaving them out… I want to state loud and clearly that there are a TON of amazing blogs out there on a TON of topics. Many of which I read almost daily (I definitely don’t have time for the newspaper anymore, but with all the great content out there, who needs a newspaper?!) The resources I listed above are simply what I view as a good starting places to begin the adventure that is social media.

With all that being said, what do you think? Is there a blog or a site that you advise people to read when they are dipping their toes in for the first time? I’m always looking to be a better advice giver, so please share :)

Photo Credit: Bartek Kuzia

BlogHer Comes to Boston! FTW

Going to BlogHer BostonI was really bummed this summer when I couldn’t make it out to San Francisco for the annual BlogHer Conference. Lucky for me (and you!), the Outreach Tour is coming to Boston this weekend - Saturday 10/11! As I’ve been sharing my glee with everyone who will listen, I’ve been getting a mixed bag of reactions (I find that I often get mixed reactions from people whenever I talk about an event/conference/anything that has “women” “her” “female” etc in the title. These “mixed” (read: usually negative) reactions are often, if not always, from men).

I was talking to one of my guy friends about BlogHer a few days after getting back from BlogWorld Expo in Vegas, and he said he didn’t get it — why, if I had just gone to a major conference about blogging, was a conference for women bloggers necessary? I sputtered for a moment, I mean, DUH. But then I stopped to really think about it. Why is it important?

My guy friend said he understands that women have not reached equal standing in many aspects, but that new media seems to be a field where the playing has been leveled. This made me pause again. It’s true, there are a lot of prominent women in the field. So, if the field is leveled, why does the idea of a community for women seem so darn important?!

I have been extremely fortunate in that my life has rarely been limited by my gender (I’m a girl…in case you were wondering *wink*). But, I know this isn’t true for all women. So, is this why it is important? So that women have a place to feel equal? Is it because tech is usually a sphere reserved for guys and diving in can be daunting? It is for the camaraderie?

Since I obviously don’t have the answer (I think it is a combo of a lot of things), I went a-hunting. One of the first thing I noticed while scouring the BlogHer website is that the answer wasn’t there. Their mission statement gave me a starting point

BlogHer’s mission is to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment

but somehow that isn’t enough (no offense!). I read that and think “yea! right on!” but there is something more than that that is triggering a reaction in me (and others - for good or bad).

I’m still trying to figure it out. So, in the mean time… What is your reaction (positive or negative) to BlogHer? Why do YOU think BlogHer Conferences are or aren’t important?

Regardless, I’m SUPER psyched for BlogHer Boston this Saturday. If you are there, please say hi!!