I was asked last week about "social media" and work and I have been thinking about it a lot since then.
Twitter, blogging, chat groups and community message boards are definitely a very powerful tool, even more so in some of the more specialized fields like collaboration, voice, telepresence and UC. I am active in attending what user groups I can, but the online social communities really give me the feeling that I am not alone in this technology.
Some of the first user groups I ever attended were the Seattle chapter of the Avaya Users Group - it's one of the largest in the country so I was lucky to experience it. There is the natural chance to commiserate with people who handle the same stuff everyday, and the opportunity to learn form their experiences. But organizing these groups is difficult and takes a different type of leadership.
I make sure to attend the Skype Users Groups here - they are usually hosted by Microsoft and run by members and sponsored by companies and vendors with a keen interest in informing and engaging with their customers. I always learn good things - a few weeks ago we had a dive into Microsoft Teams (I came away impressed).
Social Media - that is Twitter, blogs, online communities, ongoing chats and the like - really fills that gap. It keeps me from feeling like I am the only one in the world working on this stuff. I get ideas from other, keep up to date with news, but more importantly I can put out my thoughts so they organize more easily. I'm not obsessive about my social activities and I probably overshare. If I occasionally sound like an idiot then hopefully someone calls me on it. But really it has helped me grow and so I love it.
Please share your opinions and experiences! Has being social helped you? Where do you keep social?