I had a nice time in my short romp to DC. I had the fun of talking to a group of institutional colleagues on Social Media. During my presentation and later conversations, a question kept running through my mind. What's an expert in SoMe anyway? I have some great examples. I thought perhaps it was easier to say what an expert isn't. It isn't someone with 200 + followers on Twitter and no blog. I saw someone in the #DUG2010 twitter stream billing herself as the“social media expert”with 200 followers on Twitter and a paltry LinkedIn account. No website. No content that was particularly relevant.
So I am clear, there are several things that I am but I am NOT an expert. I am a user, a junkie, an addict, a follower and a lover of social media. But I am not an expert. I don't think there are truly any EXPERTS out there. Not yet. Smart people. Cutting edge. Getting there. But not expert. That part is still TBD.
There is so much information on SoMe right now that sometimes the best thing is just to throw it out there and ask what people want to hear. Starting with the obligatory why are you here at 9:00 AM when we could be at Starbucks question, I got some good comments – not only at the session but for the duration of the conference. Universally I am hearing – and not just at this conference – how in the world do I stay on top of it? I don't know where to start... That friends, is a GREAT question. And I usually get, and I did this time too, the I don't get Twitter comment. Good ... that's ok. Best to avoid it. Keeps it safe for the rest of us.
One area that I see is the group of primary and secondary SoMe tools. Right now, my top three are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Frankly, LinkedIn is merging into FB with the increased privacy filters that I can adjust. I keep LinkedIn solely because of the number of people with whom I have connected and would like to stay connected. I stay on top of these. They get the majority of my SoMe time and attention.
I have a secondary list of tools that I use but not as frequently and not as often. I keep Google Buzz open just because of my Gmail. (and I am a little grumpy that I was forced to use my Gmail account and not my Google Apps/domain name with Buzz but that's another post). I am using Foursquare and Gowalla so I know what is emerging. BTW, I think Google made a mistake rolling out Wave before Buzz and the whole limited invite thing was a train wreck – who could have used Wave without having any friends on it? Duh.
The tertiary list are tools of which I am aware but don't use nearly as often. I 'check in' on them -make sure that they are still there but don't expect to keep them up. Tools like Orkut, DIGG, Wave, etc. And I often use the Michael Krupka crazy smart time management system of stealing time. And what's next after this, I have no idea. Stay tuned and keep your seatbelt fastened.