Too many social media silos?

, , 4 Comments

Silos. Zoom Zoom/FlickrI spent most of the weekend recovering from BarCamp Chattanooga and the fun that comes from getting a chance to talk in person with more than 70 people from across the Southeastern United States. It’s a great perks that this world of social media offers. BTW – for those interested, the archived video from the hyperlocal blog presentation I took part in is available at the bottom of this post.

Reading through my Facebook and Twitter streams I saw someone suggest that a topic that was covered during the BarCamp become a monthly event. On the surface, it’s a great idea. It provides an opportunity for folks to talk with each other about the nuances of this reorganized world that we live in online. I have a hard time saying new when I remember having a CollegeClub.com account back in 1996 and talking to folks online in 1985.

The issue that comes to mind for me though is the fact that we currently have a Social Media Club in Birmingham that meets monthly (there’s a Google Group that I’ll probably be reminded about after this posts). Perhaps the conversations could take place as a small group function of the larger organization, but to start a totally new silo (albeit with the same cast of characters) seems redundant. Or does it?

I cannot cast too many stones as I hope that one of the outcomes of this year’s WordCamp Birmingham is the creation of a local blogging community that shares best practices with each other and helps each other through problems, whether it be involving content or development of their sites. In a perfect world, I’m hoping that I get to say that it’s involved with the Social Media Club (at least as this subgroup starts). The website that I spend most of my time on is in fact a result of thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do that type of blogging through the existing channels when I first started.

The freedom that the social media tools provide is also the one thing that could further separate us as we do not necessarily have to listen to another point of view. The same argument could also be made in terms how we get to connect with each other offline. Immediate splinters seem to leave folks without the chance to see if they may actually like something else or what someone who they don’t normally agree with says. The conversation needs to open up to more folks or else the resources can become drained – and quickly.

There is no easy solution to this issue, but it’s something that we need to look at soon, as the world continues to figure out how they will use social media in its future.

What do you think? Are there too many silos? If so, how do we get folks out of them and figuring out ways to flatten the conversation out?

BTW, here’s the video from Saturday morning:

Photo: Silos. Zoom Zoom/Flickr.

4 comments
Andre Natta
Andre Natta

Somehow I knew that we'd get that Google Group address :-)

Thanks for the comment, Scott.

acnatta
acnatta

Somehow I knew that we'd get that Google Group address :-)

Thanks for the comment, Scott.

Scott Schablow
Scott Schablow

Andre, This is a very valid point. Not only are their too many silos, I see many forming as a group of one. Which in turn, means their is more energy spent on battling for attention than moving the social media practice forward. Social Media in Birmingham is in it's infancy. The percentage of the population on Twitter for instance is far below 1%. The mantra of the Social Media Club is, "If you get it, share it." We strive to share knowledge with each other and with the community at large. If social media consultants spend more time splintering and infighting, nothing will be accomplished.

Some of my favorite Social Media Club Birmingham meetings have been an open discussion format. Each meeting usually has a lengthy discussion at the end of the presentation. There is no reason why we couldn't dedicate some of the monthly meetings to small group discussion. In fact, other Social Media Club chapters have had great success with this. The IPSA summer roundtable mixer is another example of how well the format is received. The Social Media Club Birmingham is always looking for ideas and input from its 100 + members. In fact, the club belongs to the members and I welcome everyone to get more involved and provide constructive feedback.

In the end if people feel they need spin off groups I support their efforts and hope we can work in concert for the advancement of social media in the market. If you'd like to check out Social Media Club Birmingham, I invite you to join our Google Group or Facebook Group:

Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/smc-bham
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7864211761
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SMCBHAM

And of course:
Social South, Deep Fried Social Media conference
http://www.socialsouth.org

Scott Schablow
Scott Schablow

Andre, This is a very valid point. Not only are their too many silos, I see many forming as a group of one. Which in turn, means their is more energy spent on battling for attention than moving the social media practice forward. Social Media in Birmingham is in it's infancy. The percentage of the population on Twitter for instance is far below 1%. The mantra of the Social Media Club is, "If you get it, share it." We strive to share knowledge with each other and with the community at large. If social media consultants spend more time splintering and infighting, nothing will be accomplished.

Some of my favorite Social Media Club Birmingham meetings have been an open discussion format. Each meeting usually has a lengthy discussion at the end of the presentation. There is no reason why we couldn't dedicate some of the monthly meetings to small group discussion. In fact, other Social Media Club chapters have had great success with this. The IPSA summer roundtable mixer is another example of how well the format is received. The Social Media Club Birmingham is always looking for ideas and input from its 100 + members. In fact, the club belongs to the members and I welcome everyone to get more involved and provide constructive feedback.

In the end if people feel they need spin off groups I support their efforts and hope we can work in concert for the advancement of social media in the market. If you'd like to check out Social Media Club Birmingham, I invite you to join our Google Group or Facebook Group:

Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/smc-bham
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7864211761
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SMCBHAM

And of course:
Social South, Deep Fried Social Media conference
http://www.socialsouth.org