What’s So New About Social Media?

In 1995, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy and most businesses didn’t see the value of having a website, let alone understand what a website was, I decided to apply what I knew about traditional marketing communications and design to the web.

I taught myself how to structure, design, write, optimize a site for search engines, and to promote a site once launched. At that time, there were no courses, diplomas or degrees in website design, nor did I have any real technical knowledge or skills.

I Was A Grrl
How did I get the skills and knowledge to accomplish this? By connecting to others through list serves, online forums and networking groups like Webgrrls. I asked questions of those with the knowledge and read through their websites. If I had something to contribute to these online conversations, I in turn volunteered what I knew.

Next, I decided to make a business from what I’d learned. So, once again, I joined various online networking forums, lists and groups, where my target market were likely to hang out. I participated in discussions, and offered advice and know-how where I could. In time, I made many connections, and even friends, some of whom I’m still in touch with today. They in turn referred business to me or became clients.

It’s Always Been About Connecting to People
My point? Social networking on the internet is not new. It’s been around almost since the Internet’s inception. The tools used, like Facebook, YouTube and blogs have changed, but the social networking aspect of the web has always been about building and nurturing relationships, learning from others and sharing your knowledge.

What do you think? Is Social Media new? Please share your own musings by commenting.

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