We here at PCPGH have decided to keep the content coming all year round. In addition to the session videos in progess, we are going to give you weekly posts from different members of the social media crowd!
here’s this weeks!
OMG It’s Jen’s Adventures in Social Media
I’ve been an internet junkie since Al Gore invented it.
I was an only child. At 16, my family got AOL and I was immediately fascinated by the idea of chat rooms, message boards, Instant Messaging and how the world was able to connect through the internet and share opinions and ideas on any variety of subjects.
Then along came a spider and its name was MySpace. MySpace was innovative because it was the first time that any non-blogger, webmaster or company could claim a little corner of the internet as their own. It was completely customizable and therefore became a virtual cesspool of the human race.
Facebook showed up. At first, Facebook was only available to students. But then hipsters graduated from college and wanted to continue to use it so it became public access. Years later, application developers began keying in on the diversity of Facebook users and realized that they had an audience in Nerds and Housewives so they invented Farmville. That was the end of Facebook.
Then Twitter was developed on the notion that you can convey your thoughts in 140 characters or less. It was a constant stream of thought that forced users to be a little narcissistic and self-important. It brought topics together with the cunning use of #hastags. You could either direct a comment @someone or simply put a thought out into the universe on its own. Users were polite to each other and didn’t “flame” opinions. Finally, TV networks, restaurants, bloggers, media, ad agencies, pornbots (and everyone else) realized the money making potential of Twitter and started setting up accounts to subtly (and not so subtly) suggest users check out their products.
Twitter is where I found my home.
It was a few months after I moved home back in 2008. You started hearing about Twitter all over the place. I got curious and signed up. I remember one night, I was watching Don Lemon on CNN and he put a question out on the air for people to respond to through Social Media. I answered him via Twitter and he read it on the air. Pretty neat.
My original handle was lackluster and after I started my blog in March 2009, I wanted to change it so my blog title and my twitter handle matched. Unfortunately for me, the name I wanted was already taken. When I mentioned all this on Twitter, the girl who originally owned @omgitsjen forfeited it and gave it to me.
I’m still a little shocked when I think about that.
Anyway, as my interests grew so did the number of followers I have. That, for me, was the magic of Twitter; just connecting to other people to share ideas when I didn’t have anyone to talk to about politics on Naboo or hockey or Salsa Sharks in real life. Someone out there was going to get my joke and if I put it on Twitter, they’d have the opportunity to.
Eventually, the friends I made on Twitter metamorphosed into friends in real life. I’d meet users at “tweetups” and spend a New Year’s Eve with @ssravp at Six Penn in downtown or watch Penguins games with @Brian_Metzer at Silky’s in Bloomfield, or go drinking with @whistler at FatHead’s on East Carson Street or go to yoga with @jillybeanpsu at Amazing Yoga in Shadyside or meet @chachisays and @Sorgatron at a Pittsburgh Power game at Consol Energy Center.
My boyfriend, who had a very different background with the internet than I did, didn’t really understand. He wasn’t on Twitter and barely paid attention to Facebook and never had a MySpace account so he just didn’t get it… or my interest in Social Media. I would ask him to get on Twitter and he said he just didn’t see the point.
This year for my birthday I asked him again to try it… just for a month. If he didn’t like it, fine but just see what’s going on in the world he didn’t understand. He (very reluctantly) agreed. So I built an account for him, @omgitsjensbf, and set him up to follow a bunch of people that I thought he’d like.
Seven months later, he’s still into it and has lost his aversion to socializing with people from the internet.
For me, I’m very thankful for the people I’ve met and gotten to know through Social Media. My very best friends in the world, Scott and Jill, I met through Twitter and my life is more enriched because of them. The days I can’t turn my attitude around, I know I can tweet or text Jill and she’s there for me. Scott and I are currently collaborating on writing a musical together which I never thought I’d ever have the balls to do. Without Social Media, neither of these things could be possible because I wouldn’t have met either of them.
It’s truly incredible what technology can do.