It’s been a long time

Ever since my last English blogpost, I’ve been through a lot. Working on my study, my little business and a Dutch eBook about online reputation management. (ORM)

In case you didn’t know, I’m very much into studying the effects of social and new media on companies and people. I know, it’s a big hype a lot of professionals and even amateurs are fund of, calling themselves ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’.

I’m not an expert when it comes to social media. I’m not even sure whether I know what that means, being a ‘social media expert’. I am a guy that knows stuff about communication strategies, research and new media. The knowledge I gain from searching the web and by getting relevant results on search engines like addictomatic, keep me up to date on, what I believe, are interesting topics.

What am I interested in

Besides my personal interests in people as sources of knowledge, my interests go out to the power of the online crowd. I’ve never really been able to experience that power myself, but the online reports on this subject are very interesting to me. We’re connected with our neighbours, who might be living up in Iceland or down in Brazil. This fascinates me and motivates me to try to find answers.

For example, I’d like to know what the effect of social media has on our physical social life and interactions. Does sharing and being very active online, result in less physical contact with people around us? Did we have more conversations while traveling by train, than when there were no SmartPhones, laptops and tablets connected to the web a decade ago? And how can we use new media, to have a positive effect on our physical social connections?

It’s just a summary of what goes through my mind while thinking about social media. When it’s about ORM, it’s more focussed on the Public Relations side, of literally having relations with the public. Do voters feel more related to a politician when following him on Twitter? Or do we only feel truly related to people and organisations, when they talk with us on media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs or corporate websites?

I wrote this blog in a train heading towards Amsterdam. There I’ll be meeting up with a German/Russian friend who I haven’t seen for almost 5 years! If it wasn’t for Facebook, we would never have been able to meet up. It’s a typical small example of what this social networks mean to people like me, on a physical way. Who knows my friend and me end up meeting each other a whole lot more, after meeting up just once in Amsterdam, throughout Facebook.

I wonder if you have any stories on how social media influenced your physical relationship with people. Not for dating sites though, but just for meeting old friends, or maybe even unknown people and or worthy a colleague, who’d never be a colleague if it wasn’t for social media. Feel free to share it with me and other readers in the comment section. I’m off to meet up in Amsterdam.

Cheers, have a great weekend!

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