The biggest objections made by organizations for NOT engaging with online and digital social media are often founded in fear. Common fears are lack of understanding, loss of control, technical barriers, limited time and resources. Those are all valid concerns that can be addressed by investing a little bit of time with someone who has conquered those fears.
Places you can learn, gain control, overcome the technology and acquire time and resources are plentiful, if you know where to look. Over the past several years, I have been fortunate to find some of those resources and continue to unearth new resources every day. The notable, life-changing and visionary in my journey include LeadNet, Geeks & God, Christian Web Masters, Heal Your Church Website, Our Church, Church Marketing Sucks, Internet Evangelism Day, Web Empowered Church, Social Media Church and ChSocM.
A lot of these resources are still around, thanks to the tireless support of their community and leaders. Some are growing in activity and some are going dormant, at least publicly. And that is the secret of this post.
With few exceptions, all the focus on social media is on the public activity and interactions on the various platforms - blogging, sites like Facebook and Google+, media sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube, and microblogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr. That is only the tip of the iceberg.
Online social media has much the same dynamic as offline relationships. There are very open conversations that take place in nightclubs and there are those that are exchanged in a very intimate corner, sometimes in the same noisy nightclub. Social media is not just a venue, it is also a tool - a technology - one that enables conversations, even on an very intimate level.
This is the quiet giant of online social media - to connect with other people, across physical and cultural boundaries, in the quiet corners of the crowded nightclub. This is the 'backchannel' of social media. You can use the tools of very public venues - Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube - to have very personal conversations.
Don't pass up the chance to make an intimate connection with someone because of your fear of the public venue. Conquer the quiet giant. Go ahead - what are you afraid of?
Listen to this from DJ Chuang and Terrace Crawford