How Many of These Social Media Questions Can You Answer?

Filed in Blogging , Facebook , LinkedIn , Sharisax Is Out There , Twitter 30 comments

My Laney College students are participating in social media to build writing and reading skills. For many of them, however, this is a significantly new experience, i.e., creating blogs and signing up for Twitter.

What is Social Media and why is it important?

and . . . here are many of their other questions:

Where can and will SM take me?

How did Social Media get so big?

Is it possible to become famous on SM?

What percentage of SM is business?

How much time do/should people spend on SM?

Who started SM?

What makes SM important?

Why are people addicted to SM?

Can SM help better the world?

Is SM safe?

What are the most popular blogs?

Who can read my blog?

Are all SM sites free?

Why has SM become popular?

What is the average age of a person using SM?

What is the main reason for using SM?

How can you detect if someone is insincere?

Today I am conducting an introductory Social Media workshop for a Mass Media & Society course at Laney. I will begin asking them to tell me which of those questions they would most like answered.

Then I will chat and show the slideshow below.

And, finally, I will ask THEM to answer any of those questions . . . and I’ll be posting their responses.

Here is the slideshow on

Making Sense of Social Media

NOW . . . FOR THOSE ANSWERS: from the students AND from any of you readers. Please do add your thoughts.

photo credit Howard Blum

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   9 February 2010
Tags : , , , , , ,
Feb 10, 2010
12:24 am
#1 baystratagem - for English 201 Sharisax :

Lots of valid points. SM is truly a powerful tool in the right hands, needless to say it can also be a weapon that can do damage to one’s reputation.

The potential to reach 10’s of thousands of people, customers or otherwise is staggering. The reach of the individual(s) is only limited by their imagination and drive or lack thereof. I hope I won’t have to eat those words.


Feb 10, 2010
2:54 am
#2 sulaymaan :

Wish I had accompanied you and Burt to the class, I kept thinking that it would have given me a leg-up in many ways, but I had Sparkle w/me and wish someone would have been there in the office to leave her with. I enjoyed the questions and recognized those which seemed like many asked……I’m comin’ along. Smile!

Does this count for the extra credit U mentioned?

Author Feb 10, 2010
12:39 pm

You’re in luck, Sulaymaan, we’re going to “replay” it tonight.
EC, why not?

Feb 11, 2010
3:22 am
#4 Christopher F. :

Shari – I enjoyed your lecture Tuesday. I thought it was a great way to ease into getting some dialog going about one of the items in media that is impacting everyone these days. Social Media is such an untapped resource for many individuals, and, as you said, the only real way to get involved in the medium is to just jump right in.

Over the weekend, perhaps, if time permits, I’ll share more of my thoughts on this burgeoning new information age.

Author Feb 11, 2010
3:26 am

So cool to hear from you, Christopher . . . and if you are putting more thoughts together, why not consider doing a Guest Post for my blog. πŸ™‚

Feb 11, 2010
12:12 pm
#6 saladdin :

social Media Is a great way to stay in touch…

Author Feb 11, 2010
1:28 pm

. . . and Saladdin, who do you keep in touch with?

Feb 11, 2010
5:44 pm

As a student, I’m surprised to find little interest in e-Networking among my classmates. I’ve tried diligently to generate interest, evangelize constantly about the importance of establishing a presence in the SM-verse, and it seems to fall on deaf ears.

I think many will be surprised upon graduation to wake up and find they are woefully behind, and will have to play catch-up with the rest of the world. SM is the future of gaining employment, as much of enterprise is already maintaining beachheads.

The next logical step would seem to be wanting to know if prospectives are also established, as the geographical borders of our world are falling, and information about future employees readily available on SM sites will make it easier for companies to find placement without the need for so many traditional processes.

Author Feb 11, 2010
6:01 pm

Gregory, we can’t be too surprised, though. Change always presents the Big Unknown, and the attendant fears [i.e. False Expectations Appearing Real]; that is why Explorers, Early Adopter, Influencers — whatever we choose to call them/ourselves — are needed to lead the way.

Feb 12, 2010
2:55 pm

I absolutely agree, Shari. I just wish that many others could see the wisdom of your words. I want the best for everyone. It’s encouraging to know there are people like you that are bridging the gap by teaching classes and pioneering the way. Oh well, you can lead the horse to water, I guess…

Feb 12, 2010
4:48 pm
#11 Maurice L. Ainsworth :

How can you detect if someone is insincere?

My motto is, if you can’t keep it real, don’t keep it. I think of myself as one who has integrity. On the internet, people can be whoever they choose to be. This is because they can not be seen. Deceit runs rampant. I must remember, I get what I project. If I’m trustworthy, It matters not, what someone else is. I am only accountable for myself.

Author Feb 12, 2010
11:43 pm
#12 Shari Weiss :

Love this answer, Maurice. Thanks for your thoughts.

I liken your answer to my response one time to an Indian student in a past PR class, who asked me “Aren’t most American business people unethical?”
After a few moments of thought — since I hadn’t been confronted with that question before — I liked what I answered: “It doesn’t matter. We are each responsible for our own behaviors. We have control over our own decisions, but no one else’s. We can hope to influence others by being positive role models.”

Feb 15, 2010
3:33 pm
#13 Cynthia A. :

How did social media become so big?

We have made social media so big. If it were not for us logging onto different web sites to communicate, and navigating around the internet social media would not be as big as it is today. I think it is our curiosity that keeps us wanting to continue using social media.

Author Feb 15, 2010
9:05 pm
#14 Shari Weiss :

Is social media “really” so big? That, in itself, is a good question. There is certainly a lot of buzz, but there is great generational resistance among BabyBoomers and older seniors — and even Gen-Xers would rather ignore. Too bad. Those deny-ers will be left behind.

Feb 16, 2010
2:11 am
#15 Gregory Stringer :

This will change over time. Just as new scientific theories are only accepted after a propagational change has occurred, so too is the future of SM assured.

Feb 17, 2010
6:08 pm

Why has SM become popular?
Within a couple of years the whole world will be using SM; whether for business or pleasure, people has become addicted to SM. It is a hop,skip, and a jump from our fingertips that allows us to engage with others — morning, noon or night.

Feb 17, 2010
6:46 pm
#17 Ike Davis :

What makes SM important?
Social media is important to me and people because I can stay in contact with people in business and with other people. Social media can help prepare us for the future and tells us what’s out there and what’s going on.

Feb 17, 2010
8:29 pm
#18 Luis Sanchez :

Is sm safe?

Sm seems to be growing so rapidly that it is difficult to know who are the people that are participating in this sites and pictures can be easily stolen from other sites.

Mar 11, 2010
4:46 pm

Shari, about your thoughts on how SMM is an entity to itself, and that it shouldn’t be considered just a part of the Marketing/PR dept., check out my friend and another mentor of mine’s blog at His name is Mark Schaefer, a brilliant marketing professional, and this particular post is generating a lot of discussion. I think it may relate to what you are saying. See what you think.

Author Mar 11, 2010
11:17 pm
#20 Shari Weiss :

Gregory, what a FANTASTIC READ!! especially ALL THE COMMENTS! and the great conversation. Anyone reading my reply should definitely take a look at to see if Social Media Marketing can really be One-Size-Fits-All

Jun 23, 2010
1:34 am
#21 VanessaEng1A :

The question I am most interested in learning the answer to is, “Why is SM important?” Especially for those who have no interest in social media.

Author Jun 24, 2010
1:01 am
#22 Shari Weiss :

Vanessa, the answer to your question depends entirely on your life/work situation. For people who want to build and grow a business, the Internet is where this will be done in the future. On a personal level, there are many benefits, and when people don’t know them, then it is easy to understand that people don’t have the “interest in social media.”

Jun 24, 2010
9:21 pm

Well stated, Shari. I would add that those that need to be involved with business at its cutting edge must be involved, lest they find themselves in the weeds.

Author Jun 24, 2010
11:05 pm
#24 Shari Weiss :

Interesting, Gregory, I’ve missed your comments, so here’s a chance to add some more, ESPECIALLY to describe what it’s like for a company to be “in the weeds.”

Jun 25, 2010
7:40 pm

“In the weeds” is a common statement in the restaurant industry when one is covered in work and unable to extricate themselves, i.e. when too many orders have come in or too many dishes to wash. This relates to business when the situation arises when there is too many orders to fill, or other back-ups occur. Sorry, my past rearing it’s ugly head.

Author Jun 25, 2010
7:51 pm
#26 Shari Weiss :
    Thanks, Greg
    Keep on commenting.
Jun 25, 2010
7:59 pm

And you keep writing your excellent posts! I consider it an honor to call you friend.

Dec 21, 2011
6:30 pm
#28 payday loan :

The potential to reach 10β€²s of thousands of people, customers or otherwise is staggering. The reach of the individual(s) is only limited by their imagination and drive or lack thereof. I hope I won’t have to eat those words.

Dec 21, 2011
6:31 pm
#29 gadget :

thousands of people, customers or otherwise is staggering. The reach of the individual(s) is only limited by their imagination and drive or lack thereof.

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