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Social Media is like the founding of Rome

Social media is like founding Rome; you can steadily drip, drip content and news like Romulus or you can build high and make an impact like Remus. Both approaches have their merits, on the one hand having and maintaining a presence while on the other doing something ‘big’.

You may know the story of Romulus & Remus, brought up by a she-wolf on the hills above the River Tiber, they were the founders of Rome, though only one would give the city their name.

One day, looking down at the Tiber the brother’s decided to found a great city. They agreed to build a wall encircling a piece of promising land and to do so separately, starting opposite each other, at a distance and meeting in the middle.

Romulus builds his wall low and makes quick progress laying out a great arc that heads towards his brother Remus. Remus builds as high as a man, his wall is tall, but progress away from the River is slow.

Eventually the two Walls meet. Remus cannot contain his mirth at his brother’s low wall and mockingly starts to jump over it back and forth. Unable to contain his anger Romulus picks up a shovel and knocks his brother across the head as he makes another leap.

If only one person is faced with the task of ‘building Rome’ what should they do? Already I see the need for two people and two roles, the first, the ‘low wall’ is the website that is a consistent presence, not simply static web pages, but blog-like where visitors contribute content and share what is there. The ‘high wall’ are the events, or highlights, from commissioned videos or iTunes, to live forums and Webinars. Neither should be seen as exclusive to the Internet, like the wall that surrounds Rome, web presence should be seen as part of the real world integrated with open days and events, mail outs by post or email, PR and traditional advertising too.

Is Social Media a one man band, a chamber orchestra or the full philharmonic?

 Dan the man

As a social media manager am I first flute, composer or conductor?

With direct experience working in an organisation of 4,000+ and in our faculty the only Social Media Manager and person with a social media and online communications remit I have good reason to reflect on the way the role of ‘Social Media’ is changing.

The one man band metaphor falls down when you consider the number, size, scale and volume of the ‘instruments’ this bandoliers must play. Decades ago Roy Castle set a Guinness Book of Record by playing x different instrument in a set period of time. (Done live on Blue Peter in the late 1960s or early 1970s perhaps?). It can be like that.

Is the ‘Jack of All Trades’ the answer?

That depends on the kind of results you want. To stretch the metaphor we are yet to see the full philharmonic orchestra as an in-house social media team, though this might be what the large agencies offer. Those where social media is crucial, I’ve seen it at the FT, I would say they are moving towards the ‘chamber orchestra’ model: they have to, everything is going on line and opinion, not news, is the currency.

Where does this leave education? We shall see.

How much can you learn simply by join a group, say in Linkedin?

You listen, you learn, you take guidance. You may offer some initial thoughts. Slowly and vicariously, depending on your motivation and skill set, you become more engaged, from the periphery you gravitate towards and are drawn to the centre of things. It may take two or three years (or months) and you find yourself considered to be a voice, an opinion maker, a leader. Are you?

What makes the Digital Scholar?

I’ll find out as I aim to complete an MA in Open and Distance Education and am increasingly inclined to press on with an OU MBA too, as I currently take one of the modules. Mostly online, it could all be online. I share it all, empty my head into a blog each night and thus share my progress (or lack of progress) with a broad and eclectic mix of fellow students (undergraduates and graduates) … and the occasional academic.

We live in interesting times.

Like founding Rome, social media needs to be tackled in more than one way

Romulus and Remus nursed by the roman capitoline wolf

You may know the story of Romulus & Remus, brought up by a she-wolf on the hills above the River Tiber, they were the founders of Rome, though only one would give the city their name.

One day, looking down at the Tiber the brother’s decided to found a great city. They agreed to build a wall encircling a piece of promising land and to do so separately, starting opposite each other, at a distance and meeting in the middle.

Romulus builds his wall low and makes quick progress laying out a great arc that heads towards his brother Remus. Remus builds as high as a man, his wall is tall, but progress away from the River is slow.

Eventually the two Walls meet. Remus cannot contain his mirth at his brother’s low wall and mockingly starts to jump over it back and forth. Unable to contain his anger Romulus picks up a shovel and knocks his brother across the head as he makes another leap.

Social media is like founding Rome; you can steadily drip, drip content and news like Romulus or you can build high and make an impact like Remus. Both approaches have their merits, on the one hand having and maintaining a presence while on the other doing something ‘big’.

If only one person is faced with the task of ‘building Rome’ what should they do? Already I see the need for two people and two roles, the first, the ‘low wall’ is the website that is a consistent presence, not simply static web pages, but blog-like where visitors contribute content and share what is there. The ‘high wall’ are the events, or highlights, from commissioned videos or iTunes, to live forums and Webinars. Neither should be seen as exclusive to the Internet, like the wall that surrounds Rome, web presence should be seen as part of the real world integrated with open days and events, mail outs by post or email, PR and traditional advertising too.

The perfect Ger-man, British Citizen, Strongman entrepreneur

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I find as I read David Waller’s biography of strongman Eugen Sandow that its relevance a century on is profound: it touches on fame, fortune and celebrity, advertising, entrepreneurship, showmanship, self-publicity, branding and networking, as well as British Empire and our relations with Europe, The US and the ‘colonies’.

No doubt Sandow would have done movies (and appears in a pre-1900clip). He is part Arnold Schwarzenegger, part Simon Cowell or Rod Hull and Emu both Michael Ballentine and Richard Branson. It’s a read not merely for those who operate leisure centres and gyms, but also successful athletes and their agents, franchisees, and soft drinks companies, ad and PR agents and events companies. You’ve got to exploit what you’ve got while you have your admirers.

It should even interest body builders, sports coaches and anyone whose lifestyle includes fitness. And add in the British Army for good measure.

Homosexuality, parenting, the state of the nation’s health and what today would be called ‘wellness’. With Waller there is always the sense of a well read mind and a well exercised pen. I happen to have read HGWell’s Tono-Bungay, but this to me suggests that David is as much an historian as an English scholar, as he does in EH Carr’s words ‘read on a period until you can hear its people speak’. The context of profound ante-German sentiment leading up to The Great War is touched upon and handled well. Indeed, there are occasional phrases or words than give the sense that the author is sitting in his study in his Edwardian smoking Jacket smoking a cigar.

This and I’ve added half a dozen new words to my vocabulary.

The way communications are going 2010 to 2015

Social Media Communications visualized

There’s no science behind any expression of how we learn or how we communicate – how this occurs online can be hijacked by a myriad of metaphors from leaves to digital oceans.

All I’m trying to do here is share with others my take on social media and a simple impression of how it is different from ‘old media’ in that the communications comes from within an organisation lopping off the middle men and the hierarchies that can get in the way.
Here’s another one I tried

Do please say what you think or other a sketch of your own.

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