I started working in the Social Media industry back in October of 2009 for a company called Lunch.com. Lunch is a social review site that allows their users to build out a profile, rate and review any and everything, and moderate and join communities. In October when I took the job, I didn’t even really know what Social Media was other than the Wikipedia definition of it. “Social Media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” In lame man terms, Social Media is Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, and so on. Any website that allows its users to meet up and socialize on their platform by networking, posting pictures, sharing information, etc. Just within the last 10 years Social Media has moved from only a few hundred people involved to hundreds of millions of people due to the easy availability of the Internet and smart phones. Facebook alone has over 350 million users, which is more than the population of the US. Yet even though there are tons of articles and publication about the possibilities of Social Media for students, business owners, entrepreneurs, politicians and pretty much anyone in the world, my eye weren’t opened to these possibilities until I went to South By South West in Austin, Texas.
Knows as the Spring Break for geek, the South By South West Interactive (SXSWi) conference allowed me to meet and talk with tons of people involved in some walk of Social Media. From meeting young Internet startup entrepreneurs to listening to the CEO of Twitter Evan William @ev speak, I learned the who, what, when, where and why of Social Media. After running around Austin chasing down Gary Vanerchuk @garyvee a wine selling video blogger, to make a showing at one of his famous wine parties to seeing beautiful women throw themselves at guys whose only reason for being popular was the fact that they had 50,000 followers on Twitter made me realize this industry is no all nerds and geeks sitting around in their dorm room crunching algorithms, yet an industry made of entrepreneurs and MITs (Millionaires in Training).
Take Pete Cashmore @petecashmore for instance; a 24 year old Social Media blogger who stared his company called Mashable in a little town in Scotland. Mashable is now like the CNN of Social Media and what did this guy do? He wrote about a few things on Social Media and before he knew it was the CEO of one of the biggest Social Media site that brings in more than 15 million page views a month. Or take Kevin Rose @kevinrose who spent under $3000 to start Digg.com, which is now one of the biggest web content distributors known to man. Now you might be asking, “What does having 15 million monthly visitors to your website mean?” Well, it means a lot. In fact if driving just a million people to you site a month is impressive and if you can get advertisers interested in posting ads on your site you can make lot of money. Also, a business owner, you may be interested if not stupid to not spend a little dough to have 15 million people looking at your logo a month.
The interesting thing to me about this industry is how fast it moves and how innovative the people are. You can never expect for nothing new to show up. In fact you’ll never expect what’s coming next and think to yourself, “Damn… Why didn’t I think of that?” But it’s okay because that’s what’s great out this industry, you can always come up with something new and innovative that someone may not have thought about. Just 5 years ago I was talking about how great it was to look at old pictures that my friends from high school posted on my Facebook and now I’m tweeting ever 5 minutes linking up my geo-locating account on Gowalla to Twitter to let everyone know where I am and what I’m doing at that moment. If you asked me 5 years ago what I thought the future of Social Media would like, my guess would be nowhere near what it is now. Side note: Geo-location in the next big thing in Social Media. Trust me! Get onboard! It’s the future.
So where do you fit in, in this world of Social Media? Well whether you’re user, marketer, entrepreneur, or just looking to meet someone new, Social Media has a spot for anybody and if you can find your fit or your place, make one, and who knows, you might just walk away a millionaire.