Lesson #4: Einhorn is Finkle. Finkle is Einhorn.

Usually when I take a class, I learn a few things. The #smrtcce class is no different. (I think I just heard Jared let out a sigh of relief.)

You can read about some of the other things I’ve learned in this class:

This culmination of learning brings me to my next (and maybe final) lesson. The whole “final” thing depends on how epic I think this post ends up being.

The catalyst

Earlier this month, I tweeted under the #smrtcce hashtag. Here’s a screenshot:

The tweet linked my followers to a Ragan’s PR Daily article called “The Army Reserve’s 10 rules for social media practitioners.” Now, that title may have scared some, but Lt. Col. Andrew Morton (who wrote the article) offers some really great tips – straight from the U.S. Army Reserve.

Scroll to the bottom of the article (the Summary section).

Warning: reading the Summary section may elicit brain synapses and extreme feelings of minds exploding.

The realization

Among his words of advice, one thing really stood out to me. He says, “Social media is not a device, a platform, or a medium.”

Say whaaaaat?

He continues, “It’s a culture.”

Woah. Mind blown.

I definitely had an Ace Ventura moment (hence this blog’s title). Here’s the moment I’m referring to:

____________________________________________

Saying social media is a culture might be a simple concept to a lot of people. But this was completely revelatory to me. And the idea sums up the #smrtcce class for me.

Social media is a culture that people choose to opt in to, or opt out of. There are those who fully embrace the culture. There are others who sit more on the peripheries. Some folks are “counterculturalists” who sit outside the hegemonic circles (thank you, Antonio Gramsci).

Whether we’re coming from a business perspective or a personal perspective, we choose how we’ll interact with social media. And there are many tools to help us participate (to what degree is the choice).

Just like with other cultures, there’s also etiquette to be aware of. For example, in Thai culture, it’s considered rude to point or touch anything with your feet. In Canadian culture, it’s considered rude (even if justified) to show somebody your middle finger.

And just like those instances, there are accepted behaviours and there are behaviours that are frowned upon in social media culture. Even though social media is a culture that can transcend other cultures.

What now?

Now that I know how to use many of the tools, and how to plan, strategize and measure activity in social media culture, I guess I’ll have to decide how I’ll participate…beyond an academic setting.

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