Melinda runs her own website, Miss Geeky, and has used many social media tools to help her form a new set of friends – having moved to London from the Netherlands two years ago (and not knowing anyone!).
Interestingly, Melinda feels that there are clear parallels with having a personal brand / reputation, and that which a Company has with it’s online presence.
One of her key points was to ‘build connections’:
- Starting conversations
- Maintaining conversations
- Being real, being genuine
Having meet new folks and ‘connected’ with them offline, Melinda typically then adds an online dimension (i.e. in order to maintain conversations) by following up with:
She recommends not using a ‘form’ / standard e-mail, but personalising it using what you discussed with them – help people place you.
She then turned to blogging, suggested that they should reflect your opinion or product. Bloggers should comment on other blogs, and respond to ones on your own. She cautioned against ‘broadcasting’, believing that blogs should be interactive.
Melinda used Moo.com as an example of where something mundane could be given a human voice, making it easier to relate to and more genuine.
She said that they had “turned business cards into social objects”, by creating a community around their products and by their people showing up at events and even sponsoring parties.
Melinda took a couple of questions:
- In terms of the downsides of social media, she thinks hard about what she is posting online, in terms of her reputation.
- She was asked about the difference in use between the sexes – I chipped in that it was more a difference between generations.
Something that Melinda didn’t say but I was thinking earlier today: I’m delighted to say that, in the space of three days, we have a black Formula 1 champion and a black President of the USA.
I was thinking that maybe we should start thinking that social media could be the first technology where there is an equality of sexes – i.e. be like Barack Obama and be post-gender? [“post-sex” just felt wrong!].
IMO those below the age of thirty use technology all the time (mobile phone, instant messenger, Facebook, whatever) and Web 2.0 could lead to a greater role for women in the technology sphere.
Hopefully that all came out right, but let me know if I’ve put my foot in my mouth!