Thursday, September 11, 2008

For the Pros or All Age-Olds?

Last night as I was spending some time blogging, my roommate came into the kitchen (yes, I write in the kitchen) and our conversation went something like this:

My RM: "Whatcha doing?"
Me: "Writing in my blog."
My RM: "Blog? What's that?" (It took all my strength to not respond Really?! Did you not grow up in the 21st century?!)
Me: "Well, a blog is like..."
My RM: (Looks over my shoulder) "Oh my gosh, are you writing about smart people stuff?! You nerd!"
RM exits scene to the left.

For those of us who work in tech. PR - or PR in general for that matter - social media such as Web blogs and Twitter have become second nature.  Example: I used to get my daily news from television, and maybe the occasional newspaper (when I felt like sifting through one ;) ).  But now I get nearly all my news sent straight to my RSS feed and Google Reader.  Social media has, in a sense, become part of my daily routine.  I wake up, check my Google Reader, then my facebook, head to work (ok, well let's pretend like I actually have a job for this post), start up my computer, sift through my target influential blogs for news that may have posted over night, send a good-morning e-mail to the analyst whose blog post I particularly enjoyed reading, jot down a few morning thoughts into my own blog, IM a coworker (whose desk is likely not more than 20 feet away) in search of a 10am coffee break buddy, respond to a tweet StaceyPR posted about her "manic Monday morning," open up a pitch saved in SkyDrive I had been working on from home the night before, add a few more things to my "To Do" Google widget...  Oh my gosh I could go on forever, and it's not even noon!  But then again, if you're reading this, you probably have already had a day similar to mine.  

But reflecting upon my pre-PR days, I can only barely remember a much different schedule (which probably actually included picking up a copy of the Register-Guard, since I didn't have cable, throwing rocks at tweeters, and poking my crushes in person).  So could it be that the PR and tech-savvy are just ahead of the times?  

On the contraire, could it just be that social media is so ingrained in our lives that we don't even think twice?  Could it be that when people, like my roommate, visit sites like LAist and MSNBC, they don't realize that they're looking at blogs?  I went to college just as social media was beginning to emerge (ah, I remember the article I wrote for the PRSSA newsletter once upon a time entitled, plain and simple, "What's a blog?"  I barely even knew what I was writing about at that point in time!  Oh, and does anyone remember the first facebook, where the wall was just a solid block with text?!  Come on, don't make me feel too old...)  Fast-forward three years, where 1 in 4 online Americans, according to Forrester Research, read blogs, social media and many social apps have become mainstream for many (particularly those younger than my age group).  But they still have a long way to go before they become the norm for everyone.  Aka, those 3 out of every 4 Americans who don't read blogs.  Heck, I just helped my grandma set up an e-mail address!    

Anyway, I feel like I'm running around in circles right now, but now that you've heard my thoughts, what do you think?  Are blogs and other social apps becoming mainstream?  Or are they still only for the PRos?  

**A third alternative - Maybe I just need to give my "behind the times" roommate a lesson or two in blogging :)  


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