Social Media is for Everyone

Social Media Camp is not just for experts!

My first foray into SMC Victoria in 2010 felt somewhat daunting. I’m used to the academic and non-profit sectors, and have usually been the “plus one” at business events in Victoria. But, I don’t consider myself the average sort of academic. I have subscribed to Fast Company, Business 2.0, Inc, Wired, and others. Some of these magazines no longer exist, but I am an avid reader of business and technology magazines to keep abreast of new educational technologies or any new technology. I have done research about women and technology during the last fifteen years, so I have an academic and personal interest in technology. Regardless, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect at my first Social Media Camp in 2010, but I was excited.

I was not disappointed.

Dana Hutchings did a fabulous job as the master (mistress?) of ceremonies. Scott Stratten was a keynote and entertained the crowd with his thoughtful comments; however, I’ll always remember his comments explaining that you are not the “jackass whisperer.” Honestly, I think about this after I have an interesting meeting at work or off campus. I am not the Jackass Whisperer. Thank you, Scott. It’s important to realize that you will not please everyone all of the time.

I also had lunch with several others and another speaker–Julien Smith. The lunch was held at Nautical Nellie’s and was great! The highlight was the conversation with Julien and the other attendees. Besides talking about technology, I found out that Julien is on the Paleo Diet. Thus, we were able to have non-tech conversations with the speaker. This really humanized him for me and I always think of the lunch experience warmly. He’s a great presenter, author, and nice guy. I’ll note that the lunch was Julien and a group of women!

Overall, I learned lots about different social media platforms, did lots of networking, and felt more engaged with the local community. I realized that I was on the right track in my work and my personal interests, but wanted to establish stronger relationships within the community. I knew this was going to require me to venture more off campus and get outside of my comfort zone of Ring Road. I never felt like a noob nor was I treated as such at Camp, as a matter of fact people were quite friendly. That sense of community stuck with me and I remembered to chat with lots of people during the next two social media camps. I wanted to make others feel as comfortable as I felt in 2010. Social Media Camp is for everyone–beginner, intermediate, and expert users.

Janni Aragon

Dr. Janni Aragon (BA Women’s Studies, San Diego State; MA Liberal Arts and Sciences, San Diego State; MA Political Science, University of California; PhD Political Science, University of California) is a Political Scientist in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. Previously she taught Political Science or Women’s Studies at three universities or colleges in Southern California. She regularly comments on issues related to social media and politics, feminism and gender, and American politics.

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  • That will always be one of my fav SMC events! Had such an amazing time and looking forward to the one in May 2013!