Putting the Social in Social Media

I have attended all three Victoria Social Media Camps. I was a presenter or round-table participant at the last two. One thing that I witnessed was not only the increased attendance and vibrancy of the events, but also the ways in which each respective Camp led to more connections for me in the community at large and on campus at the university where I work.

Social Media Camp allows users to step away from their work spaces—learn skills and meet others. With each SMC my network in the local community has expanded and I have learned new skills about the latest social media platform or become more conversant with the old reliable (Twitter). Yes, now that I’ve been on Twitter for just over five years it is an older platform!

How is Social Media—social? What has this meant for me?

The made connections has allowed me to act like Spider Woman and connect people who might not otherwise have met between their respective networks. I have mentored students and community members. I have reviewed work dossiers and coached people about job interviews. In the process, I have met some wonderful people working in the private sector for business, tourism, or government. I have expanded my network off of campus and it has been a great experience to meet local business owners, see the mayors of local municipalities at the camps or other social media related events, colleagues, and make new friends.

Some of us tend to get comfortable at work and home and do not think about getting “out there.” The Social Media Camps really required me to move forward—get outside of my comfort zone of higher education, and engage the local community. SMC offers this opportunity–you will meet lots of other people, who are enthusiastic about their business, hobbies, blogging, optimizing social media platforms, connecting, and more.

You will connect with people who are newbies, have intermediate, or expert skills with different social media platforms. You will make friends and invaluable business connections. My network has grown thanks to Social Media Camps and this has led to more opportunities for me and my students. I see SMC as inherently social. I hope to see you at the next Social Media Camp.

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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