by Guest Blogger, Lori Ruff
I recently recalled when my parents asked to take my daughter, Christine to Disney World. It was just before she turned three. We lived in Orlando at the time. Mom and Dad came to visit. Christy got in free. What's not to love?
So they took off to Disney World but first planned a stop at Busch Gardens in Tampa. As they got closer, Grandma read all the billboards announcing the attractions and each promising "Too Much Fun!" Christy got more excited as they passed each one.
In the park, all morning long, Grandma asked Christy if she was having fun yet. The answer, coming from this almost three-year-old freckle-faced, giggly kid was always "NO!" Just before lunch as they rode the kiddie roller coaster Grandma asked again, "Are you having fun yet?" My daughter was almost hysterical with glee as she answered yet again, "NO!" Perplexed, Grandma asked," Christy, you keep saying you're not having fun yet, but you're laughing and smiling. What are you having if you're not having fun?"
"Grandma, I'm not having fun; I'm having Too Much Fun!" she replied as she broke into one more hysterical giggle-fit.
What's that got to do with social media? Well if you think about it, the newness of social media hasn't really worn off yet. It's an environment that has so much to offer, so many places to play, it seems like a huge amusement park. In a park like Busch Gardens, there are different themed areas, like Morocco, the Bird Gardens, Stanleyville, and Jungala. Park guests enter and navigate to the theme in which they are most interested. Groups of people might even split up with subgroups going to different areas.
Imagine you're in one of those groups. You arrived at the park this morning and you just had a blast in FacebookLand where you got to pet the pigs in Farmville and ride to the top of Millionaire City! You played the arcade game Quiz Planet and had a mid-morning snack in Café World.
You regroup at lunch and friends from another subgroup talk about TwitterLand and a new area called GoogleLand Plus. And each had their own rides and fun attractions! Twitterland had a restaurant called Tweetdeck where people hung out and talked all day. At GoogleLand Plus, they just unveiled "Ripples" and everyone was amazed at how the messages they let fly traveled through the currents being pushed through the air. Every time someone joined hands, it would change the currents and the messages swirled in new patterns. It was amazing!
The Chaperons had meetings all morning at the LinkedIn Conference Center but would arrive later in the day to enjoy a guided tour of TwitterLand. They had a round table discussion called Answers where each person giving a best answer to any question posed was awarded free drink tickets for the excursion.
Oh, and outside the park where all the major attractions are, you'll find Kissimmee (just like the real town outside of Disney World) full of shops and restaurants and arcades and special attractions to take advantage of the traffic of people who work and play at Social Media.
The lesson here is that we're all in or around this huge gathering place in one shape or form. Some of us prefer LinkedIn, while others prefer Facebook, and sometimes we migrate from one platform to another like my new Twitter friend @NastyNye. When I asked "What's your favorite social platform and why?" She confessed "Twitter now but it used to be Facebook."
So, we all have different interests and experiences and roles and timing. We don't all get to the park at the same time, or see it in the same order or even experience it in the same way.
A blogger I follow and respect for his accurate and thoughtful advice, Jens-Petter Berget recently posted: How to show your picture next to your articles in Google search results. I commented on his blog: "Great advice! I did this a couple years ago and loved the result!" My intention was to support him and to let his readers know he was giving them good advice. He felt a bit embarrassed that he had just learned this cool tip, but as I told him, "Don't be!" I realized we are all here, working and playing in the same space...
Social Media... the most comprehensive, engaging, and attended amusement park of all time!
What are your thoughts? Is Twitter a roller-coaster? Is Facebook a tilt-a-whirl? Is Google Plus a fun house?
About the author
Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva™, is a Forbes Top 25 International Social Media Power Influencer, # 3 Woman on LinkedIn, an Author and Blogger. A Sassy, Saucy, Businesswoman, she is a recognized thought leader on executable social networking strategy. She evangelizes Relationship Driven Business Development via LinkedIn and Social Media.
Connect with Lori at LoriIsOnline.com. Photo courtesy of http://www.touscany.com/