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Man using a chainsaw with all recommended safe... 

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Do you ever get one of those days or weeks where there seem to be messages yelling at you to do something? Well, this week has been one of mine and I’m hoping that this is my something.

I’ve been in and seen lots of talk this week about how different people use Social Media, the tools they’re using and the tools they’re being.
Before I go on, let me clarify I’m defining the word ‘tool’ in the Olde Englishe sense, not the Urban Dictionary sense (incidentally ‘cretin’ is one of my dad’s favorite words and should be used more often).

What is a Social Media Tool?

@BrentonB gave me a good example “an application of aggregated APIs for transmission of ‘friendly’ data!” – great point.
@AronAiken
points out “… i think of a swiss army knife. seemingly endless possibilities..but you have to know how to use it. otherwise, it could be dangerous.” again with the many uses.  

I see Social Media Tools as people or applications that are simply usefully usable (transmission of friendly data) and easily connected (API). Yes, you can be a social media tool (and yes, you can be a social media tool).

The usability of the information and the connections depends on…well… you!

I don’t care to know what a blonde socialite is doing out in LA so I don’t follow her on Twitter. Of course if I wanted to know about Pittsburgh or anything that is happening here I can follow, reply to or DM any number of people. It’s all about how you use the tools you’re given.

Justin Kownacki wrote about how “Hating Twitter is like hating a hammer”. Justin and I spoke at length about this and other topics over Pita just the other day. Justin knows what a power drill is, maybe he doesn’t own one, I’d hope he’d have an idea of how to use one should the need arise but really, he has no interest in getting his hands on one.

Something similar relates to me, I happened on a conversation wherein the most unlikely person owns a chain saw. I was asked if I own a chain saw (I’m a British computer tech with a limited toolbox) to which I replied “umm no”, then followed the question “do you know how to use one?”. Now, I’m no lumberjack but I can hold my own with a chain saw. Being a volunteer firefighter it’s a part of your essential training being that we encounter trees, roofs and other obstacles that a life and property saving chain saw can handle.
I don’t own a chain saw. I have no desire to own one but, should the need arise, I know how to use it and can use it in a worthwhile way. 

My Nan once said “A bad workman always blames his tools” which is very true, mostly. If you have no need to use Twitter and can gain nothing from it, don’t use it! but at the same time, don’t hate it. Others are using it and utilizing it. Move on, find something you can use, something that suits you, and use it.

Chris Brogan has a t-shirt that proclaims “I’m a Social Media Tool”, I know Jessica Smith wants one.

 

 

 

 

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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