On Being a Student of Social Media


In every public profile I list on Social Media sites, I always state that I am “A student of eCommerce, Social Media, and commercial Web design.” I am invariably amused at the understandings, or perhaps misunderstandings, people take away from this. No matter how insightful, astute, or knowledgeable the opinions I offer may be, the stigma of “student” is what stays foremost in their minds. They think that as a student, I know nothing; that only someone who is no longer a student, that has graduated and gone on to apply what has been learned and make a comfortable living as a result has a voice that should be listened to.

I take a different tack. I see those that actively learn as people that are constantly assimilating new information. They are proactive in gaining understanding of the complexities of the new technologies, the latest procedures that lead to successful outcomes. Historically we as a species follow a path of going to school, getting a gig, and improving our lives. Where is the savvy in stagnation? If you perform the same task over and over, then perhaps you may have developed an awareness of the finer points of that task. But if you learn nothing new, you do not stretch your horizons, you are nothing more than a source of static information with no dynamics, no innovation. I have encountered many who have had doctorates bestowed upon them for their didactic achievements who still consider themselves students, still seeking frontiers to explore, still searching for the envelope’s edge.

The next time someone extolls their virtues as so-called experts, research their work. When someone claims they can increase your Internet marketing efforts, look at their Web sites. I do, and more often than not I find pages that were I to turn such examples in as assignments of work I’ve done as a student, then I wouldn’t long maintain my status. Only those that make an effort at learning, of increasing their knowledge bases, are truly persons whose apprehensions are worthy of consideration, especially when making decisions dependent on outside assessments and conclusions, as they are students.

Author’s note: I have since updated my profiles, and no longer list myself as a student of commercial Web design, a position relinquished to Grannelle’s design director, my lovely wife Nelle. I am fully focused on the business arts, and so my profiles now read, “A student of eCommerce/Social Media/eMedia marketing and founder/publisher for Grannelle.”

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About Grannelle

eMarketing Scholar
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4 Responses to On Being a Student of Social Media

  1. Mike10613 says:

    I think understanding that education is a life long thing and not just for students is important; they say it helps prevent us going senile. I found the American punctuation a little irritating but you do use the occasional semi colon! That is normal for me though; had a Oxbridge English teacher at a very English grammar school. I dislike Oxford commas, the ones that come immediately before the word and; because there is a natural pause there anyway. The really irritating thing is not reading different punctuation but when an editor takes out a semi colon that is meant to be a comedy pause! I think you may need to give your opinions on how social media can innovate. For example I am into peer to peer lending and although I don;t have time to participate in the forums I think communication between lender and borrowers is good and leads to less bad debts and more financial responsibility. It also cuts out the greedy bankers and their obscene bonuses which has to be a good thing.

    Good luck with the enterprise. It looks interesting so you are on your way; just make it look fascinating now! 🙂

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    • Grannelle says:

      Thanks Mike! To be honest, that you, or anyone else, can read what I write is something of a small miracle; I was able to pass English 101 w/ a “D”, and then only with the skin of my teeth. Of course, I never pretend to be a writer, blogger, journalist, nor any other communicator of the printed word. I maintain Grannelle’s Social Media purely for the completeness of our Social Media campaign… and it gives me the opportunity to pretend that I’m funny. I stand in awe of those like yourself that can with the stroke of a pen (or keyboard) aquaint readers with complex notions that are experienced on an almost physical level; smelling the description of freshly baked bread, or strolling through a quaint village such as the one in which you live. It is truly an artistic endeavor.

      Your suggestion of sharing thoughts on how Social Media can innovate – excellent idea. I suppose I don’t feel particularly qualified, as my experience is limited to my own personal endeavors, along with what I’ve studied. My opinions would seem to amount more to anecdotal versus data-driven evidence. Yet I am learning each day how SM is changing our lives. I had a discussion (probably more of an arguement) with a communications professor wherein I stated that SM is a full-fledged format of communication; he dissented, yet by the end of the term rather grudgingly admitted I “might have a point, though it has yet to fully maturate.” Perhaps exploration of innovations in SM might further solidify my stance, and I can then invite him to stop by and comment… always looking for new visitors!

      Your taking your valuable time to stop by and not only read, but to comment as well is, as always, most appreciated, Mike. You will always be welcome.

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  2. Hello Gregory,

    I’m a student also. I have 2 degrees from Brazil. I’m a journalist and publicist. I also took 2 years of History. I almost started law school after all. I’m taking journ 65 and i would like to say, like you, i do enjoy to learn. I think i will be forever a student. I love to learn and i think that’s something we will do for our entire lives.

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