The Social Media Professionals Series is an informational and educational collection of reports on the sub-specialties of the Social Media vocation. Each weekly article is dedicated to a different aspect of the occupation, and features an associated thought-leader.
Concentration – Blogging
Professional – Shari Weiss
This chapter of SMPS examines what is perhaps the most widely embraced aspect of Social Media, blogging. The ability for individuals to publish themselves so easily is unique in human history. Ever since the term, a conglomeration of the words “Web” and “log”, or Weblog was coined by Jorn Barger (later shortened to blog by Peter Merholz), the social net has become filled with blogs. Unique in their interactivity, blogs are generally maintained with updated posts and presented in reverse order. Technorati claims there were over 112,000,000 members of the blogosphere two years ago writing 126,000,000 blogs.
Our guest this week is much more than a blogger. In fact, if there exists at this juncture an expert in Social Media, Shari Weiss defines the moniker. Teacher, mentor, speaker, journalist, and author of SHARISAX IS OUT THERE, Shari is an SM Renaissance Woman. She is active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, among many others. She works with the industries top-level professionals, and shepherds her students on their way to becoming the next wave of Social Media’s thought-leaders.
From a personal standpoint, Shari has greatly helped shape my own development. I met her a couple of years ago on LinkedIn in one of the many discussion groups in which she participates. As one with a fondness for stray animals, she took me under her wing, becoming friend and confidante. She gives me direction and understanding even today, opening doors and prodding me to think in a critical manner about Social Media and its applications in current business and societal issues.
It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that Grannelle’s Social Media presents Shari Weiss in her segment of The Social Media Professionals Series.
GSM – How do you best define your practice in Social Media? What specifically do you do that is different, unique, and special in this wide ranging field?
Shari – While not unique, my passion for sharing via social media is a critical focus in my life. After more than 25 years teaching marketing/advertising/public relations and business communications to college students, I completely understand that there is a New Normal in business and the old “tried and true” means of promotion and selling are no longer valid – although practitioners of these strategies and tactics still hold onto them “for dear life.”My focus is to build influence online and off as a Go-To person for facts and opinions and processes to make social media opportunities work to help people build their businesses – small and large.
GSM – What do you consider the most currently pressing issue you are faced with in your everyday duties?
Shari – I’m a strong believer in blogging for enlarging one’s reach online, and sometimes it is very difficult to maintain the necessary consistency with posting. Also, my own feeling is that business blogging needs to have a carefully described reader persona towards which articles need to be directed.
GSM – How do you approach your profession? What special techniques/procedures give you an edge?
Shari – I approach this profession from the standpoint of a university business instructor who wants us all to be ethically successful where we will all be adding value to one another’s lives – as we enrich our own.
GSM – What advice would you offer to others active in your field of interest or in Social Media generally?
Shari – I’m convinced that engagement, not mass broadcast, is the Best Practice . . . and with that is the realization that reaching a goal through online participation cannot be expected to offer immediate results. Rather, as Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his recent book Outliers, all really successful people have put in time and effort [10,000 hours]. I’m also reminded of an art professor who told my class that we all have 1,000 bad paintings/drawings in us, so we have to get through those. Another professor in a lit class told us that if we read all of Thomas Harding’s novels, we’d think he was a hack writer, but if we only read the masterpieces, we would know he was a genius.
GSM – Any other thoughts you’d wish to share?
Shari – I would invite people to check out my blog SHARISAX IS OUT THERE now and then they can see how it will evolve to be more valuable and usable for my target audiences: both social media newbie’s AND those ready for Step Two. I leave the Step Three writing to people like Brian Solis, Chris Brogan, Sarah Evans, Valeria Maltoni, Jay Baer, Suzanne Vara, as well as any of those who write for Hubspot and Mashable. Finally, we all need to accept the fact that Social Media is NOT a fad, and in order not to go the way of the dinosaurs, people need to start “doing” which means learning, listening, and participating online.
Like all participants in The Social Media Professionals Series, Shari is an immensely busy person, and Grannelle’s Social Media is both fortunate and appreciative she provided her valuable time to participate in the conference.