Where do we go from here? by *davierae* on Flickr So you’ve got your blog. You’re on Twitter. Accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, Plaxo and countless others are kept up to date and keep you networked with your peers. The question keeps coming back… what’s next? What does all this time interacting and connecting with people accomplish?

After all the hours involved in networking and connecting with people you start to wonder what the payoff will be. Twitter seems like a time sink, Facebook is flat-out a bad college prank, and blogging is more demanding that you thought it would be. Is the payback just a little link love, or a couple hundred Twitter followers? Maybe it’s feeling good about answering a couple dozen questions on LinkedIn Answers. It still hasn’t changed you yet has it?

Are you sure?

If you’ve stuck with it for awhile I bet you’ve found it easier to connect and reach out with people at work. Maybe writing project plans or documentation is a bit better than it was before. How about a few technical skills – if you’ve done any customizations on your blog I know you’ve been working on HTML at the very least.

Ok, these are just a few small things that you may or may not have noticed along the way. What’s the bigger payoff? I dunno – but it’s that unknown something that’s attracted you into the mix. There is potential on multiple fronts, from connecting with people, learning about things, growing as a person, even simply having a hobby. Social media doesn’t mean any one thing, and doesn’t have to be business related.

Since there is no one definition of social media to any one group or person, it never stops growing; morphing into something new with every additional person and service. Heck “social media” is not even a good name for it, it really just kind of stuck because we use new “social” tools that use different types of “media”.

It’s an exciting ride. One I encourage you to explore, even if you think it’s a bunch of hooey. There are many smart people out there that would love to share ideas with anyone who would listen. And that is what it really comes down to. Social media is people and ideas, the tools are incidental and change with the whimsy of the crowd.

Where are you going from here? What’s your next move?

Photo credit: *davierae*

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