Ways to Stay Up-to-Date with Social Media Changes
As a job seeker, staying up-to-speed with social media and knowing what’s out there can help you find new and creative ways to manage your career. Following are several ways to make sure you aren’t the last to know about a new tool or development in the world of social media.
Read social media news sites
Following and reading all the various sources of information about social media companies (think company-owned blogs, press releases, case studies, and technical releases) can be a real waste of time, especially if you don’t work in the social media field.
Lucky for you, writers and analysts summarize and comment on these updates on relatively few news sites. Scanning the following sites on a weekly or monthly basis keeps you in the loop regarding all things social media:
Set up weekly summary newsletters
If you don’t like to spend your spare time surfing news sites, consider setting up a subscription for a technology summary newsletter so the news comes to you. These newsletters typically contain articles from leading news sites around the web.
When you find blogs or news sites related to social media, simply subscribe to their RSS feed. RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a technology that allows you to subscribe to and read various websites all in one place.
Scan your RSS reader weekly, looking for news and blog posts that catch your attention. Setting up an easy-to-read listening station with your RSS reader is easy. Use Feedly, which generates a magazine-like user interface and runs Google’s Reader technology underneath.
Feedly works with Firefox, Safari, and Chrome browsers. After you sign up, it immediately suggests news sites to add. You can create categories and even e-mail or tweet articles without ever leaving the application.
Join a local club
Getting involved with a local social media club gives you access to other people passionate about social media who are doing the work of staying up-to-date for you. Most major metropolitan cities have a group of social media enthusiasts.
Make new technology-savvy friends
Take a look at your circle of friends. Are they open to new technologies? Do they talk passionately about the latest and greatest Facebook feature? Or do they cringe whenever you mention the words text message?
If you don’t normally run around in technology-friendly circles, where the words UX and agile are thrown around like chocolate and shopping on Sex in the City, then you may need to make some new tech-savvy friends.
One great way to get to know the technologically inclined is to attend technology conferences and events. Doing so allows you to meet new people, ask questions, and get motivated about new technology.
Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are digital audio or video episodes that you can download to your computer or MP3 player. New episodes come out regularly and often represent current trends in innovation. iTunes offers a wide array of free social media–focused podcasts and classes.
From Today in Social Media to 6 Pixels of Separation, you have your pick of episodes to download and listen to, whether you’re running, in the car, or on the treadmill.
Watch social media TV
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Companies and analysts can easily produce and upload new video. So cruising YouTube is a fun and informative way to stay up-to-speed on social media. For reliable and constant content, subscribe to a YouTube channel that’s focused solely on social media by following these steps:
Type social media into the search bar on www.youtube.com and click on the Search button.
Click on Filter & Explore just below the search bar and choose Channel to sort out the social media–related channels.
Subscribe to Mashable and any other channels you find compelling.
Read the tweets from pundits
Social media thought leaders, not surprisingly, share their thoughts on Twitter. Why not follow them and read what they have to say? Of the many self-proclaimed social media gurus, here’s a list of tweeps (Twitter users) who truly deserve your attention:
Find trending topics through social bookmarking
Social bookmarking is a way for Internet users to share what websites they’re reading. These sites often track trends and news more accurately than news sites themselves. You can see what articles are being read and shared in real time. Social bookmarking can help you stay up-to-date with social media because people bookmark new and interesting news sources as they come out in real time. Check out StumbleUpon, reddit, and Digg.