Following on from last month’s theme of 'ridiculous things people expect Garry to be good at,’ on Friday my boss sent me to a Social Media Marketing conference, with a view to improving the office’s presence on online social media. I’m not sure why they sent me specifically. I’ve no qualifications in marketing and I’m not especially sociable. It’s got absolutely nothing in common with anything else I do at work.
It might just be because I’m male and under 30 (just) and am therefore naturally assumed to be good with computers. This is foolishness, but I didn’t mind a day away from the office where I’m assumed to be good at project management, which is also foolishness.
It was more a training event than a conference, run by a crew from America called SkillPath. It was a two person team who were in town as part of a whirlwind tour of Australia, shining the light of social media into the deepest depths of cultural cynicism, represented ably by me in the back row.
It didn’t start well. I had to give the Americans points for trying to contextualise their data for the locals, but pointing out that some people were likely to be following Julia Gillard on Twitter, while others were following Tom Abbott (sic) didn’t quite have the desired effect. And the presenter’s revelation that she thought she was in Queensland, and didn’t actually have any idea where Darwin was, was just downright hilarious.
However, the obligatory mocking of visitors from America having been indulged, the content they presented was quite interesting at times. And some of the examples of how not to use social media were fascinating.
Possibly the most cataclysmic outcome of the conference for me was that I’ve finally been convinced of – if not the virtues – then certainly the utility of Twitter. I’m only ten years late. You can follow me @GarryCondoseres, but I can’t promise I’ll lead you anywhere useful. Next thing you know I’ll be posting pictures of other peoples’ cakes to my Pinterest board.
I don’t have a Pinterest board. One step at a time.