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Using Social Media to become more social

I saw this report that a good percentage of online social media users (27%) find that their offline relationships benefit from online interaction. I think that’s true, and I bet that the SQL Server people I follow would agree. I think the online posts among us leading up the Summit helped us become more engaged once we arrived in person. Especially with SQL Karaoke.

However I don’t think this is anything new. As I’ve read accounts of people’s lives from history, it seemed that those that engaged in writing letters, the offline communication of the past, were often very social in public. They kept engaged with their friends and family with these delayed communications over time.

That’s essentially what we do with IM, Facebook, Twitter, etc., it’s just at a quicker pace. I’m sure Abraham Lincoln would have liked to engage with Mary when he was on the road, or his Secretary of State, Seward, or his Secretary of the Treasury, Chase, with a telephone or Twitter if they had been available. As it was, he spent many nights awaiting word of what was happening in his country in the telegraph room.

I think social media has a place in today’s world, and in your career. It’s a way to interact with others that aren’t physically located near you. And while it can be a time sink or a drain on your resources, it can also be very rewarding in growing relationships with other professionals.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by kkline on 1 December 2009

Good points, Steve.  I think the other historical element to consider is that, in the old days, people simply lived closer to one another.  If everyone worked for the big mill in town, they were much more likely to speak with each other at least a couple times per day.  Social media is now enabling us to do that same sort of thing even though you live in Colorado, I live in Tennessee, and Andy lives in Florida.  It is re-enabling a level of social connectedness that people used to have, but lost during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Posted by Steve Jones on 2 December 2009

That's very true. Kevin. I'm not sure if the social networking online is good or bad, as I think we too often don't deal with our neighbors as much anymore. But it is nice that I can keep in touch with my friends from PASS all around the world. Something that I didn't do as much in the past.

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