Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First things first: let's get to know one another...

I have a long list of things to do, and on it was create a quasi-professional blog that is entirely public facing. I work at Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale for the web team. I do a series of videos/vlogs for J-Net, which is the forums/communities for Juniper. In them I get to announce new features happening on J-Net or interview interesting people in the tech industry as well as key users within the community.

In a meeting earlier today, a co-worker reitterated the fact that social media is typically generational. It got me to thinking about how I have basically tapped into every avenue of social media.

Social media sites I belong to: LiveJournal, Blogger, YouTube, Myspace, Facebook, Digg, Twitter(2 accounts), PhotoBucket, Flickr, StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Yelp... I used to be a member of friendster but that got to be a bit much. :)

I am always eager to learn new technology, and try to get others as hooked as I am. I'm not sure if that's because I love to spread the good word, or because I typically like other people to connect to. I think it's a bit of both but more of the latter.

My RSS feed and Twitter are two of my favorite online quick hits. I am hoping to eventually make myself a shirt that says "I twitter in bed" -- seemingly provocative but still true.

A bit of back story... [and possibly gloating]

I graduated from UC Berkeley where I wrote my own major. The long of it: "ISF (Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major) - Intercultural Studies of Visual Images and Representation". The short of it: I studied the way cultures receive media. Mass Comm and other such marketing majors seemed to have an approach to media that didn't sit right with me. Mass marketing has set formulas that ignore cultural and social cues. It's all so impersonal and impractical really. I mean, it works... it definitely works. But it ignores so much about people and their history and traditions. I have more to say on this topic, obviously, seeing as how I wrote a massive thesis about it. The point of this particular side-bar is to illuminate the fact that I decided to study individual cultures, and the history behind their particular reception of media and portrayal in media. The reason why this job is so perfect is that it constantly allows me the opportunity to get to know individuals. It also allows me to investigate the trends of "users" on our own site.

The best part about the interviews are the moments that happen off-camera. We have small chats about things that aren't business, they are charming insights into each person. They are the reasons why they love their job, tales about their families, places traveled, highlights as to what technology they find most interesting in their day-to-day life. I love hearing these bits because it shows what people are behind this industry.

Doubtful I would have told you that I was going to be in the tech industry post-college. I figured I would be a rock star, an acrobat in Cirque de Soleil, or perhaps a helicopter pilot for a logging company. Instead, I work for a fairly large company. I have a cubicle that is riddled with word of the day calendars and airplane toys. I go to "important" meetings. I take notes. I buy pencil skirts and listen in to conference calls.

Sometimes I feel like I'm conducting my own experiment. And perhaps I am. I am learning what it is like to experience corporate society. But I still feel like I have a different impulse when it comes to the day-to-day. I want to know why everyone shows up in the morning, what their experiences are, why they were initially so passionate about the industry--and if their passion has shifted. The technology is remarkable and innovative, but it is only as good as the minds behind it.

I expect to outline my own adventures in social media, the people using it, the trends that come of it, and the industry it surrounds.

I encourage any conversation you may want to add. Are you a J-Net member? Introduce yourself. Not a J-Net member? Still introduce yourself, and maybe afterwards puruse our forums anyway just to get a look at what I do and see what I am so passionate about.

Pleased to meet you, I look forward to what happens next.

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