An interesting aspect of some journeys is when you set out with no particular destination in mind. Or, to put it more accurately, only a vague concept of the destination. An idea, a belief, a conviction that the destination is out there, although it has yet to be named or defined. I suppose my "social media" journey is kind of like that, as it began long before anybody ever used the term "social media."
Hi. My name is Ken Goldstein, known on many sites by my online handle of "kenrg" and I'm here to share a bit of my social media journey... In brief, I've been online since about 1993, first using text-only dial-up services, then AOL, then an ISP to get directly to the full colorful web. One of my first surprises was the sense of community. Even in plain text, there were pockets of like-minded people, anxious to share information and to connect.
I learned html and posted my first web site around 1995. Shortly after, I added a cgi script for basic threaded discussion and ran a board for a music-related group. Again, community being the focus.
Meanwhile, professionally, I was also a member of an online community of nonprofit and social service professionals, called HandsNet. By 1999 I was not simply a HandsNet member, but had joined the staff as Director of Online Community Development, managing discussion board related to fighting poverty, and supervising the discussion moderators.
When I first opened my account here on blogger.com, nearly ten years ago, it was well before Google had purchased it from Pyra, the original developers. Likewise, I joined YouTube four-and-a-half years ago, before the Google purchase, and have been regularly tweeting away on twitter for nearly four years as well. Heck, I was even a Friendster member long before MySpace and Facebook.
From "online community" to "web 2.0" to "social media" I've been along on the journey, sometimes testing the waters ahead of the crowds, sometimes following, but always eager to learn the latest tools. For me, it's always been about the connections, and about communication. And I believe we have only begun to tap the true power and possibility of this brave new world.
I'm pleased that Andy has asked me to be a contributor to this blog. I will be sharing some recollections of my journey so far, my opinions on where we're going, and some criticisms of those who don't get it (hint: those who think Twitter is an advertising medium will be regular targets of my scorn). And I look forward to your comments on my posts.
You can find links to all my various feeds (blogs, vlogs, podcasts, photostreams, etc.) on my home portal (kengoldstein.ca). Meanwhile, here are links to a couple of recent blog posts to give you an idea of where I stand: