I had a great time the other day talking to students in the television production classes at Arcadia High School, taught by my friend Bill Citrin. One class taught television news production, and the other, single camera production.
We talked about some of the basics of storytelling - which cuts across all forms of media - a good story is a good story, whether it's a minute long news piece, a short film, or a special effects-laden motion picture epic. Or, for that matter, a good vlog on YouTube.
We discussed social media in general, and YouTube in particular. Students with YouTube channels ranged from 1/4 to 1/3 of each class - even fewer posted on their channels on any regular basis. Interestingly, some were surprised that YouTube was just five years old - it's become such a huge presence so quickly that it seems like it's been around forever.
But it hasn't. When YouTube began, the term "social Media" was virtually unknown - Facebook, a year old, was still a small, college-centric site, and MySpace, the first huge social media destination, was all of two years old.
Now, we're bombarded with social media tools and destinations from all sides. It's social media strategy that's still being invented. Despite libraries full of instantly published books on succeeding in social media most with 2009-2010 copyright dates), and endless online resources, the vast majority of teens and professionals alike still struggle to find a relevant career-related "use" for social technology beyond simple networking. Solutions are being developed, but there really isn't a clear path to learning these methods.
I think that's why more students in a media-related class aren't yet involved in using social media.
Maybe the answer isn't simply to teach site-specific skills, but to explore the entire concept of building a "personal brand." In other words: Consider the tools available (social networking sites, social media sites) and then create a public image strategy designed to achieve personal and professional goals.
Comments on this blog are particularly invited!