How social is social?

And so I did it. I presented my social media strategy to my team, department supervisors and the boss. It was supposed to be a two person audience which blew up into a 7 persons meeting. Oh well.

It didn’t take off with a big bang (that would have been a miracle) and it had the usual culprits who gave negative remarks but I did end up with the ardent task of presenting a revised social media strategy to a bigger audience of higher authority.

I should look at this from an optimistic point of view. At least I would be remembered for my efforts to push social media and trying to align our team’s goals with that of the organisation at large.

On the negative side, I think my popularity ratings with my fellow teammates have fallen one more notch. I think they brand me as threat number 1.

My revised topic would focus on the various degrees of social interaction and just how much is adequate for a public agency. That is an interesting perspective to pursue.

Apparently what I proposed was quite off the scale of what the oldies/Singaporeans/government is willing to adopt now. Back to the drawing board for me.

Today, I attended a training about web writing conducted by a SMU professor. I commend him for the excellent fresh perspectives on social media and how it can and should benefit our communication strategies.

What was most interesting is the difference between how Americans and Asians feel about freedom of expression on the Internet.

For Americans, everyone pretty much have the right to take a stand and stick to it, no matter how confrontational the exchange is. In Asia, there is more deference towards responsibility of speech and a need to stand corrected if necessary to keep the peace and harmony.

Which brings up another issue that has been bugging me. How do we exactly implement these social media strategies that works in the US in a more conservative nation like Singapore? I was grateful for the time with the professor at the end to get his opinion on this question.

In short, Singapore is still very much a consumption-centric market. Most users still prefer to consume than produce their own content. It would also mean that they prefer to lurk in the dark and see what’s happening, than to actively participate and engage any government body.

That itself was an eye opener. Here I am trying to convince my bosses that we need to get more interaction out of our members when perhaps it is a cultural obstacle in the first place.

What we should be looking at rather is to produce creative content that tries to bridge the complicated policies with plain simple English through blogging.

I suppose at the end, we still prefer that our government don’t try to interfere with our private social networks.

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