Wednesday February 13, 2013 | 09:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould


This marks the first of my weekly interviews. The interviews will be with a wide range of individuals each sharing their experience with and/or opinions about social media. There are no rules or set questions and each interview may be a bit different.

Adam is a MySpace guy …

I work with Adam for TEDxDirigo where I volunteer as the PR/Communications Director. He’s too nice to tell you, but I know I make him crazy on a regular basis. I can’t figure out why, as I’m a very reserved and passive person with few strong opinions. Anyway, it must be about him.

I’m very grateful that Adam agreed to be my first Social Social interviewee. We met at Local 188, talked for quite a while and had a great time. What you’ll read here is a greatly condensed version of our conversation.

Tell me about your first experiences with social media.

“MySpace was the first social network that I used. It opened the door to that horrible online voyeurism. But, there was enjoyment in being able to reconnect with high school friends and other people from my past in a way that wasn’t too time-consuming.”

“Blogger was next and let me shout into the wind. However, Blogger was where I first saw the power of social media. I got pissed off that Whole Foods Market was carrying Kleenex products and blogged about my experience trying to get them to stop. Whole Foods eventually did and told me that they really appreciated what I had to say via Blogger. Of course, that made me happy.”

What do you dislike about social media?

“The first thing that comes to mind is I don’t like the distractive nature of social media. I mean, sometimes I’m really having quality interactions with people or looking at good information but other times I’m just looking because it’s habit. I don’t like that part.”

“I also don’t like the disconnect between what we’re doing with social media and social media’s actual ecological footprint. The server farm energy issues are huge. I’m guilty of the disconnect too, and I probably don’t think about it enough.”

“I also really dislike how often people accept as fact information they hear on social media without even looking into where it came from. Even worse, they often repost the same inaccurate information. Social media makes that so easy. I’ve done it. I hate it.”

What do you like about social media?

“The facilitation of real-life relationships.”

“What I’ve been involved in is affecting change and connecting people, places, and ideas and I’m definitely not interested in using email as a primary communication tool. Social media is an open-curated communication channel, which has been a much better option.”

“Just as people were really disengaging from mainstream media in a big way, social media came along. It provided a new transparent, consumer-driven channel for people to get their information.”

Is there a person or brand who you think uses social media effectively?

Maria Popova @brainpicker does a brilliant job and provides top-quality content/information.

Erik Hersman @whiteafrican harnessed its power for rapid crisis response through @Ushahidi

Jerry Stone @jerryjamesstone has facilitated at least two career shifts via social media and is funny.

David Roberts @drgrist is incredibly adept at social and political critique in 140 characters.

A huge thank you to Adam for acting as my Social Social “guinea pig.”

You can find Adam at @adamburk, @treehouseinst, and @tedxdirigo


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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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