In a discussion yesterday with a couple of colleagues at work, I think I may have stumbled upon (if you’ll pardon the social bookmarking pun) an official motto for SMUG:
It’s not that hard.
I was talking with these co-workers (let’s call them “Karen” and “Cory”… since those are their names) about an exciting new blogging project that’s part of an internal communications program Karen is leading, and as we began the conversation I heard myself saying something I hadn’t planned but that really resonated with Karen. I’m not sure I can reproduce exactly what led to the magic phrase, but it was something like this:
You’ve got just a few weeks to get this blog launched, and that may seem like a short time compared to some of the projects you’ve done, but I just want to you to remember one thing: it’s not that hard. We launched the health policy blog in less than a week, and we also got a tile developed to bring a feed of the latest posts into this static page. That doesn’t mean it’s not work (how’s that for a double negative?); but it does mean you can do this. We’ve got a talented team that has done elements of everything you need to accomplish here, from the web video to customizing the blog’s look and feel to developing the RSS widget for the static page. It’s just a matter of pulling it together. It’s not effortless, but it’s not that hard.
I realized pretty quickly I was on to something with that phrase, when as we were discussing elements that needed to be completed between now and May 1 or so, Karen repeatedly chimed back: “But it’s not that hard, right?” “No, it’s not that hard,” I reassured her. I know we all left that planning meeting feeling that we had developed the start of a good game plan, and now we just needed to execute.
As I reflected on this, I thought those four words accidentally uttered do a great job of encapsulating what Social Media University, Global is all about: It’s not that hard. My mission with SMUG is to encourage people to learn about and experiment with social media tools to improve their lives. Maybe the applications for your are avocational, such as a blog or a Facebook group for a club or amateur sports team. Possibly you’d like to recruit and organize people for your non-profit cause. Perhaps you see social media as a way to engage employees in a large organization. Or you see potential “marketing” benefits, not in the traditional “push” sense of sending our your messages, but providing an opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with current and potential customers or clients.
Whatever your situation, the SMUG motto holds: It’s not that hard. It’s not get-rich-quick internet secrets (like the one I saw on the infomercial at 4:45 this morning.) It’s real work, not auto-pilot. But it’s not that hard.