It wasn’t the invention of the printing press per se that caused a revolution; it was when everybody learned to read.

This extract from Antony Mayfield’s excellent WOMMA presentation on social web literacy sums up nicely my thoughts on social media tools.

It’s not the tools, per se, that are changing the way we communicate, share information and learn. It is users themselves who are changing – talking in different ways about different things to different people. Tools will come and go, users will develop and change with them.

From this respect, social media literacy is important. We see this in the online communities that we run at FreshNetworks – users are very familiar with some tools and less so with others. They are developing their social media literacy and use different tools in different ways depending on their experience. We also see them develop this literacy – such as has been the case of a team of first-time bloggers.

Technology should be invisible and it is the way that users use the tools that matters. You can have the greatest piece of social media technology that exists, but if people don’t know how to use it then it is of no use. At least not now.

It’s an interesting area that is often overlooked – technology is placed too often in front of users’ habits and the social structure of interactions online. For that reason, Mayfield’s presentation is Required Reading for this week.WOMMA: Do You Speak Social?

View more presentations from Antony Mayfield.

Image by jessamyn via Flickr

Original Post: http://blog.freshnetworks.com/2009/07/do-you-speak-social-the-rise-of-social-web-literacy/

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