Was having a conversation with a friend today who feels a lot of pressure from her PR firm to learn about all of these new social media tools so that her clients can take advantage of them.
She's also given 10-20% of her emerging media time for education, and her emerging media time is only 50% of what she's supposed to be working on for her clients...the rest is on traditional media.
Meanwhile, the folks that make social media attractive... the movers and shakers of MySpace and the blogosphere... they're doing it fulltime. They're tagging and reblogging and connecting and pasting cool widgets into their pages everyday.
Anyone who doesn't live in that world everyday, not as work research but recreationally, because they love connecting and discovering new things online, is simply going to fall behind.
It's actually pretty funny, that a lot of these young people who are social network junkies don't realize that the skills they possess are highly sought after by marketing and PR firms. They have an innate understanding of what flies in this world.
Whether you work for a VC firm, PR firm, in marketing, for a brand, a media company, etc. you need to find a way to integrate these tools into your real life, otherwise it's always going to be something "extra" that you never get to or don't fully understand because you're just a casual user. There's no blog you can read to get all the answers. No conference that will help you get it. What also won't work is hiring a bunch of interns that you think are "cool", because no single intern is going to be representative of anyone else. Unless you live in this social media world, be prepared to watch it pass you by like an outsider.