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It’s not often that we Gen Yers are able to impart wisdom to our superiors with great acclaim. In fact, we have been widely criticized for our lack of work ethic and sense of entitlement. We’ll be the first to admit, we still have a lot to learn. However, when it comes to the world of new media, we have a huge advantage over our ‘elders’ and can probably teach them a thing or two. After all, we’ve been involved with social media for years. Plus, we’ve been doing it for fun.

Social media is taking corporate America by storm. Executives at companies large and small alike need to educate themselves and follow this trend or they are likely to become increasingly obsolete as change-ready companies leave them in their proverbial ‘dust.’

As communication professionals, our job is to stay informed about this trend. We must understand and transmit the most effective ways of communicating our clients’ messages. Until now, new media has been an extension of our social life. We can chat through text messages in real time using instant messaging or as we call it “IM” and spend hours searching for old friends from all over the world on social networking sites. Who would have guessed that our fun could be repurposed for business life!

Businesses all over the world are starting to use the social media and video posting sites we’ve been using for years (not to mention reading our blogs and vlogs), so it’s important not to underestimate the technology involved.

It’s also vital not to underestimate the knowledge your younger staff have to offer regarding the best use of new media.

We do not guarantee to be experts, and frankly, we do not fully understand the capabilities that these emerging technologies can offer, but we would like to share some basic knowledge from a communications perspective.

Social Networking Sites – In the most basic terms, a social networking site connects its members through an online portal. It is parallel to a networking event. Your online profile serves as a virtual business card. It is one of the simplest forms of new media and the first step you should take when adopting a new media strategy.

We suggest you check out facebook.com, myspace.com, or linkedin.com to start growing your social network. In our opinion, facebook.com is more appropriate for high-end executives, while myspace.com caters to those more involved in pop culture who might appeal to the less sophisticated side of people’s interests. Linkedin.com is newer and more geared towards business professionals, and it’s picking up steam.

Video Publishing – If you haven’t heard of YouTube, you have a lot to learn. For our purposes, we won’t hold it against you (just hire a Gen Y’er immediately after completing this article). YouTube is a video publishing site where anyone in the world can create, edit and publish video content on the Internet.

You’re probably wondering why the phenomenon of anyone with a computer and a camera becoming an editor, director, and executive producer all in one really matters to you. “Are you going to mix?” is your answer. Right after you hire your Gen Y’er, Google “will it match?” It’s the story of Tom Dixon, founder of Blendtec, who posted a video of himself mixing ridiculous things like iPods and marbles. This video made their blender sales increase at an exponential rate. We guarantee that he will find this clip interesting and it might even inspire him to grab his video camera and start filming!

Blogging: Blogs are another very simple yet powerful form of new media. Blogs are an individual’s documentation of everything they would like to share with the Internet community. Simply put, a blog is a digital diary without a password.

Some blogs are personal and share life stories: we have a friend with a family in London who blogs two or three times a week to update her family in the US on her activities across the ocean.

Some blogs are theme-driven: As self-proclaimed fashionistas, a lot of our fashion sense is gleaned from blogs like dailycandy and whowhatweardaily, rather than flipping through the pages of the latest InStyle magazine.

Any way you look at it, blogs act as essential sources of information and are a great way to quickly reach a wide audience with your message.

As we said before, we are not experts in new media. While we Gen Yers feel like we can brag about our new media savvy because so much of it is old to us, the truth is there’s still a lot we need to learn.

Personal vs. Professional Life: Where to Draw the Line: As social networking sites, uploading photos to the web, and watching videos on YouTube for entertainment purposes have become second nature, we are faced with a dilemma in trying to to figure out where our personal life ends. and professional life begins on the web.

For example, you might befriend colleagues on Facebook, but there’s an awkward “I don’t want to share too much” moment. There is a fine line that is constantly changing and a true balance is needed to find the right balance between private and public life. This challenge constantly annoys Generation Y.

Technology behind the tool: Also, while we can spend hours messaging friends, blogging, and sharing videos, we understand what we’re doing and the overall benefits, but we don’t necessarily understand the technology that goes into making it all happen.

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