February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 51

Email is so yesterday.
Here's how social

I

n the arena of technology, more than half of what college freshman learn today will be obsolete by the time
they graduate. Futurist and innovation expert Jim Carroll made this comment last October in his keynote
speech at NRPA's 2009 Congress. His assessment made
me think of my own technology transformation from my
college days in the 1980s when " social media " amounted
to saving a favorite joke on a 5ΒΌ-inch floppy disk and giving it to a friend so the next time he or she went to the computer lab (no one had their own PCs) they could pop it in and
laugh at it... to the blogging, tweeting, web-surfing technogeek I'm proud to be today.
Today's social media is certainly more than just having the technology to email that favorite joke and have
your friend instantly receive it and even send back a quick
" LOL " all in a matter of seconds. Instead, it's a buffet of
digital opportunities to connect with people around the
world in real time. " Social media " itself has changed so
rapidly since the phrase was coined in 2004 that the original Wikipedia definition posted in July 2006 has had more
than 500 revisions.

media is now driving
innovative parks and
recreation marketing
communications.

So, What is Social Media?
The description I like best comes from Brian Solis, author
of The Future of Communications-A Manifesto for Integrating Social Media into Marketing.

Photo credit

" Social Media is, at its most basic sense, a shift in
how people discover, read, and share news and information and content, " Solis wrote. " It's a fusion
of sociology and technology, transforming monologue (one to many) into dialog (many to many.) "

	

In the park and recreation community, the social media
vehicles of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging top
the list in popularity-all accompanied by a comprehensive website to tie them together, of course. Why not just
create a website that does all that? You have to meet people where they are to bring them to where you want them.
You can't just stand in the middle of your shiny, new digital
island and ask, " Huh? Why isn't everyone here with me? "
You need to build a bridge and a create a motive to cross
over to the island. That's where social media comes in.

www.NRPA .ORG

February 2010

Parks & Recreation	 49



February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 1
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