Social Media really is a lot like chemistry. There is a huge pool of elements you can choose from and an infinite variety of combinations you can create. Twitter + sharing + commenting will give you a different result than blogging + LinkedIn + Flickr. Then of course there are the active ingredients – the people. A dash of Chris Brogan plus a big helping of David Armano and the whole thing changes again.
Well, this got me to thinking. It would be handy to have a Periodic Table of the Social Media Elements. So, I created one:
You can grab this from Flickr here. Please feel free to download and share.
Now, if I’m being honest there is nothing particularly scientific about the table. In fact, your table could be very different from my table. You have favorite applications, people and habits. That’s cool. The magic comes with using them all and putting them together in different combinations. According to Wikipedia (so it must be true), the Periodic Table is not a static thing:
“The layout of the table has been refined and extended over time, as new elements have been discovered, and new theoretical models have been developed to explain chemical behavior.”
So maybe in six months or a year I’ll revise this and add some new people, take out others, and mix things up a bit. I think it’s also a cool way to brainstorm – coming up with different ways to connect different elements of Social Media.
A lot of this is going to be old news to Social Media practitioners, but if you have friends, colleagues, parents, students or bosses who are having trouble keeping all the elements of Social Media straight, you may want to download/print this chart out for them.
I know what you’re thinking now (assuming you’ve been kind enough to read this far): Cool idea Rick, but what do all the abbreviations stand for?
Here’s the key:
Social Media Behaviours: (These are the positive things you choose to do)
Sh = Share
Mt = Monitor
Fr = Friend