Friday, March 22, 2013

Wise Words from Jane Lindholm

Hello again! It's been a lovely week and today was the perfect way to start off my last weekend before Easter break. My first class was cancelled, which is always a pleasant surprise. It gave me a little more time to get ready and relax before my Social Media class at 11am. Today was an exciting day because we had Jane Lindholm, a co-host of Vermont Edition on Vermont Public Radio (VPR), come in to speak to us about her experiences and use of social media. She was really informative, interesting, and down-to-earth. The class flew by without any glances at the clock and I definitely took away from some of the things she told us.

Jane Lindholm is the host of Vermont Edition on VPR.

Lindholm, a Harvard graduate (the birthplace of Facebook), has worked at VPR since 2007. She is a Vermont native and has lived in and traveled to many places. She is a co-host of Vermont Edition every Monday-Thursday, which is a newsmagazine on VPR. You can read more about her on VPR's website.

During her visit, Lindholm spoke to us about social media and how it pertains to her professional career. She has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a blog. Her main advice was to monitor your posts and consider who may see them and how they may affect you in the future, especially when you are looking for a job. Although social media can be used as an important tool to connect and crowd source audiences, it is also a personal forum for many people. Lindholm suggested that we all let our personalities shine through on social media sites, but to refrain from posting damaging content.

"I sort of think of Twitter as a way to work on my brand," Lindholm said. "How do I want to portray myself? What do I want people to see? What don't I want people to see?"

These things are all important to keep in mind when posting on social media sites. It is really easy to post something on a whim and get immediate reactions from friends and family, but Lindholm suggested that we all wait ten minutes first. If we still want to post whatever it is after ten minutes, we should "go for it."

Although social media is a tool that Lindholm uses to expand her professional network and connect with fans, it is also a forum for her to share quirkier information than she would on air. She can use a more informal tone on the internet than she can at work. This allows her followers to glimpse a peak into her daily life without breaching her privacy too much. She is in control of what people see and how much they can see.

Her conscious use of social media is inspiring and definitely made me think about how I use social media. Until college, my Facebook and Twitter were filled with solely personal information. Since last year I have learned how I can utilize these networking tools to enhance and promote my work. Now it is vital that I monitor what I post on the web. I have always been pretty conscious of my internet activity, but it is clearer to me now how detrimental ignorance can be when using social media. When used properly, social media can be a terrific forum for discussion, promotion, networking, and leisure. I suppose that like anything else, giving too much information can be poor for your reputation and may come back to bite you in the future.

So take it from Jane Lindholm, an expert in her profession, and consider how you use social media. Journalist or not, it could make or break you in the pursuit of your future career.

Twitter can be a great way to network with people. I mentioned Jane in a tweet after class and I got a response from her a few hours later.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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