AV Flox

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About Anaiis Flox


Who are you, and who do you work for?

Hi, I'm AV Flox and I'm a freelance writing professional. I write everything from blogs to features to client materials and technical manuals. I studied communications and got my start as a journalist, eventually expanding to corporate writing for in-house and promotional materials.

Where or from whom do you pull inspiration?

The forerunners and early adapters of the social media wave are pioneers. They remind me of the explorers—Magellan, Cook, Freycinet. There's this great quote on Percival Lowell's tomb at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona: "Astronomy now demands bodily abstraction of its devotee. To see into the beyond requires purity and the securing it makes him perforce a hermit from his kind. He must abandon cities and forego plains. Only in places above and aloof from men can he profitably pursue his search. He must learn to wait upon his opportunities and no less to wait for mankind's acceptance of his results… for in common with most explorers he will encounter on his return that final penalty of penetration—the certainty, at first, of being disbelieved."

That's perfectly applicable to web 2.0. More businesses have gotten on board in the past few years, but there is still incredible resistance, and certainly a rift between early adapters and enthusiasts and the businesses that are following suit.

In a way the internet is a whole new territory for business; social media is changing the way we do everything from how we conduct our relationships to how we do our jobs.

How do you see these tools transforming and helping you and your industry in the future?

This is an incredibly exciting time for businesses because, in large part, more and more businesses are now able to get out there into the mainstream conversation. In terms of data collection, consumer satisfaction surveys are still key, but market research has largely gone interactive. It makes businesses accessible to their consumers. By placing more power in the hands of consumers, businesses become more responsive, which enables them to continue to improve their product and service.

Of all industries, I think old media has been most affected by the shift to the internet and new technologies. The transition is being made slowly and not always very successfully, but we're learning. As with every new terrain, we need time to figure out what works for what we're doing.

What mistakes should people avoid in social media?

Don't forget the three rules:

1. Focus

It's easy to get excited and join every social media network available, but it's a waste of resources if these networks don't serve your needs. Examine the social networks you know about and the kinds of people that dominate them. Are they your target? Are they worth the time you're going to put into this? It's not enough to update every once in a while. Because you have to commit to the social media you use, it's a good idea to keep it simple.

2. Be human

We don't just want to hear you pimp a website or offer like a spambot. We want real people. Some of the most successful business presences on Twitter are very personalized. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh tweets as @zappos —he doesn't pimp Zappos, he talks about what he's doing and where he's going. Tony has fun with Twitter, and you can tell. He has 13,527 people following his every word.

3. Give back

Social media is just that: social. Interact with the people with whom you connect. Click their links; comment on their blogs, items or tweets; answer their questions; respond to their messages; be active. Be there.

Define 'Social Media' in 500 words or less.

Social media is any technology that centers around the sharing of information among users.

How open were your clients (or boss) to this new approach? If they resisted, how did you overcome the resistance?

I think the use of social media is largely misunderstood within much of the business community. Sites like MySpace and YouTube are generally seen as employee time drains, not potential windows to reaching consumers, so there is a lot of resistance. There is also the fear of exposing your product or corporation to the mob. I had a CEO agree to integrating a forum on their site only if it was heavily moderated to prevent clients, contractors, or employees from saying "too much of the wrong thing."

The only way to really get around this is to continue to educate businesses and expose the public to new media. When Twitter started, it was a very small group. Now, millions use it, most of them far removed from the the tech-insiders who made it popular.

What do you consider "must-have" sites/profiles to establish and why?

What social networking sites you use really depends who you are, what you're doing and what you're looking to achieve. That's why I think you should consider the available networks, research and see where your competitors are before getting started.

What and why should people contact you for your services/products?

I can write anything. I'm fast on the uptake. I know both the business and the consumer side of an issue. And the internet is my playground.

How can people contact you or your company?

You can drop me a line through my personal website.



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