Running. A form of social media?

Not sure that the headline makes sense. But I figured I better get a mention of social media into this blog sooner rather than later.

And I do have a point to make; stick with me for a few paragraphs.

First, I wanted to talk about my blogroll. (I guess talk is the right word. This is a conversation. Isn’t it?) I’ve added a few people and links, and I wanted to tell you why.

Bill Sledzik, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is a friend and faculty colleague at Kent State. If you have time to read only one blog about public relations, read Tough Sledding. Bill’s comments are insightful and informative – and he has some fun with it too.

Jessica Jewell is my daughter. She is a writer and college creative writing teacher. She has something to say, generally in a unique way.

Mary Biddinger is a poet and professor at the University of Akron. She, along with others such as Maggie Anderson and David Hassler at Kent State, helped and befriended my daughter as Jessica completed her MFA at Kent. The world needs more poets; Mary is working on that.

Mindy McAdams is the Knight Chair for journalism technologies and the democratic process at the University of Florida. If you are interested in online journalism, her blog, Teaching Online Journalism, is a must read.

Bill Sledzik has told me good things about Kami Huyse and Todd Defren. Who knows. Maybe Kami and Todd will stumble across my blog some day. Then I’ll have at least two readers.

Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen strike me as always having provocative and interesting comments about journalism and a host of other subjects that should be of interest to those of us in the fields of public relations, journalism and education.

Kait Swanson is a graduate of PRKent and was a former student of mine who also worked at Flash Communications. Now she is well on the way to establishing a successful career. Like many of my former students, I now consider her a friend. (Hope she agrees.) Watching students grow in the classroom, graduate and begin successful careers is one of the joys of college teaching. Trust me. I’ll add links to other PRKent grads as I find them.

Lauren Rich Fine is one of the foremost news media analysts in the world. She established her reputation as an expert in this field while at Merrill Lynch. Now she is a Practitioner in Residence at Kent State, in the College of Communication and Information. I met Lauren at an ethics seminar held at Kent State this summer. I visited briefly with her in her office a few weeks ago and had – dare I say it? – a delightful conversation. I hope to have the opportunity to talk to her more when classes resume in January. A lot of the old guard in journalism doesn’t like her message. This is a gross oversimplification, but she argues that newspapers and other news media outlets were slow to adapt to the changes ushered in by the so-called new media. And while I am thinking about it, it’s surprising that Kent State hasn’t done more to announce her appointment. If there is anyone who can gain favorable national media attention for KSU it is Lauren Rich Fine. Maybe the university is preoccupied with other matters these days.

And now I’ve reached the point of all this; sorry for the delay. I read a lot of blogs these days and everyone talks about “joining the conversation.” Well, we’ll see. If it is truly a conversation via social media, it strikes me as being a little too distant and too impersonal. I used to enjoy picking up the phone and actually talking to reporters, colleagues and friends. But maybe I’ll be surprised and meet some new friends, have interesting and engaging conversations and understand much better how this social media can be used effectively in business, education and elsewhere.

That’s one of the reasons I like running. When you are running with others, you talk. You have an actual conversation. For years, I met my friends Walter, Jerry, Matt, Joe, Ziggy, Carol and others in the very early morning most every day and we would run together – and talk the whole time. Gee, maybe runners invented social media, not Al Gore. (Or was that the Internet?) I’ll share more of those conversations and running experiences as time goes on. robgerryrun2.jpg

In the meantime, I am interested in this idea of how public relations – and journalism – can take advantage of the opportunities presented by social media. I would love to have a conversation with you about that.

Photo of me running with my friend Jerry Nahas at the Cleveland Marathon and 10K in the mid-1980s.

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One response to “Running. A form of social media?

  1. Rob…
    I’m honored to make an appearance on your blog roll! The fact that I can write well enough to maintain a blog with some sort of interest is due largely in part to you and your PRKent cronies.

    I concur on being friends…and it’s an honor! I’m looking forward to keeping in touch via blog…an outlet that will allow us to interact more frequently…and that’s a pleasure!

    Have a splendid holiday…
    -Kait

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