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Embracing your inner geek

I recently spoke to a group of doctors and academics about why they should enter the world of social media. With only 30 minutes to inspire them to make the shift – while leaving them with some practical tips of how to do so – I had to talk fast! So, with the Wired Women conference around the corner, I thought I’d devote this issue’s editorial to an overview of the W I R E D model I shared with them.

W – What hasn’t changed Contrary to complaints that the wired world is killing conversation, let’s face it: we weren’t great listeners prior to the advent of social media either. We will always have to make a concerted effort to keep quiet and acquire the discipline of learning in order to listen to each other. For great tips in this regard read Nancy Kline’s Time to Think.

I – Introverts The digital economy is a great place for the less extroverted among us to share research and ideas. Plus, we can connect in online communities rather than brazen it out at cocktail parties or compete to see who can shout the loudest behind boardroom tables. The digital world is a wonderful arena for sharing knowledge.The more generous you are with it, the more valuable you will be to your social network.

R – Responsibility With plenty quality information readily available for you to use, you really don’t need expensive consultants to tell you what to do. You do need to take responsibility for your own learning though – so if you haven’t yet, just dive in. You’ll be delighted to see how willing people are to help you on social networks like Twitter.

E – Education This is two-fold. 1: There are wonderful technological innovations happening in education (check out our education panel at the Wired Women conference for a taste) and 2: Learn from your kids. Don’t be an old fuddy-duddy who talks about how great things used to be. Yes there are aspects of the wired world that might not be ideal, but there are also hugely exciting adventures to enjoy. Education is an ongoing process. Embrace it.

D – Democracy Possibly the most radical change of the digital economy is how the age of citizen journalism has transformed us all from consumers into content creators. If you have an inspiring and empowering idea to share, it’s no harder for you to broadcast it as an individual than it is for a global concern to do so.

Most of all it’s important to remember that the wired world is far more about communication and conversation and what technology can enable, than the bits and bytes of previous years that only electrical engineers could understand. Getting in touch with your inner geek has never been more appealing.

We’d love to see you at Wired Women if you’re in Joburg on 14 and 15 September.

Warm regards

Debby Edelstein

P.S. The link for more info follows at the end of this newsletter under Upcoming Events

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