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Ivan Teoh

Something personal yet public

Toastmasters CC7 "Research Your Topic": Social Media and Our Life

I kept telling myself I need to complete this writing today. And I did it. It is for my tomorrow Toastmasters speech. It is not just for my CC manual 7 but also for Vista Penang international speech and table topics contest tomorrow. I only got one day to practice. I hope I will remember all the key points. Practice, practice and practice.

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What is social media? Although, most of us does not know the real meaning of social media, I am sure most of us used them before. Blog, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn - to name just a few. There are more than one hundred active social media sites with millions participating in conversations every minute of the day, all over the world. The Social Media Bible defines social media as "... activities, practices and behaviors among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media." In short, social media is by the people, for the people.

Good evening my fellow toastmasters, today, allow me to share some examples of social media’s that impact to our life.

A magnitude of 7.0 earthquake hit at Haiti last week. First picture of Haiti earthquake picture spread in Twitter. More pictures had came next. Social media become a media of spreading the news to the world. The most impressive part was the charity text message programs. Many users asked their friends in Twitter and Facebook to help the victims in Haiti. Text 'Yele' to 501 501, $5 dollars will be donated. Text 'Haiti' to 909999, you will be donating $10 to Red Cross. Both programs automatically added the charges to your mobile phone bill. Do you know how much money already donated? More then 5 million in 4 days. Now it's already more then 18 millions. Simple donations via text messaging combined with the viral spread of the campaign message on Twitter and Facebook have led to an unprecedented number of donations.

Trend of job seeking also changed. Now social media is a job seeker's best new tool. More than half (53 percent) of employers research potential job candidates on social networks, says by CareerBuilder.co.uk. Among these people, 43 percent said they relied on search engines, while 12 percent admitted to checking Facebook, and another 12 percent preferred LinkedIn. Since now we no longer search for job but the job will find us, we have to keep updating our skills and experiences in our social media profile to represent us, start a blog sharing our expertise and helping others that lack of it. Remember be ourselves and taking genuine interest to other professional contacts to build a tighter relationship.

I likes food. Only good food. Whenever I want to try new food in town, I will go to PenangTuaPui.com blog to search for good food. 'Tua Pui' mean fat in Hokkien dialect. From the research, 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements. I totally agree with it. Nowadays, I find that most of the advertisements are very misleading. I am more trust to the comment that my friends said to me. The comments in food blog also very positive. As those comments are written by people around us. Not only on finding food on the blog, now we can find lots of recipes from the food blog too. I remember my sister made her first jelly moon cake last year. The recipe was from the food blog.

Last thing I want to said is reputation. Because of the social media, word of mouth become very important. Do you guys still remember about the Iran election crisis, United Airlines case, and China's great firewall? People talks about them in social media. Not just target to company. People reputation also affected. A couple was having sex in the company toilet. They got 24 hours termination. On that evening, people from other company knew about it. Real-time communication platforms like Twitter and Facebook have spread the word about what's happening within our life. In the social media, we not just join in the conversation. We also need to monitor, influence and limit the conversation. Social Media is making the world a much smaller place. Make sure we able to handle well our reputation in our life.

Radio needs 38 years to reach 50 million users. TV needs 13 years to reach 50 million users. Facebook just need 9 months to reach 100 million. After listening to my sharing, does social media impact our life? Do we think we can ignore social media now? My advise ignoring is no longer an option.

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