Social Media, Tips

Social Media Is About Failure and Forgiveness

This post was originally published Mar. 25, 2011, for the Asian American Journalists Association.

How to do social media right: experiment, screw up and ask for forgiveness.

Repeat until you succeed.

“Be fearless,” said Kevin Sablan, head of the Orange County Register’s web efforts and new-media leader. He gave a presentation Wednesday on social media and innovation, presented by the Asian American Journalists Association of San Diego.

View of the audience at the Microsoft Store during Kevin Sablan's presentation.

The audience at AAJA-San Diego's program on social media and innovation at the Microsoft Store in San Diego, California, on March 23, 2011.

Sablan, AAJA-San Diego’s first speaker of 2011, told the journalists and public relations professionals in attendance that even successful companies like Google have made their share of mistakes. He took us through its product graveyard that houses forgettable products including Google Buzz, its answer to Twitter and Facebook, and Google Wave, which was supposed to make-over Gmail.

Both were flops, Sablan said, but showed the importance of trying something new, giving up when things don’t work and not belaboring failure.

Sablan, a respected member of the Web journalism community, also talked about tools that help people filter, group and make sense of the noise on Facebook, Twitter and other social-media channels.

Strategies and tools included:

  • Make Facebook groups. Sablan has nine, each with purpose and special users. They help drive meaningful conversations among people with the same goals and interests.
  • Use GoogleReader to corral and organize your RSS subscriptions, including news.
  • Experiment with my6sense, which analyzes things you read, do and send — and then does a “great job of figuring out what I might like,” Sablan said.
  • Time-shifted reading: Read it Later and Instapaper, both applications that collect and save things you can’t read right away for later consumption.

While on his way to San Diego from Orange County, Sablan’s found himself stranded on the side of a road with car trouble. Despite that and rain, he was gracious enough to still do the presentation via my HTC Android phone, which was mic’d up and connected to the store’s speakers.

Well @mcdiana @lilyshumleung it looks like this will be a very innovative presentation for @AAJASanDiego .
Kevin Sablan

Despite not being able to speak in person, he used the glitch to illustrate the subtitle of his presentation: Ignorance, failure and forgiveness.

Here are the slides from his presentation:

Kevin Sablan: Social Innovation Presentation AAJA

— Lily Leung is the programs chair for the San Diego chapter of the Asian American Journalist Association.