The folks who work in social media are changing: Back in the day, a whole 3 years ago we all started out trying to figure out all this social stuff. We thought it was important. We told anyone who would listen. We just didn’t know why.

I was reflecting on this at the closing party of #SMWLDN. Back in those days, we had made up job titles like chief engager and rock star and maven. We were a bit different. A wild bunch. We had to make our own work because no one would give us a job doing what we felt was right.We were not corporate in dress or thinking, more optimistic explorers and dreamers from a whole bunch of backgrounds.
Looking at the people at last nights closing party organised by Chinawag founder Sam Michel (@Toodlepip). Great job Sam at the end of a long week. How have things changed with the new generation of social media folk?

> They have real jobs with proper job titles like Social Media Strategist, Community Manager etc. No Rockstars or Mavens here.

> They wear suits (but not ties on the most part).

> They work for real companies. Mostly large corporates or digital media companies.

> They talk about real work and what they are doing rather than what they might be able to do.

> They are in demand by employers with a fierce competition for talent.

> They have studied marketing and/or social media (They teach it now)

> They are a lot younger than we were.

I make this point because this reflects the full integration of social media in to business, not just recruiting. This type of gathering confirms that social has moved from the fringes, and the domain of the adventurous, and firmly in to the main stream, and central to the way that companies engage about every part of their business with the outside world, recruiting is just a string of this. It is a cause of celebration.

In amongst the strategy, policy audience segmentation that is the common talk and thinking in social media and marketing circles, it’s important that we  don’t forget how we got here, by connecting, communicating and exploring. Through an attitude of test practice rather than best practice, constantly trying new things. it was this testing and exploring that got us to here and where we are now. The best practice came out of the exploration, and disrupting the way things are done, creating what has become best practice.  I hope that in the world of “corporate” social that there is room for continued experimentation and disruption.

Thanks to Sam for hosting a great party, it was a great evening to end social media week, and a celebration of how far social media has integrated in to business as our chosen way of communicating. A big hat tip must also go to Adobe and Nokia for sponsoring the evening, and much of social media week.