I am learning something I didn't fully understand before: Social media is about interaction much more than self-expression.
The whole way it is set up makes you think the former. After all you start with an "account" where you proceed to "update" the world on your thoughts, comings and goings.
If you are lucky you figure out a way to "monetize" the "followers" you have made online and turn yourself into a product, or "brand."
Me, me, me, it's all about me - yecch.
The people I follow online understand the difference between self expression and social media and they don't mix the two. For example Penelope Trunk has her blog, Brazen Careerist, and a social network that is affiliated but separate.
Give your shpiel (speech, routine in Yiddish) in one room, socialize in another.
Another good example is Seth Godin but in a different way. Where Penelope has two spheres of expression, Godin melds them both into the blog, providing advice of significant value to the reader and keeping himself out of the discourse to such an extent that it really is "all about you" as opposed to himself.
Both approaches lend themselves to monetizing. Both are social, indirectly or directly. And most importantly, both are compelling, credible, clear and consistent (thank you Karen Hughes).
I wonder what will happen with Facebook and Twitter. Personally I dislike online ads, have a deep-seated belief that the Internet and its social connectivity services should be free, and get offended when people pretend to be interacting when they are really pushing a product.
I am still learning. There are so many people who seem to be whizzes at this. The technology alone is moving so fast, it's amazing.
One thing I am getting pretty sure of. The main draw online is usually not the content. The comments are where the action is. Kind of a new way of thinking about things.