Shashi Bellamkonda, Director of Social Media, AKA “Social Media Swami,” at Network Solutions

Communications manifest themselves in different forms. No smoke signals or the telegraph anymore but email is still a prevalent part of our lives. In addition over the past few years content has found other ways to seep into our lives. As PR and communication professionals we are on the forefront of the communication revolution. Internally our colleagues look to us to be the “fortune tellers” for which new communication tools are trending and if and how to participate.

How did you discover the new tools? I wanted to share my experience about how I discovered tools many that I use.

Linkedin: I heard about Linkedin from a colleague and this was the first social network that I joined on Dec 18th 2003.

Twitter: In 2007(March 15th actually) , I was a Product Manager for Network Solutions Web Site Builder and during my research I came across a podcast from SXSW (first time I heard of the South by South West conference too) where they were talking about Twitter. At that time all I saw was people checking in from airports and I was not doing much travelling then. After leaving it aside for 6 months I became active on Twitter again.

Facebook: The mainstream media covered Facebook extensively but I could not sign up as I was not a student. Later one of my cousins sent me a invite and by that time Facebook had opened to all and now has over 850 Million.

Fast forward to today and I really cannot accurately recollect how I hear about new social networks , my guess is these sources.

  • Mainstream media: I read a lot of newspapers
  • Someone  starts adding me to their network and I get an email – examples are amplify, schemer
  • Word of Mouth from friends and colleagues. Groupon and Pinterest
  • Content curators/aggregators : I look for emails from sites like Summify,, , Xydo that give a digest of news every day in my inbox and if a large number of my networks share a article or link it grabs my attention.
  • My Twitter or Facebook stream : Google Plus and Empire Avenue
  • Search Engine  Results : Yelp, Spoke etc when searching for a business

If you are a professional trying to help a client with their campaign or promotion this could be a useful list for you. What other “ear to the ground” methods can you add to this list?

I will be speaking at the WWPR event on March 20th. Please register here