Why I Like Teaching Instead of Telling

A colleague of mine asked me the other day about my website, "What's your goal with your website? What do you aim to accomplish with it?" She asked this not as a negative critique, but as a curiosity question. 

I thought it was a brilliant question. So many times people say, "You have a website? Good for you!" and they don't really give more than a cursory glance at the website. It hit me, I do the website, this blog, for the purpose of sharing my experiences and perspectives on social media and email marketing.

I've found that while I read a lot of blogs and articles on social media marketing, a lot of those sites fall into one of two areas:

1. How to use the latest shiny toy, or 

2. News about the latest shiny toy.

While articles on the above two topics are important and worth reading, I don't want or need to talk about those items on this website. You can get that almost anywhere else, and those blogs could do it better than I can. That's what they're there for.

"So, why AM I reading your website?"

I've noticed that the sites and writers I gravitate towards one a regular basis are those that provide a deeper understanding, an explanation, of the material at hand. When Pinterest became a huge hit, there was story after story about how much traffic it was driving, and how it was helping brands. But rare was the blog that made that information relevant to the small business, or the non-profit, or the university.*

I love asking "Why?"

There is no better feeling in this world than someone who asks you "Why?" It's your chance to not only teach someone else about a topic, but also a chance to give yourself a deeper understanding of the topic. And by teaching that topic, in this case social media, you might even learn something from the student.

Learning the "how" of the shiny new toy is important for the short term, and it's definitely exciting to accomplish a task you haven't done before. But instead of moving from shiny new toy to shiny new toy, learn the "why" of what you're trying to accomplish.

*Note: In the case of Pinterest, I was blown away by this post on Pinterest at SocialMouths. When Pinterest was making the rounds of all the social media blogs, I thought this was the best example of going past the hype and showed you the "why" of Pinterest's importance.

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