When I think of the word platform, my first thought may not be your first thought. I immediately think of a social media platform: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Knowing this, it probably doesn’t surprise you to learn I work under Allie Eby (please read her entry if you haven’t already) as a Social Media Marketing Manager. I am also a millennial (though I HATE that word), so social media has been a huge part of my life for the better part of 10 years.
Social media has changed a lot since the early days, when it truly was just about connecting with friends, sharing photos, and being entertained. Though it still holds those aspects at its core (I have had the pleasure of exchanging funny gifs and banter with many of you on Twitter), it has also turned into a marketing platform, a political platform, and a news platform. When asked where I consume most of my news in my interview for this position, I hesitantly said Twitter, and Allie immediately reassured me she was in the same boat. I won’t get into the political uses, but I think we all know it has become a part of every political campaign. As for the marketing side of social media, I quite literally would not be employed in my current position if it weren’t a reality (shameless plug to stop everything and go follow SolarWinds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram).
Just as the usage and core purpose of social media has changed through the years, so has the very definition of what we consider a social platform to be. Just for fun, I looked up the definition, and Merriam–Webster defines it as: forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites) through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, etc.
Sound familiar? The more I thought about the meaning of social media, I began to realize THWACK is a social platform of its own! It certainly allows you to share information, ideas, and personal messages just as the definition states, and it has created a community of people who enjoy interacting with one another, both virtually and in person. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the THWACK MVPs during THWACKcamp in October, and it was great to see the online community come to life, the THWACK IDs and Twitter handles I had come to recognize becoming real people right before my eyes.
Whether you love or hate social media, you have to admit it gives people the opportunity to have a voice. That voice may be used for sharing silly cat videos, arguing about politics, or providing tips and advice for how best to use SolarWinds products. Whatever the use, everyone deserves to have a platform. I’m glad you have all have found one in THWACK.