It’s hard to believe, but our blog, Inspired Ideas, celebrates its first birthday today.  In the inaugural post, I shared my epiphany about the power of social networking – in particular my exposure to the LinkedIn platform (www.LinkedIn.com) – and how I really believed that the groundswell of web-based networking and communications tools would drive an online communications revolution.


A year later, there isn’t any question that social media, the new buzz name for technologies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, has entered the mainstream and is headed for mass adoption.  Six-year-old LinkedIn celebrated its 40 million user mark in May 2009 (read more here) – nearly doubling its membership in the past year - and Facebook boasts 300 million active users, with nearly half logging onto the site each day!


My personal commitment to social media has continued to grow, too, and I’ve more than doubled my LinkedIn connections, from 326 when I wrote our first post to 746 (as of today).  Using this great technology, I’ve reconnected with many important professional contacts, generated new business and furthered our brand identity.  And, because this is a new frontier, our exploration of social media has enabled us to develop and teach sought-after Social Networking courses for CPAs across the country and hopefully “turn on” a lot of would-be skeptics to the possibilities of this new medium.  I remain as high on LinkedIn as I was when I wrote our first blog post a year ago.  And, I’m working up some enthusiasm for the business applications of Facebook and Twitter, too. 


In fact, while I am still trying to wrap my head around all the personal stuff people post on Facebook, we have seen some interesting business applications in the quest to attract the young.  We have a number of clients who are using Facebook to keep in touch with young recruits after they leave school in the hopes of recruiting them as their careers progress.  We also have two clients who have done a great job using their corporate Facebook pages to position their firms as cool places to work Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith and Mengel, Metzger, Barr & Co.  View their pages here and here, respectively. 


And, because I’m committed to understand the communications mediums used by the young, our resident “youngster” Michelle Baca’s blog on Twitter (www.Twitter.com) inspired me to begin piloting that social media and exploring its applications for our business and our CPA and IT clients, too.  I’ve created my Twitter profile, connected my phone and have “tweeted” five times since last Friday.  I am not sure anyone is going to care about my daily, 140-character musings, but you’re welcome to follow and see if I can figure out how to make the medium work for you – and for me (http://twitter.com/JenLeeWilson). 


To paraphrase the great Wayne Gretzky, to succeed, we have to “skate to where the puck is headed – not to where it is now.”  Are you skating to where the puck is headed by learning and applying these revolutionary social mediums in your practice (or ensuring that someone on your team is responsible for doing so)?  Does your organization have a social media plan in place?  We’d love to hear what you’re doing in this area and learn where you’re headed, too.  Please post and share!