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social media, salty waffle, social media faith, social media faith based organizations, social media church, social media share, social media community, social media barrierSocial media is changing the way we seek information and learn. Traditionally, libraries and encyclopedias were major sources of information for just about everything. Most learning took place in the classroom, at work, or in person with knowledgeable people in your network.

Now things have changed. Online there are how-to blogs, step-by-step videos, and interactive forums with thousands of people viewing your question. People turn to google before they do the library, and Yelp before the phonebook. The trend is continuing with new file sharing sites like Slideshare and aggregators like RSS feeds and Hootsuite. This is changing the way we learn, but there are barriers for individuals getting started.

High Barrier: Learning Curve
To use social media there is a lot to learn! There are basics to get down, then learning how to listen and find your people, then learning how to talk to them… the list goes on. I would consider this to be the major barrier that is holding back social media’s impact (not to say that it doesn’t have a huge impact already). Since social media’s value depends upon the network effect, the more people who learn how to use social media, the more valuable it will become. Learning it is tough and time consuming, but there are people out there to help! (Enter: Salty Waffle). To learn more about the  learning curve of social media strategy check out this article.

Low Barrier: Entry
One thing that is nourishing the growth of social media is its low entry barrier. Most social media sites are free! All the top sites for social (FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedIn, etc) just require you to set up an account with your email and your in!