Despite my seething skepticism about Web 2.0 faddishness–or probably because of it–I make my living helping people use the web better. Sometimes I recommend using social media tactics. Sometimes not.
A lot of people do this kind of work.
If anything distinguishes me, it’s my stubborn focus on the user–that easily distracted, frequently annoyed gal or guy sitting in the chair, gazing at the computer screen, who wants only to find, get or do something without a lot of fuss.
Take care of that person, I find, and everything else tends to take care of itself.
Here’s a short list of what I do.
SPEAK at conferences and meetings about social media/Web 2.0
TRAIN AND COACH people who create content, manage online communities or blog. To my surprise, coaching bloggers is one of the most satisfying things I do.
INTRODUCE AND CUSTOMIZE SOCIAL MEDIA BEST PRACTICES for firms that are getting hands-on with blogs, social networks, discussion forums and other things that scare people in the corner offices. Privacy, moderation, legal issues, user registration, and so on.
ANALYZE, PLAN AND IMPROVE web campaigns for media companies, small businesses, authors, professional firms or anyone else who’s trying to figure out what to do on the web and how to do it better. I perform a lot of the expected things like analyzing the competition, divining the meaning of metrics (favorite trick: pay attention to your exit page numbers!), and doing usability studies (another surprisingly satisfying thing I do).
BUILD OR REVIEW SITE PLANS, create content, rebuild content for the web, put together a virtual staff (or a real one), or help pick platforms, applications and tools
BE “THE CONTENT GUY” in a shop that’s led by the tech team or the design team or the marketing team
JUST TALK. Sometimes people want to bounce ideas off someone who knows the web pretty well and thinks like a user. This is often useful early in the process, before the cart is flying down the hill and all you can do is hang on. I cost more than your shrink but less than your lawyer. I’m usually more pleasant to have around.
I’ve worked for, among others, Revolution Health, the Public Broadcasting Service, the Health Central Network, the Washington Post and a bunch of big media companies, small businesses and scrappy startups which non-disclosure agreements prohibit me from identifying.