I started the PLACES social media training at podnosh a complete novice, really. I had used Linked In a bit, I had set up a twitter account, but was mainly a ‘lurker’ and I did not have a clue why I would want to log into facebook.

Two days later and I have been blogging, tweeting and commenting on other people’s blog posts. I still don’t know why I would want to log into facebook.

What I will take away from my two days of social media training is the variety of ways we can connect and reach out to people, in our business community but also, for me, as a mum of two small children with things to say about the community I live in and the challenges of being a working parent. I imagine from a professional point of view, blogging will be a great way of sharing information away from the model of the static corporate website, from a personal point of view, blogging will be a cathartic process and hopefully a way of linking with people of a similar mindset.

Today, @girlguidingUK tweeted about a report they had commissioned on the role models that young girls have in today’s society. It has some surprising, and concerning, findings. Before this course, I would have followed the link and downloaded the report; today I replied to it and someone across the table from me on the same course asked ‘Jackie, how are you linked to the Girl Guides?’ – this social media business brings people together, personally and professionally. And sometimes perhaps personally first and then professionally.

Similarly, I replied to a tweet from the National Trust on the theme of #naturalchildhood, again I replied to them about the importance of forest schools for primary school children. They emailed me and asked me to contribute to the discussion on one of their blogs. I would never have considered doing this before.

Blog and tweet what you know about and what matters to you and it’s difficult to go far wrong, as long as it is done with consideration for others, both professionally and personally. Thank you, podnosh – this course has unleashed my inner blogger!