10 PR commandments of Web 2.0

A social media addict shares her hard-earned knowledge of the dos and don’ts of networking

I have a confession to make. For the past ten years, I’ve been engaging in something weird and highly addictive that has changed my life completely. I started doing it late at night in the privacy of my bedroom in a shared flat in north London, but the habit quickly escalated to encroach on breaks and lunchtimes at work. Soon, it was always on my mind. If I wasn’t doing it, I was thinking about it, and when I couldn’t do it because I was on the bus or out with friends, I would find myself thinking about doing it later. I learnt not to reveal my habit in public, because there was social stigma attached to it. I realised it wasn’t a productive or even necessarily healthy way to spend my time. I even used a fake name. But I kept doing it, all the same. Gradually, through the internet, I became aware that there was a small but dedicated community of like-minded addicts, just like me, distributed across the UK and across the world. We met up occasionally in pubs and felt reassured that we weren’t as weird as everyone else thought. In fact, we dared to think that what we were doing might actually be exciting. Over the years, things changed. More people started doing it. Some people got together because of it. A few lost their jobs because of it. But it gradually lost its weirdness and risky oddball reputation. In fact, only a few years after I started doing it, I found myself talking about the activity in a meeting at work. It felt strange to reveal that I’d actually been doing it for years by that point, but there was no getting away from the fact: I was – and am – a blogger.

Meg Pickard

Meg Pickard has been working in new media for more than ten years, mainly in creative roles for media companies. She curently works as head of social media development at the Guardian, where she is responsible for working with journalists, technologists and users to develop and manage new social web strategies and experiences for the newspaper