Susan Cloonan lives in Clonmel, South Tipperary and attends the Tipperary Institute to study for a degree in Creative Multimedia. She does part-time volunteer work with the Civil Defence and is a Reserve Garda. She is interested in animal welfare and has recently started hosting her own show with Tipperary Hospital Radio.
Susan is a long-time active user of various social media tools. We are hoping that she can find space in her hectic schedule to be able to write the occasional article for Technology Voice.
1. Could you tell us about your background (where you’re from, what you’ve done)?
I spent ten years working as a stock controller for an independent stock accounting company. After a brief stint as a funds administrator, I worked in accounts and shop management for two years, before moving into an administrational role in a Commercial Equipment Test House. (I’ve also worked in insurance sales, in a fast food restaurant, as a travel agent, and as a movie extra.)
2. What was your route into social media?
I’ve always been amazed by the fact that I can link to real people by switching on my computer. I went from IRC many moons ago to online forums, then blogging, before setting up a Facebook page. It was Berniard Goldbach who put me onto many of the social networking sites I use today.
3. Tell us a little bit (if you can) about what you’re interested in or working on right now.
I’m about to enter into my second year of a four year degree course in Creative Multimedia with Tipperary Institute. My interests lie in audio/video and writing. I’m also currently working on a website aimed at getting people to recycle more, itsinmyway.com.
4. What social media services do you use regularly and why?
I use Twitter a lot! It’s not only a great tool for meeting people with similar interests, but also a way of getting news without having to search through the internet for it.
5. If you could only keep one service or tool, what would it be, and why have you chosen it?
6. Including your own area of expertise, what developments in social media do you think are particularly important?
I’ve a keen interest in travel so I’m currently looking at Layar, an augmented reality browser and how it’s being developed. It works by using your phone’s inbuilt camera and GPS. You point your camera at the street you’re in, for example, and, depending on the layers you have selected, you can display restaurants, camping sites, other Twitter users, etc. I’m also a Foursquare convert and have found it very helpful when I’m in a strange city.
7. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before the arrival of social media?
I’ve been able to reconnect with friends from the past and stay in touch with them. I’ve also met up with some new people simply by Tweeting where I’m going to be. If I post on Facebook or Twitter looking for advice on something, I’ll usually receive a few replies fairly quickly.
8. What issues, either technical or social, do you see with social media?
On a social level there’s always the danger of putting too much information out there and having someone take great exception to something. On a technical level, I think we need to be aware where the content we’re posting is going to.
Also, Tweets don’t just get shown on the Twitter website. As well as showing up in search engines, tweets are aggregated by sites like Tweetree, Twitoaster, Twaitter, Amplicate etc., to name just a small few. It can be a little alarming to see one tweet show up ten times on different sites.
9. What one piece of advice would you give to someone entering the social media world?
Be careful what you put online. It could come back to haunt you.
10. How do you see social media helping and improving things for us in the future?
There’s a much greater access to information and to personal experiences/opinions which make for increased awareness and better decision making.