Muhammad Saleem Interview – Social Media Expert

NowSourcing interview with social media expert Muhammad SaleemFor those of you not familiar with him already, Muhammad Saleem (Mu) is renowned by many as a social media expert, as he is currently the #6 on the Digg top users list, and employed by Netscape as a paid Scout. He also serves as a regular on Pronet Advertising, and also finds the time to keep his personal blog vibrant.
NowSourcing had a chance to catch up and interview the social media expert:
1 – What is your first memorable technology experience? A big one for me was having my first Apple IIc (you know, the one with no harddrive) :)?

First technology memories, the Atari game system.My first great technology experience was the Atari. My mom’s younger brothers had one from their youth and they gave it to my mom when my older brothers were born.

2 – Which social news site is your favorite? Generally speaking, I know that Netscape has more political news, Digg has more technology, etc – but I’m asking which site in your opinion, has the best sense of support and community?
StumbleUponLike you said, every social site has its own strengths and weaknesses. I think the one with the best community will have to be StumbleUpon. People on all other sites have a tendency to be brutal but on StumbleUpon even when criticizing someone/something, people don’t forget civility.

3 – I see that you run your personal blog on the WordPress blogging platform. The blogosphere, while largely fragmented, seems to focus its debate between WordPress and Blogger. Especially with the Blogger platform being under attack this past week, this is a hot issue.

For several reasons:

1. It is incredibly easy (was for me at least) to download the package and install it on my own domain/server.
2. Much more versatile in terms of what even the basic package can do.
3. Contributions from the WordPress community (in terms of plugins) that improve the platform daily and with it the functionality it offers the average blogger.
4. The fact that you can use themes and customize your blog as much as you want.
5. Akismet. Blogger has a stigma associated with it because a majority of blogs on Blogger are actually splogs.

4 – Do you have a special person that you appreciate that has stuck with you through thick and thin? who do you look to for guidance and support through your now busy schedule?

I have a great circle of friends and mentors. That’s what’s great about the social web. You teach people what you know and they in turn share their knowledge with you. I think above all that is what blogging is about: the free exchange of knowledge.

5 – It appears that the dissemination of news has started to change from news sites to the masses over to partial control of the news by the individual in social media. Where do you see the future of social media?

Social media is still in its nascent stages. For example, misinformation and propaganda is promoted on social news sites every day while good content fails to be promoted. Furthermore, there is little to no social networking ability on most social sites. Lastly, social news is becoming more of a popularity contest than about quality. I think the next step will be an evolution where all these problems are addressed and new features are integrated with the model that will help the users better connect with each other and share more relevant and better quality content.

6 – Do you feel that there is a disconnect between traditional media (including those that subscribe to it this way) and social media?

Traditional media outlets are slowly embracing social media to promote their content. Social media is a platform where as traditional media is where content is being created. If you look at the sources from which the most content is promoted on the social news sites, it is sites like news.yahoo.com, CNN/BBC, Reuters/AP that will be on the top. I think the traditional media outlets don’t completely understand what social media is about and how it ultimately helps them.

6 Comments

  1. Glen Allsopp

    Pretty good interview, I love reading / doing these things for some reason haha.

    Nice job!

  2. brian

    @muhammad: thanks for the pingback!

    @glen: glad you liked it! I see that you have an interesting interview with a top Stumbler on your site as well.

  3. AgentSully

    fun interview to read.

  4. brian

    @agentsully: thanks for reading!

  5. Michael Dorausch

    “misinformation and propaganda is promoted on social news sites every day”
    Same goes for major media but it’s harder to spot / comment on.

    Like your thoughts on the evolution of quality content. Seems like a natural progression.

  6. brian

    @michael: thanks! Yes, that seems to be the way that social networks mature. Some people purely game / spam the system, put out their political messages, etc. But still, it is a democratic system, so the crap gets weeded out or downvoted.

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