Name: Tallulah Habib
Designation: Social media strategist
What do you do every day?
My role is very varied so there’s no such thing as the average day. My day can comprise of some or all
of the following:
- Composing social media posts about IT topics
- Writing articles/columns about developments in the tech space
- Live reporting from IT events
- Hosting interviews on social media (Twitter and Google+)
- Training other staff to use social media
- Advising on social media policy and strategy
- Advising on social media marketing
- Running social media around ITWeb’s own events
- Compiling the agenda for ITWeb’s Social Media Summit
- Sitting on ITWeb’s events advisory board
How did you get into the tech space? I studied Journalism at Rhodes (and minored in Computer Science). While there I started blogging for myDigitalLife (which used to be owned by ITWeb) and I assisted with educating local teachers in basic computer skills (through the eYethu Schools Project).
As a devout Star Trek fan I’d had a keen interest in technology for many years but these experiences at varsity really fueled that passion and so I ended up specialising in New Media and applying for a bursary for that final year through ITWeb. I was a co-recipient of that bursary and it included a year of work experience at ITWeb as an IT journalist. After that year I stayed on as manager of ITWeb’s social media and brand ambassador.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? “Do what you love and the rest will work itself out”. I can’t remember who first said it to me (I’ve heard it a few times) but the truth is we spend most of our lives at work and if you’re not doing something you enjoy that makes you happy then you’re wasting your life.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? People will hire you based on your experience, but in tech that isn’t something someone else has to give you. You can gain experience yourself – build your own website, fiddle around with apps. You might hit on a great idea and end up building the next WhatsApp but even if you don’t, you’ll gain valuable experience and learn to know what you most enjoy doing.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Everything I can think to put here sounds super cheesy! I like the idea of making a difference, even if it’s a small difference. I think anything tech-related is a chance to build something. For me it’s a minor something (a brand presence, an article, someone’s understanding) as opposed to say someone coding a program.
Still, my key motivation lies in that building. We’re living in such an age of opportunity where each of us can use technology to change the world in some small way. Even in a way that’s as tiny as teaching a journalist how to use technology to spread her stories to a wider audience.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? I’d like to eventually be a social media consultant that helps organisations get real value out of their digital platforms, whatever those may be at the time. This would give me the chance to work closely with people to help them build tailored strategies that can give them value without breaking the bank.
The real value of social is that it’s available to everyone, but this is also a challenge because it creates a lot of noise and there are lots of “gurus” who want to take advantage and make a quick buck. SMEs and NGOs in particular need someone to guide them regarding how to avoid those pitfalls, and how to implement cost-effective and labour-efficient strategies. (Yes, I have been giving this a lot of thought recently :))
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