I know, your mom told you not to. Come to think of it, though, that probably didn’t stop you, did it?

In today’s world of social media, information is no longer only flowing one direction: we talk back. To each other on Facebook, to business and professional contacts on LinkedIn, and to anyone who will listen on Twitter. Facebook is the world’s largest 24 hour-a-day party-down-the-street where it’s easy to talk to anyone and to listen in on all your friend’s conversations. LinkedIn is a great big shared rolodex – like having a personalized Yellow Pages. And Twitter is like having a fly on the wall of someone’s brain, you see whatever it is that they’re thinking about and care to share.

Your own website is your online “office” or “home” where the information and conversations are more focused on you or your product. I’m a guy that helps people build, maintain, decorate, and use their online space.

Beyond social media, our society is changing around the same phenomenon. Traditional media with its “one way” thinking is giving way to new media where the readers and viewers interact with the news makers, news gatherers, news commentators, and even each other. It’s not just those who used to make the news either. Do you have a friend, client, or someone whose opinion you care about that is blogging? Chances are you can visit their online “home” or “office” and comment on their site or blog to “talk back.” You’ll both benefit, and so will everyone else following along. Since the ‘net never seems to forget, it’s recorded for history and future use.

Talking back is a big trend at the moment, even voters seem particularly vocal lately. That seems to come and go throughout our country’s history, but when it does you can be sure that many elected representatives are less than happy about having that communication deviate from “one way.”

Course CreatorsLen Elder and Theresa Barnabei, my friends and clients over at Course Creators, are shining examples of the value of “talking back.” They have great stories of folks they’ve been bold enough to approach and talk with, both in person and online, people I had traditionally thought of as “out of reach.” Those collaborations are working out well for all involved.

Since they and all of Course Creators make it their business to teach social media, I’ll let them tell you more. I’ll also suggest that if social media can potentially impact your business, it is worth your time to not just simply take a class, but to pay for some one-on-one time with Len or Theresa.

They’ll teach you how to “talk back” even better.