I think I finally get this social networking thing!
How's that for a revelation? I've been in and around computers and computer stuff for nearly 50 years (yes, read that number again … early 60's was my first computer experience) and finally on this day at the end of August in the year 2011 I think I understand the stuff that is going on now.
Let me start by pointing out what I didn't really see the value of and some of the bafflement I was experiencing. I didn't and really don't see the point of twitter … partly because there is not a point to most of it … (PAY ATTENTION TO THIS) the function of twitter is to provide a forum for people to do “verbal burps” … it is not about the content it is about the intention and the connection.
I haven't worked in an “office” other than my home office since the mid 80's so I never made the connection to the range of casual office communications and the function of social networking. Twitter is kind of like being in a “cube farm” and standing up and saying a 10 word sentence about something and then sitting down … could be a joke or a factoid or a bit of interesting news … it is about the connection that everyone gets to it … a “retweet” is having someone hear what you said and think it is interesting or informative enough to say it to your circle (we are still in that cube farm example). And I NEVER experienced that culture in a work environment so I never made the brain connection to that and social networking stuff.
Another big function of the social networking sites/systems is to provide seemingly valuable information about the world and about technology. The challenge I had with most of this is that the information was usually meaningless to me or valueless … (example) I saw a posting today about a new mobile from Motorola … it will resemble a Blackberry and run the Android OS … and I read the article (dutifully – so I thought) and saw that the specs were less than MY current ‘droid phone and it would be available in “other places” late this fall … the other places being Asia and possibly Europe … not even going to be a North American release of it … so, why tell anyone?
Then I was on G+ and reading a great article by +Robert Scoble who I find somewhere between amazingly informative and boring … and the article was titled Want more followers, here's the mistakes to avoid and went on to explain some of the details of what makes a good “person to follow” on social networking sites … and as I read it I realized a few things. (Peek at the end of this posting for either a link to the google+ or a copy and paste of his writing).
- I was doing it wrong and never knew why
- There was a system-like way to be effective in social networking and it was easy(ish)
- His article was a road map of what “not to do” and so was also a guide of “how to do it right”
- I could do it better than I had been doing
- There is a difference between “my way” and “the way that works”
Part of the effectiveness thing was about creating interesting content … doesn't have to always be about something important and doesn't always have to rank in the “Pulitzer” level of writing, just easy to follow and interesting.
I took a few steps to see if I reallllllly could do it the way it worked instead of the way I wanted to do it. Now don't be laughing at me … it is somewhat similar to doing a “frying pan flip” for the first time and being in a clean kitchen. You know that millions have done it already and so it can't be that difficult, and yet you hesitate …
I will, from this moment forward be a better tweeter, blogger and poster … and will include some of the important stuff that I think, some of the amazing things I find on the web and some innocuous and useless information to show I am balanced.
Here is the article I mentioned: https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/post
If you are not already on Google+ and wish to be, then shoot me a note with your gmail address (what??? no gmail account??? get one!) and I'll send an invite to you.
Don Silver – Mexico – August 30, 2011