Where’s the Influence?
In a post that may be useful to communicators looking to “sell” the idea of social media engagement to the C-suite, Kami Huyse specifically identifies three ways that new media can influence the public. She points out that the reach can even ultimately those who never read blogs or participate in social media in any way. “Passionate and knowledgeable new media creators and bloggers are followed by mainstream media. Bloggers and other social media content creators are increasingly seen as niche experts and asked to comment in mainstream media as pundits and sources for print, radio and television.”
I sometimes think those of us who use Twitter every day and couldn’t imagine life without it (hey, I admit it) are occasionally blind to some of the very real flaws of the platform (hatred of that infernal upside down bird notwithstanding). Stephen Davies, a recent convert, admits his love for Twitter but also has a few suggestions for making it better. While I disagree with some (I think video and picture Tweets are already well-covered by Utterz and would only complicate matters), I loved others (oh, how I long for a text editor that would do italics and hyperlinks!). ”
Trying to explain one’s self in 140 characters is sometimes quite hard; particularly when you’re discussing complex and descriptive issues such as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Often you might want to include a link to backup your argument and prove your notion which, by the time you’ve converted said link to TinyURL, you’ve used around 25 characters. Bummer! With this in mind, wouldn’t it be far easier to create links in your already written text?”
Just Do It
Perhaps because I so often fall victim to it when writing, I think some good old fashioned procrastination isn’t always such a bad thing. And hey, I get some of my best ideas when I’m nowhere near my desk (of course, I usually end up forgetting about them since I can never find a pen to jot them down in my cavernous handbag). But sometimes, you need to quit complaining and just do it. To that end, Jane Northcote has an excellent list of tips for whipping yourself into writing shape. “Getting down to the physical act of writing can take a herculean force of will. Distractions crowd in. Secondary objectives suddenly become appealing. Shall I place that grocery order? Read my email? Clear out my desk drawer? All of these suddenly seem more attractive than just logging on and starting to write. How can we get ourselves to stop procrastinating and move straight to action?”
Social Peeping Toms?
I think a little bit of a voyeuristic streak is necessary for engaging in social media, but are some people only here for a show? Brian Solis, drawing on sociological theories, points out that while listening is a key step in embarking in social engagement, it is the participation with those you have been observing that will ultimately lead to success. “Social Media is much more than user-generated content. It’s driven by people in the communities where they communicate and congregate. They create, share, and discover new content without our help right now. They’re creating online cultures across online networks and using the Social Tools that we learn about each and every day to stay connected. And the societies that host and facilitate these conversations cultivate a tight, unswerving and mostly unforgiving community and culture. As Shel Israel describes it, people are populating Global Neighborhoods.”