Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm too social for my Web

How much is too social?
I often wonder how all these folks online are able to manage their time blogging, Twittering, Digging, Facebooking, Flickring and YouTubing and still manage their work and family responsibilities? Irregardless to ones profession, social media is a big part of where online learners, consumers, educators, businesses, teens, musicians, etc. are going.

The question today isn't whether we, a company, school or entity, should consider adopting social media practices, but rather how do we get started and what do we do?

So here are some starting steps for newbies:

Step 1. Create an avatar.
Step 2. Post a video on YouTube.
Step 3. Create a Twitter account.
Step 4. Send a Tweet and repeat after me: "I don't get this, what's the point?"
Step 5. Join Flickr, Slideshare, Digg,, stumble and whatever else everyone is doing.
Step 6. Create a blog and write about your interests or about something only you will read.
Step 7. Join Facebook, Bebo, Myspace or one of the millions of social communities.
Step 8. Invite your so called "friends" to join your community.
Step 9. If so inclined, create your own social community on Ning.
Step 10. Get whatever work you need to get done before 5pm.

In a recent survey by TNS media intelligence/Cymfony, 70 plus companies were interviewed from four countries (US, Canada, UK & France) about the importance of social media to their business.

Not a surprise to me; about 80% of the businesses interviewed agreed that social media should have significant resources dedicated to the effort and that it is a revolutionary opportunity that must include a sense of urgency. Not one organization felt that it was a passing fad or should not be an integral part of their business. I believe this too be true regardless of your business; be it schooling children, selling widgets or running a non-profit organization. Preview the other great findings in this study.

So what does it mean to be social and how involved should one get in social media? I know that for me and what I do at WeAreTeachers, I can spend an entire day doing the 10 step process and getting to number ten late in the afternoon if I don't manage my time. But more importantly, individual or organizations often join a social community or application and never return or participate. Simply joining a community and not engaging is like buying a car and not putting gas in it; well, unless you have a hybrid, that's not a bad thing. You get the point.

Darren Rowse of Problogger, states the following:
  • Be an Active Participant
  • Have a Consistent Presence on Different Social Media Sites
  • Add Value to the Wider Community
  • Let Others Sell You
In other words, be engaged, extend your "brand," either your own or your organizations across various media outlets, be honest and bring something to the table. And, as I am doing here, let others pass the baton. Darren has a great weekly video post for engagement. I don't know him, don't work for him, but he practices these great principals and so I share with you.

Good luck with your social media endeavor. I need to get back to work!

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