Tag Archives: blogging

The Stuff of Social Media

22 Dec
...Pick up the *social* card?...

...Picking up the *social* card...

“Oh… it’s only a blog,” she murmured.
About this blog. Your blog. All blogs for that matter; we were talking about the stuff of social media.
I didn’t have a response at the time. I guess I was stuck searching for a rightfully witty comeback.

I couldn’t come up with anything, and later realised that this person- this ‘so called’ critic I was speaking too, didn’t even have a blog.


How can you possibly understand the concept of social media if you’re really not a participant?
And that is my question.
Of course you can understand it all on an intellectual level. Like, I understand heart surgery even though I’ve never studied it or needed it.
But you can never really get it unless you’ve really been in it. And unless you’ve been in it to win it in fact.

So let’s clarify something in my mind here for a minute. The blogosphere, I think, is one of the most valuable and personal forms of social media that exists out there.

And when people talk about authenticity, transparency and its engagement or some hot new social media tool, they’re really talking about that personal relationship of social media. That is, being less confined and alone in this great big world of teh interwebs.

So if you’re not participating and yes that means responding to blog comments and other blogs out there -or if you’re only talking to yourself on Twitter, you lose.

If you don’t actually participate, you’re not really a part of social media. You’re last year’s season.
Pretty much obsolete.
Outdated. Old-school.

And oh yes… traditional media.

‘Doing it’, or interacting is a big responsibility. This is why a lot of people – and a lot more companies – fail at social media. Because we all want to connect to people and ideas, but to do that you have to go ahead and open up. You have to expose that hidden secret, the stash of dark choclate in your desk, or the undisclosed plans for the mysterious year ahead. …Ahem…

But people fail because it takes alot to get yourself out there. I’m not that great at it, but I’m trying to be better because I understand that vulnerability is a good thing. Which in my books, is a start. But practicing it is something different entirely.

Social media is about analysing and defining your own ideas, opinions and passions.
You know, a two-way conversation, or more often than not those racy three-way+ comment agruments that YOU have started with a single opinion/blog post. And in being any way but alone, you discover value and a true understanding that is difficult to grasp if you’ve never even participated in the conversation in the first place.
So, bring it on.

*Image thanks to compfight.com & user Scr47chy.


The Twitter train

20 Nov

Discovered by my no doubtly iniquitous means of surfing teh interwebs and researching blogging as a a creative outlet project, I stumbled across Twitter. I never really paid any attention to it, thought it was much a-do about only a little, but in some logical space, this so called ‘Twitter’ just seemed to keep popping up everywhere. It first started falling into my routine with my iPod touch, installing a nifty application called ‘Twinkle’.
Now, I’m not app heavy, use and keep what I need and somehow this one application just stuck around for a while.
And Twitter, incase you’ve been hiding under a rock in the general world of web 2.0, it is micro blogging that’s well… “so hot right now”…in the colloquial Gen Y-er terms.

But regardless of popularity, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was witnessing some kind of Star Trek style culture, whereby people are infact known by their clever twitter personnas and leave behind -well, everything else.

So, the point you ask?
There is something really interesting when it comes to understanding the mindset that drives some people to pursue the untested, emerging social networking platforms, when to most, the reason for doing so might be unclear and a waste of time, when you have things that already work for you.
First you need to understand the mindset of technology adapters, or bleeding edgers or tweeps and whathaveyou.
It starts with myspace, facebook and moves onto blogging, photo blogging, RSS feeds and technorati to name a few. Tied somewhere into that, you’ll find an unbridled passion for everything social, down to the search for something a little more left of center than the standard information generation.

So I had heard something was going on and it turns out, hey- it had been for quite sometime already. A whole lot of something. Better late to the party than never I say.
Since connecting to this highly addictive world of Twitter, I’ve discovered some interesting things.
Unlike the relatively static experiences on LinkedIn, facebook* or WordPress, twitter is alive and buzzing with real time conversations. It’s amazing what you can say in 140 characters or less (micro blogging needs a defining characteristic, and Twitter’s creators somehow settled on 140 characters as a limit) you’ll get everything from “I need a coffee” to “anyone seen Google’s latest acquisition with video chat?”

The second thing I discovered was that people are paying close attention to everything you say. In fact, when you ‘follow’ someone on twitter, another description could almost be stalking in the real world. But not on Twitter. The third twitter point I must share, was the process of explaining to my friends and others, exactly what twitter was and why it mattered. All they could muster was ‘that sounds pointless!’
Yeowch. The truth can hurt.

It might sound a little ethereal, but eventually you get plugged into the wavelength of Like-minded people. The revelation is that Twitter has demonstrated that social networking can be-wait for it- social.
Amazing I know.
Looking for advice on a broken mac, or even asking questions on a new business challenge, just as your twitter followers, the suggestions can come flooding in within minutes.
The real shocking thing about business is that it’s social, and that’s where it ties in. Relationships matter- relationships with customers, clients or faceless corporate entities. Regardless how positive or negative those experiences can be.

So for now, I’ll keep using it, finding ‘tweeps’, networking and socially relating in something a little new and untouched by the grubby hands of mainstream. I don’t consider myself a bleeding edger, but I’ll roll with it for now. It’s a bit like a self assured credibility you adopt because you used to watch that artist or band performing in lounges and pubs before they were mainstream.

Anyway, time for my next update.

Digital vs Traditional (again)

21 Jul
There has been a lot of speculation lately and a lot of talk as to the argument of digital media overcoming traditional media. And yes I do think it is happening. Digital is a cut above the rest when it comes to communication and has high end capabilities that still are being uncovered as we speak. Yes that’s right folks, the possibilities are endless. Or something to that degree.
However (and there’s always a ‘however’), I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that many forerunners of twentieth century print media are now suggesting something slightly contrary to Web 2.0. The question is basically, ‘Is Google is making us stupid?’. (As written by Nicholas Carr)
Which made me think about this slightly in a traditional form. Least surprising and quite transparent are the pervasive effects of web browsing on our thought patterns. Point-and-click reading is sadly the preferred method of reading for many now, regardless of age.
So here’s a experiment for the point-and-clickers playing at home…
Read this blog, start to finish. No stops, no breaks, nothing to drink that you didn’t have when you started initially. No TV, or youtube, no opening tabs or flashy web banner distractions. Do not click on another link. Then when if you fail, having read only the first few lines without distraction, revel in the irony. Considering that you may have been once well-read, yet now cannot sit through a blog due to nefarious distractions and technically, it demands a little too much time.

But yes, I know, there are too many flashing, clickable things to go and see. A whole world of them in fact.

Guilty as charged (on occasion). If you want my attention now it better be good, right?

During many long sittings I will get up all too often for a drink, maybe some chocolate and of course a distraction by a desire to read something a little more thought provoking.

The flashed word is now virtually as good as the printed one. And sells better. Traditionally, the printed page tends to hearten a more disciplined reading practice than that of a web page. How many people can really sit and read an online document for more than 10 minutes?

But seemingly true as it is, I just can’t come to terms with the idea behind ‘Google making us stupid’.

The argument seems to be that “immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information” united with the idea of common online communication, may cause it all to change, the way with think and how much we need to use our brain.

Our thought processes will always change. Concentration and focus on careful reading has always required effort and everyone is at their own level.

While we work to provide information, it’s important to realise it is not Google that makes us stupid. Insightful practices get lost in the hysterical pace of today’s world.

Google and Web 2.0 for that matter, work to help people to be more connected to each other, not just to the vast asset of information that’s accessible via the internet. Its our job to supply the exceptional questions and encourage reflection .To help make interpersonal connections that encourage conversation and challenge thinking.
But its Google that can help us to be smarter; “its not about searching, its about finding”.






argot their definition …my adaptation

2 Apr

(like: ahre-goh)

Argot derived from French language. It’s primarily a secret slang used by various groups, including but not limited to thieves and other criminals, to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations.

Victor Hugo was one of the first to research argot extensively. He describes it in his novel, Les Misérables, as the language of the dark; at one point, he says, “What is argot; properly speaking? Argot is the language of misery.”

But its also defined as “the deliberately hermetic language of a small knowledge clique… a super-specialized cult language that has no traction in the real world.

Interesting thoughts. So as I continue to blog, I guess I feel this is a secret method of communication. quite like getting your thoughts out there with no one to question or understand really what your talking about. …Except a small handful of people anyway. Which in itself is the basis of a secret following, not so unlike argot itself.

Hey I think I’m getting the hang of this.