Tag Archives: twitter

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Outdated.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.

Nigerian Princess, eat your heart out

1 Nov

Opening my inbox bright and early on a Monday morning I was graced with the usual presence of blog subscriptions, a few short and wonderful emails from friends overseas, the occasional spam or newsletter… But to my surprise, I had also recieved an email from a mysterious Colonel Benjamin F Davies, who had contacted me from his gmail account, offering me a cut of $20 million in gold and cash he says he found in a cave in Iraq. Of course.

Before your laughter subsides, it reads a little something like this…

From 1st Brigade -col Benjamin F Davies:

This is to write to your notice that I found out gold and revenue, amount to $20 million in a tunnel in Iraq, which I made an open declaration of the gold, but I hid the revenue, as I successfully secured the revenue with a finance company. I am hereby contacting you in assistance to bring out this revenue from the finance company, as I will present you as the original owner of the revenue this will enable the revenue to be released to you by the company to avoid the notice that I am directly involved. Which means I will part with you 20% for you and 10% for any expenses the success of the transaction may incur, while 70% for me.

Thank you for your cooperation

Col. Benjamin F Davies

Well, that just blew me away, naturally. How generous. Just a few minor question before I hand over all my bank details… A few problems forseen in the colonels delightful offer. You know, aside from the bleeding fact you’d have to be an idiot to reply to one of these emails. But couldn’t resist the morning laugh in a harmless look.

Let’s muse along here for the colonels sake:
1. Can he just take the money? Doesn’t it belong to the Iraqi people?

2. If Col. Davies is an American citizen, why does he need me, in Australia to help? Can’t he work with a resource on base?

3. So obviously this colonel character found me by no doubt heinous mean of surfing the interwebs, but shouldn’t he be focusing on ending the fighting in Iraq than (a) stealing gold from the caves and (b) reading my blog or floating about on twitter?

And lastly,
4. Won’t I have to pay tax in this sum? I don’t want it to screw up my tax bracket now.

Hmmm… the odds just aren’t panning put too nicely. I’m thinking I might just have to decline. But wish you all the luck somewhere else… like Cluedo, Colonel.