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Archive | September, 2010

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Social Media Needs You. Do You Need It?

Social Media wouldn’t exist in the format we imagine it today if it weren’t for the millions of users constantly uploading and updating statuses and other media. According to a study, content creation has recently plateaued.  For as many users as we add, we’re still writing the same amount of tweets about how much we love coffee and bacon.

Does that mean we’re burned out, or have we just run out of creative individuals to update Facebook pages?  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it before.  It’s easy to burnout on social media.  We can only create so much content.  There are very few of us who can churn out witty tweets and updates every day.  We all have better things to do like watch Hoarders so we feel like our house is much cleaner than it is.

Social Media is like Jareth, David Bowie’s character from the movie Labyrinth.  It wants to rule you.  It wants your thoughts, your ideas, your emotions and your dreams.  But you don’t have to share them all.  It has no power over you, and it’s not nearly as good looking as David Bowie in tights.

Do you have the power, or does social media have the power over you?

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You Don’t Have to Follow Social Media "Experts" (Including Me)

I worry about who I follow all the time.  I wonder what kind of message it sends, if the information is worthwhile, and if this person can make me laugh. It’s important for me to consider what makes me happy when I follow someone, rather than just adding another source of slightly relevant information to my feed.

Still, we get caught in traps of following certain people based on recommendations and and advice that isn’t necessarily for us.  If you have any interest in social media, maybe because you are new or some of it is being added to your job, you are bombarded with a group of “experts” and “gurus” and “ninjas.”  They offer a ton of advice.  But is any of it right for you?

The trouble is, these people probably don’t care about you as an individual and the work you do. Your work may not be related to social media as a whole, it may just include bits and pieces of it here and there.  They aren’t your colleagues and the people who you work with.  They’re working on mastering social media.  If that’s what you’re doing, great! Go follow them now.  And follow me while you’re at it.

But if you want practical advice, find out who the leaders in your field are and follow them. See who’s doing new and creative stuff that relates to you, not who’s just spouting the same social media advice endlessly.  Find who makes you laugh.  Make your connections matter beyond someone who puts all their stock in the internet.

Social Media is easy as long as you know how to talk to people.  Finding the right people to talk to is the hard part.

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Create Meaningful Content

Does your content mean something to your followers?

Content doesn’t have to be profound. No one reads on the internet anyways. You’re kidding yourself if you think your next blog post will instantly change the world.

Create something that touches people now. Make them smile. Make them think. Having them follow you is a privilege, not a right. Show them you care about their world beyond raising some metric of yours.

Your friends and followers will thank you.

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Journals – The Original Anti-Social Media

The other day I went shopping with one of my best friends, and I bought a paper planner. She asked why, since she knows I live and die by my iPhone and its calendar.  Here’s what I came up with.

I adore books.  Maybe I am fond of them because I grew up surrounded by books and working in libraries, but I am completely fascinated by them. I see endless potential within the pages of a book.  When I buy a new blank book, whether it’s a journal or a planner, my imagination runs wild.

Blogs are limited. Text, images, audio, and video in are always in fixed patterns and lined up within code.  We can only be creative within the limits of what we can code or what we can upload.  On paper, you can go as far as you want to without having anything to stop you.

Journals can be closed and hidden away. My journal is only for me, and the very select few I choose to share it with. Its something I can look back at and see where I was, and look forward and see where I am going.  I never have to worry about it being posted on Facebook or being searched by Google.  It’s fit for human consumption only.

I look at an empty text box and I see work. I look at a blank page, and I see potential.

Books are the original Anti-Social Media.  Buy them.  Write them.  Love them.  Share them or hide them.  I dare you to find a media format more perfect.

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Shoutout! Jennifer McClure – Social Media Superwoman

There are a lot of awesome people who helped make the Anti-Social Media happen in a  variety of ways. It’s time I stopped letting them lurk in the shadows and cast an uncomfortable spotlight on them by being positive for once in my life.

When I was a wee college graduate, I read an article to follow Jennifer McClure on twitter because she is a great resource for job seekers. That article was dead on.  I followed her before I got my first job, and I had the pleasure of meeting her at #recruitcamp this past April. Since then, we’ve kept in touch via e-mail and Twitter, and I’m glad to consider her a friend.

Jennifer runs Unbridled Talent, LLC, which is “a Speaking & Consulting practice focused on Innovative People Strategies in the areas of Talent Attraction, Recruiting & Sourcing and People Development.”  She is amazingly active on a number of social networks and is a great example of how to use social media to promote yourself and your work without coming across as narcissist. She takes time to reply to her followers and people who reply to her, which I’m sure is a lot of work when you have nearly 9,000 followers. She also helped make LinkedIn make sense to me, a feat unto itself.

Jennifer is an example about how to use social media smarter and how to connect with your followers. Follow her. Learn from her. She is a wealth of information about how to use social media well and how to help people online. Also, you’ll probably learn how to land that next job. You can’t go wrong following her.

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This is Not Social Media News, Mashable. Unless he’s…

This is Not Social Media News, Mashable.

Unless he’s tweeting, Facebooking, blogging, or even Google Buzzing, Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman is not social media news.

Also, that’s a terrible picture of Joaquin Phoenix.

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Don’t Call People Names Online

Sometimes my posts appear in places other than on The Anti-Social Media. Some of my articles appear on Social Media Today, and others appear on Brazen Careerist. It’s a nice way to let my content take a life of its own outside of my site. However, it led to a very interesting situation when I didn’t know one post became popular.

So, I wrote an article, it was featured somewhere else than my site, it blew up, but people didn’t get that it was meant as a joke. The readers thought I was being serious instead of sarcastic. So, one person thought I as dumb and called me a name in those comments, but as I’m reading the comment, I notice:

Not only did this person call me a (not nice term for a technologically inept person), he used his real name and left a link to the company he works for.

Also, he works for an agency that specializes in social media work.

I don’t like to call specific people out.  I think it’s mean spirited. It doesn’t enhance the conversation, and it doesn’t promote new ideas. I’m not even referencing the post this happened on, or the person who left the comment because I want people to learn from the story of this, not the specific example.

If you want to build a business around social media, social media training, social media marketing or whatever, thats great.  But you have to set an example of how to exist online, and you don’t call people names online.

Ever.

A comment of that nature has huge potential to bite you in the ass hard. When someone calls an author a name on a blog, I wonder what they say about their clients, their business partners, the guy they meet on the street. Bullying sucks online and offline.

Keep yourself in check. Keep your attitude in line. It’s just the internet, we all have better things to do than argue about it. I might be nice about it, but there are just as many who’d use that chance to bring you down.

Don’t give them that chance.

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Does Anyone Actually Use QR Codes?

Does anyone use QR codes?

I don’t see the value in QR Codes.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have a native app on my iPhone to scan them, but I think it’s because no one has given them any use to the average person. I know there are bundles of great uses, but until they can save me time and money, I’m happy using Google to find out what I need to know.

I’ve recently seen people begin to use QR Codes as avatars on Twitter.  Do you seriously think I can scan your avatar with my smartphone when I’m looking at your avatar on my smartphone?  Or if I’m using my computer, isn’t it faster for me to just click a link?

I can only presume the people who use QR Codes as avatars are robots. They pose as humans and trying to take over the world.  It’s like the Matrix or Terminator, but with boring, square-shaped barcodes.

Still, I feel like I’m missing something.  Does anyone actually use QR Codes?  Have they made your life easier?  Have you sold out to the robots?  Inquiring minds want to know before we get branded with a code of our own.