Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twitter...What?

Its surprising how many people are still confused about social media - and equally surprising how many call themselves experts. The difference between the two is this: Those who don't know much about it are definitely employed, those who are experts are definitely unemployed, and those who call themselves experts could be either, but really are just straining to make themselves look relevant. 

The fact is that when I was kicking butt and taking names at The Ad Agency, the last thing I had time for was the blogosphere or twittequette. Now however, I have plenty of time to dive into the world of blogs by people I know (Deserted After Dark by the incredibly ambitious Sam Richard and All About The Ask by the very grown-up Patrick Sallee), blogs by people I don't (Decor8 and Modite), the Facebook club, and of course the "cocktail party" that is Twitter. And I find yet ANOTHER silver lining under the cloud of unemployment (will wonders never cease?). So as an attempt to shine a little light on social media for all you hard workin' stiffs out there without pretending to be an expert, I bring you...The Happy Healthy Well Adjusted and Popular Guide to Getting Just Enough from Web 2.0.

1) Facebook is for people you used to know, Twitter is for people you want to know. An article ran this month in Glamour magazine about baby boomers taking over Facebook and ruining it for us millenials. A friend recently found this out when his mom and a professor publicly chastised him on his Wall when his status read "Hungover." Clearly, care must be taken when your online "friends" include parents, teachers, and bosses. However, the things to write and read on Facebook can take on a more casual tone - things that are personally interesting verses the professionally interesting snippets that make Twitter valuable. 

Consider Twitter like bugging the desktops of your smartest friends, local journalists, the President and those with the jobs you wish you had - so that when they drop an article they find enlightening, or a relevant discussion they're having with someone, or their current feelings on the state of the economy - you too can be well-read and in-the-know. Likewise, you leave your own trail of quips, quotes, webpages and podcasts. Although many people use it as such, Twitter is not for broadcasting what is in your lunch bag or the shade of purple your bruised toe has become. Ick. 

2) A blog is not a list of links.  Bloggers write for a variety of reasons and for many different audiences. A former co-worker of mine blogs for his out-of-state family about the charming phases of his kids' growth.  My friend Sarah blogs to showcase her writing and get freelancing jobs. Danny Seo blogs to sell mattresses, magazines, and beauty products. And me? I blog to keep myself motivated and to share a little humor and lots of cool stuff with anyone who cares to read.  Many blogs have links, but all blogs are written to tell the author's story. 

3) Comments are like heroin to bloggers, tweeters and facebookers - give us more!  Sure there are applications like Google Analytics to track site visits, and it's easy to see your Twitter followers, but the only real way for those of us who make social media our art form to feel relevant is to see that we have engaged our readers, followers and friends enough to join our discussion. So take the bait - respond to a status post, argue a point in a blog, and tweet us something interesting. This is the social part of social media. Without that - it's just advertising. 


2 comments:

zack said...

huh... "A blog is not a list of links." Wonder whos infantile mind that came from... ;) Clever depiction of social networking kid.

Megan Michelle said...

I need inspiration Zack - it might as well be you!

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